What Every Student and Parent Needs to Know
Remember the days of school lockers in the halls where students could keep their books and supplies until they needed them? Those days are long gone and replaced by heavier books and more supplies being the burden of families since school cuts have crippled classrooms nationwide. The biggest problem with these new demands on students are health concerns related to carrying heavy backpacks.
Research published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics found that students carrying excessive weight in their backpacks may develop long-term back pain and other serious health conditions including numbness of the shoulder, muscle spasms and posture deterioration.
“Loose straps, slinging the backpack over one shoulder instead of properly worn, to item overload – these common misuses cause a shift and will require an altered posture to compensate for the extra load.” advises local wellness expert and Chiropractor, Dr. Robert Walcher of Personalized Chiropractic.
Research suggests limiting bag weights to no more than five to 10 percent of body weight and to making sure one accurately positions the bag for even weight distribution. This can significantly decrease the risks of spinal and neck injuries and discomfort.
“A backpack may not seem like it would affect posture or mobility. However, over time, especially 5 days out of the week, the weight takes its toll and can lead to a greater potential for injury.” adds Dr. Walcher.
Parents must realize that turning backpacks into personal portable lockers has now proven to be detrimental to students’ health. So how do parents keep their kids from being at greater risk for backpack-related injuries?
1. Choose backpacks with multiple compartments. This design can effectively position and distribute weight while providing students with alternative storage options.
2. Choose backpacks with wheels.
3. Find out if you child can have access to the books they need at school in the library or media center.
To get more information or to schedule an informative segment/interview on the backpack safety, student wellness and injury prevention from Dr. Walcher, contact Michele at Personalized Chiropractic 858-866-3345.