As a parent of 3 school aged children, I dread watching my girls walk out the door yoked under the weight of their heavy bags, and with the school year well underway I though it’s time to highlight some important points about school bags and how they may be harming our kids.
Recently I found some excellent research showing that heavy school bags place unnecessary stress on growing spines and can lead to acute and long-term back problems (1) and carrying overloaded school bags to and from school can also have long terms health implications (2). Studies have also shown that lifting a bag that is tood heavy causes immediate strain on the spine and the longer the child carries that load, the more severe the damage. Common sense – I know, but it is still really important to find the balance.
A survey by CAA Victoria into the average bag weights of 1,000 children found that almost 50% of students carried bags well over the 10% of their body weight recommendation. This equates to at least every second child at school having an excessively heavy bag!
A pro-active recommendation to minimise the risks include students limit the weight they carry in a school bag to no more than 10% of their body weight. That’s only around 4-5 kilos for a 40-50 kg student.
Here are 5 tips to avoid the back to school backache:
- Never carry more than 10% your body weight.
- Wear your bag over both shoulders and use waist straps attached.
- Don’t wear the bag any lower than the hollow of the lower back.
- Don’t overload the bag and pack only what you need.
- Pack heaviest items at the bottom of the bag closest to your back.
Dr Nicole Hudson
Wellness made easy
Holistic Approach to Wellness
Onsite Health Fund Claims
Industry Accredited Practitioners
1 on 1 Consultations
If you or someone you know is suffering from some health issues and they are looking at taking a natural approach to managing these issues, then our practice may be the right place.
We also offer a range of supportive health and nutrition products, and workplace health services.