Tuesday, January 11, 2011

don't let your so heavy backpack hurt your back

Recently, I read an article named "Heavy Backpacks Can Hurt Backs". Before this, I never think of change a comfortable backpack for myself although I was trouble in carrying my old heavy backpack. But now, I change my mind.

Backpacks are a popular accessory with every generation. Everyone, including kindergarten students to individuals in their senior years, have a backpack. Unfortunately, even though backpacks are extremely useful, they also have their downsides. Heavy backpacks, for example don't only cause poor posture, but also lead to muscle spasms, exertion on the spine, and neck sprain. The American Chiropractic Association stated that in 2001 thousands of people were admitted to emergency rooms due to backpacks.

The weight of a backpack should not exceed 10–15 percent of an individual's body weight. When a heavier weight than this is placed on the shoulders, it will cause imbalance and pull the person backwards. As a reaction to this, the person would automatically strain forward to regain their balance, causing the improper positioning of the spine which is related to simultaneous back pains.

Surveys reveal that the majority of children carry heavier backpacks than the maximum safe backpack weight indicated.

In addition, the tendency to sling backpacks over one shoulder, further aggravates the damage done to the back. The back pains that people suffer from during their childhood usually continue through adulthood. This article is not written by or checked for accuracy by a medical doctor. Please consult with your physician for treatment options.

The symptoms of carrying an overloaded pack are:

* Struggling and straining when putting on the backpack.
* Poor posture.
* Constant shifting of standing positions.
* Bending sideways when attempting to adjust the shoulder straps.
* Numbness or tingling of the arms.
* Irritation on the area where the strap contacts the skin.

Fortunately, many companies now provide their consumers with more supportive backpacks to combat back pain problems. Supportive backpacks should have:

* Wide, padded straps to reduce pressure.
* Padded backs that provide support for the back curve.
* Multiple compartments, as they help to balance the weight of the backpack and reduce the possibility of tipping.
* Shoulder straps that can be adjusted.
Loose straps make carrying backpacks uncomfortable.
* Presence of waist and chest belt to provide proper distribution of the weight.
* Lightweight, yet strong material.
* A backpack shouldn't hang more than 10 cm below the waistline, as a backpack that hangs too low increases overall pressure on the shoulders.

Furthermore, train yourself to adjust the backpack fit regularly. People are prone to become lazy and start dumping all of their possessions in a backpack without considering the consequences. Thus, ensuring that your backpack is light is a smart way to avoid incurring back pains.

This article is not written by or checked for accuracy by a medical doctor. Please consult with your physician for treatment options.


  1. Good article! You really ought to check out the PostureJac. There are healthy ways to carry stuff if your body is properly positioned. Afterall, people carry enormous weight on their heads and actually get stronger and healthier.

    I all depends on how your body is conditioned to resist bending and injury. The PostureJac can really help, be teaching you how to function straight and strong, and by wearing it under a backpack to keep you in that sweet spot for carrying stuff. Check out the actual page at http://posturejac.com/posture-and-health/applications/travelling-and-backpacks

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