To avoid the back to school backache, the CAA recommends:
- Backpacks should ideally be no heavier than 10 per cent of a student’s weight when packed.
- Make sure the backpack is sturdy and appropriately sized – no wider than the student’s chest.
- Choose a backpack with broad, padded shoulder straps.
- Use both shoulder straps – never sling the pack over one shoulder.
- Use waist straps attached – they are there for a good reason.
- Don’t wear the backpack any lower than the hollow of the lower back.
- Don’t overload the backpack – use school lockers and plan homework well in advance.
- Place all heavy items at the base of the pack, close to the spine, for a better distribution of the weight.
“Going back to school should not mean putting your back out,” Dr. Billy Chow said. “What these results show is that while nearly all schoolchildren have bad posture while carrying backpacks, there is a lack of knowledge about how to identify what is bad posture, and therefore how to improve it.
“By raising awareness among parents, teachers and the public about the importance of good posture for schoolchildren, we can help reduce the cases of spinal injuries we see now and in the future.”
Visit www.whatsyourposture.com.au for more information and a simple tool that can help people check their family and friends’ postures. Any other questions feel free to visit us or give us a call on 9659 2666.
* Source: CAA Media Release Feb 2012