Walk the halls of any school and you will find students overloaded with cumbersome backpacks, many at risk of injury.
EW Motion Therapy, an Alabama-based physical therapy practice, offers four tips for how students of any age can prevent injury by packing and wearing their backpacks safely:
- Make sure the backpack does not weigh more than 15 percent of the body weight of the individual wearing it. If the student’s load is more than 15 percent, it is recommended that the student holds other books in his or her arms.
- Wear the backpack with both straps. Avoid wearing the backpack on one shoulder.
- Make sure the backpack is the right size and that it is worn at an appropriate place on the back so that it does not sag and distribute weight too low.
- Pack the heaviest items closest to the body. The heavier weight needs to be closer to the body with lighter items farther away.
“Injuries can happen when you are just simply going through your daily routine,” said Rob Gray, clinic director of EW Motion Therapy Lakeview location. “And this includes students, especially with the workload and activities that today’s students face. Being aware of these things at an early age can help prevent injury in the future. We want to help build active and healthy communities by providing people with education that can help do just that.”