Heavy backpacks can cause damage
THE Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) has called on parents to be wary of the load they are putting on their children’s backs.
CAA chiropractor Patrick Sim said heavy backpacks could be dangerous.
“There is mounting evidence pointing to the fact that heav
ily laden school bags place unnecessary stress on growing spines and can lead to acute and long-term back problems,” he said.
According to Dr Sim, a growing child should limit the weight they carry in a school backpack to no more than 10% of their body weight.
“That’s only around four to five kilos for a 40kg to 50kg student and it quickly adds up when you throw in a few text books, pencil case, lunch box and water bottle,” he said.
A survey by CAA found that almost half of all children carried bags well over the 10 % recommendation.
“Lifting a bag that is too heavy causes immediate strain on the spine,” Dr Sim said.
“The longer a child carries that load, the more severe the damage.
“The problem is compounded even further by badly loaded bags, poor posture and the fashion factor, which dictates the latest trendy way for carrying the bag, usually negating any inbuilt ergonomic features.”