School is starting again as fall approaches. Having all of the right items helps students settle in and be prepared for a great start to the new school year.
Some things to consider when shopping for a backpack are the number of straps the backpack has – two straps distribute the weight of the bag evenly and place less stress on the shoulders and upper back.
Backpacks with wheels place very little stress on the back and are actually preferable to standard backpacks especially with heavier loads, but check with your school to make sure these type are allowed. You still need to make sure you are lifting this type of backpack properly when getting on and off the bus or lifting it from floor to desk using straight back and bending the knees rather than placing the full load on the back by just bending over to pick up the bag.
Kids should always use both shoulder straps instead of straddling the bag over one shoulder with one strap. Packing the heaviest items on the bottom keeps them lower and closer to the body. Watch any sharp edged objects so they do not poke you in the back.
Limiting the load can also help reduce back strain as heavy backpacks can affect the way we walk and our posture. Extended periods of wearing a heavy backpack can cause you to lean forward to compensate which reduces balance and makes it easier to fall. This compensation can also change the natural curves in the middle and lower back causing muscle strain as well as rounding of the shoulders.
Avoid pain and strain to the back, neck and shoulders by limiting the load, getting a double strap high quality model or a bag with wheels. Wearing the backpack lower on the back is also considered less strenuous on the back, but not too low. The bottom of the backpack should be about 2 inches above the waist.
Features to consider when buying a backpack include choosing a lightweight material instead of leather. Wide double pads with adjustable shoulder straps (2 inch + width is preferred). Having features such as a padded back, waist belt or strap and wheels can greatly reduce injury.