National School Backpack Awareness Day, September 15, strives to make sure students wear backpacks safely. Improper use can lead to back pain or injury, which can impact learning. On this day, teachers, students, and parents come together to make sure families are aware of the risks of backpacks and can be sure backpacks are being worn properly.
Here are some tips below to keep in mind:
WHY NATIONAL SCHOOL BACKPACK AWARENESS DAY IS IMPORTANT
People with back pain, raise your hands!
If you were reading this out loud in a crowded room, you’d see a lot of hands.
How about this: People with giant, heavy backpacks, raise your hands!
Is it a coincidence that, again, you’d see a sea of hands? Not at all. Wearing a heavy backpack over time leads to serious chronic back pain and injury. Even carrying a heavy bag around for a short period of time can cause significant health problems.
In fact, back-related injuries sent over 2,000 students to hospitals and emergency rooms in just one year, and 85 percent of university students self-report pain and strain in their necks, backs, and shoulders.
National Backpack Awareness Day is an opportunity to talk about this common issue. It’s relevant to all students, but especially highlights the importance of physical therapists, who often help patients recover from these injuries and other activities of daily living.
With more than 79 million U.S. students wearing backpacks at any given time, the potential for injury is huge. The good news is that the problem can be easily solved with awareness and a few recommendations:
Let’s face it: You wouldn’t haul around a heavy backpack if you didn’t have to, and all that stuff has to go somewhere. Remember this four-step process to save you a lot of pain:
1. Select the right backpack
You’re probably used to picking a backpack based on how it looks, right? You like the color and all the little pockets. But you'll want to remember the following safety features as well.
2. Pack it
The way you pack a backpack can distribute the weight so that your whole back bears the burden evenly. Heavier items like textbooks and binders should be stowed closest to the back and center. Lighter things like a lunchbox should go in the front, facing away from the body. Sharp items like pencils and pens should go on the sides of the backpack — away from the back!
3. Put it on
Pick up your backpack like you would pick up other heavy things, by bending and lifting at the knees. Do not bend over and lift with your back.
4. Adjust and carry
Adjust the backpack while you’re wearing it. Adjust the shoulder straps so that the top of the backpack is even with your shoulders; the bottom should not extend beyond the top of your hip bones. Secure the hip belt and the sternum belt (if there is one). The backpack should rest snugly against your back. And remember: It should not weigh more than 10 percent of your body weight.
At Judice Sports & Rehab we care about YOU. Please reach out of you are dealing with back pain or just have a common concern or injury. We can help. By phone at 636-686-0503 or email email@example.com