Is Your Child’s Backpack Damaging Their Spine?

by Chiropractors Brighton on September 9, 2010

Your Child’s Posture is vitally important as the spine does not become fully ossified until their early twenties– as the twig is bent, so grows the tree!

According to an international study, daily backpack carrying is a frequent cause of discomfort for school children.

  • 79.1% of children felt that their back packs were too heavy
  • 65.7% felt fatigued by carrying heavy backpacks
  • 46.1% reported back pain as a result of carrying back packs

Many fashionable school bags do not provide for even weight distribution across the back and are often carried too low, adding extra pressure to your child’s developing spine. There are established connections between mid back (thoracic) pain in adolescents from postural changes associated with backpack use.  The mid to  lumbar (lower) regions of the spine can experience deteriorating posture as a person becomes fatigued from carrying loads, such as backpacks. It can take less than twenty minutes of carrying a load for this fatigue to set in and with many children walking long distances to and from school, it is especially important to ensure school bags are correctly fitted and are not too heavy.  Studies have discovered that children often carry up to a third of their body weight in their back packs.

Spinal issues during adolescence can impact on the correct development of your child’s spine as they grow into an adult.  Awareness of these issues can help to prevent problems before they start.  Heavy packs can cause your child to lean forward to compensate, quickly developing forward head posture as evidenced in this photo.  In addition to this, daily use of computers may compound the problem.

  • Backpacks should be no heavier than 10% of a child’s weight
  • They should be no wider than the student’s chest
  • Choose a backpack with broad padded straps and a waist strap
  • Don’t wear the pack any lower than the hollow of the child’s back
  • Heavy items should be placed close to the bottom of the pack.

Posture affects our health!  A good posture allows freer breathing, and as a result reduces fatigue.  Proper posture also helps keep muscles, ligaments, bones and internal organs in their natural position thus reducing wear and tear of joints, and relieving stress, improving health and enhancing your appearance.

Good posture can also increase self-confidence, with one study revealing that people adopting good posture not only display greater confidence but have a stronger belief in their own abilities than those with poor posture.

Our Chiropractors are experienced professionals.  If you are concerned about your child’s posture or health in general, Take Advantage of our Complimentary  Consultation Today! Chiropractic Life is passionately committed to your success and provides specialized care for many health problems not commonly associated with the spine.

Chiropractic Life, 88 Portland Road, Hove BN3 5DL  -  Phone 01273 208188

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