Backpack Safety Tips

Well, I’m back! After taking a bit of a summer hiatus, oh who am I kidding, I’ve just been lazy!

Anyhow, this topic has come up so often lately in my Monroeville Chiropractor office, that I thought I should put some tips here for posterity sake. That topic is backpack suggestions for students.
Carrying books and schoolwork to and from school is unavoidable, it simply just happens. A student cannot avoid it. What a student can do however is lessen the negative effects that carrying books in a backpack can have.

Here are some of the tips I give the patients in my Penn Hills Chiropractor office:

1.    Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles and create imbalances.
2.    Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. You want to then adjust the shoulder straps so the bottom of the backpack rests in the small of the back just above the top of the tailbone. It shouldn’t hang too low, that it can weigh you down and pull you back, and it shouldn’t rest too high in your upper/mid back that it causes you to arch forward.
3.    Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments, i.e. don’t just have full weight load in the main compartment. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back/body with lighter or oddly shaped items placed further away. The backpack should never weigh more than 10-15 % of one’s body weight.
4.    A backpack with a waist belt is ideal and really helps support the full weight of the load.

So there you have it everybody! Some simple tips to lessen the effects of backpack strain and carrying books for school.

–    Dr. Brent Shealer – Monroeville, Penn Hills, Pittsburgh Chiropractor

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