Some people prefer backpacks over shoulder bags. Because backpacks distribute the weight of the load. The back muscles and the abdomen carry the weight.
But heavy backpacks are also the lead cause of back injuries. This is true not only for children but also for adults.
However, there are some things you can do to avoid back injuries.
Wear it Correctly
Some people carry their backpacks in one shoulder. This is the wrong way of doing it.
Frequently wearing backpacks the wrong way can cause back injuries in the future.
When you wear a backpack the wrong way, it causes an uncomfortable spinal position. Over time, you may end up leaning to one side. This will affect your posture and your balance.
Avoid backpack injuries by wearing it on both shoulders.
Limit the Load
Experts advise your backpack should not be more than 20 percent of your body weight. Some even suggest aiming for 10 percent.
If you want to avoid backpack injuries, keep to this limit.
Heavy loads cause spinal discs to compress.
When a backpack is very heavy it causes you to bend forward or arch your back. Consequently, you'll start to feel pain in the back, neck, and shoulders.
Just Bring What's Necessary
For you to limit the load, you need to narrow down the items to bring. This needs time and planning.
Avoid packing last minute to avoid just grabbing what comes to mind.
Small kids might need their parents' help on this one. Parents should ensure they are just bringing the books and notebooks they'll use for the day.
And check if they snuck in something heavy but unnecessary – like a favorite toy.
When backpack straps have insufficient padding or are too tight, they put a lot of pressure on the shoulders. This affects blood circulation.
You can expect to feel numbness on the shoulder, and even arms.
When buying a backpack, avoid those that have narrow straps. They can't distribute the weight on the shoulders.
The Closer, the Better
To avoid backpack injuries, keep your backpack close to your back.
When the backpack is carried away from your back, it requires more effort and strains your back and shoulders.
Adjust the straps so the backpack sits comfortably on your shoulders.
Don't make it too loose that it drags the weight down on your back. But it should not be too tight as well.
When you organize your backpack contents, put the heaviest nearest to your back. Or load them at the bottom.
Use the Waist Belt
Waist belts are not there as a fancy design. It's there to help you avoid backpack injuries.
Waist belts can give the shoulders some rest. It takes a part of the weight of your backpack off of your shoulders and onto the waist.