Does Your Backpack Fit?

By Dr. Caeden Chau

It’s that time of year again to buy some new, fresh gear for school!  Did you know that recent studies show that children are wearing backpacks that weigh as much as 46% of their body weight?  That’s up to four times the weight that anyone should be carrying on their back.  So if you are in the market for a new back-to-school backpack, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind so that you and your kiddos can stay safe and injury free!

  • Help to distribute the weight of the bag by looking for backpacks that have:
    • a waist strap
    • Wide, padded shoulders
    • A padded back
    • Compartments inside the bag
  • Don’t stuff your backpack to the brim-the weight of the backpack should be no more than 10% of the wearer’s body weight
  • The bottom of the bag should sit at waist level
  • The wearer should be able to walk normally without being slouched or breathing heavily
  • Wear both shoulder straps to evenly distribute the weight of the backpack

Having the right style and sized backpack can help to reduce poor posture habits and minimize pain felt from the extra weight being carried.

Adapted from the Canadian Chiropractic Association