Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tips for a properly fitted backpack

What to look for when buying a backpack ...

"You have bought the pens and paper, binders and notebooks. You have also bought the backpack.

But what can you do to ensure students don't injure their backs carrying all those supplies and textbooks back and forth?

Medical professionals are urging parents and kids to consider safety and ergonomics when selecting, packing and using backpacks amid studies that show students carry a hefty average of 17 per cent of their total body weight in a backpack.

The heavy weight load placed inside a backpack puts undue stress on a child's spinal development, often leading the body to overcompensate for this weight by leaning forward or sideways.

Selecting a backpack with a proper support system - to help correct the wearer's posture and make the load feel lighter - as well as packing and lifting the bag properly, can greatly minimize the risks associated with developing avoidable back problems.

Dr. Dan Yaron, a chiropractor and medical director for Obus Forme, offers these tips:

• Choose a backpack with a proper support system to help correct the wearer's posture and make the heavy load feel lighter. Opt for a backpack with numerous pockets and compartments to keep things from shifting around, and adequate padding to prevent digging into the back or shoulders.

• Carry only what is necessary in the backpack, and make frequent trips to the locker during the day if possible. Each night, clean out from the backpack unnecessary items and papers.

• Make sure the pack is the right size. Backpacks should not extend higher than shoulder level and not lower than four inches below the waist. Adjust both shoulder straps so that the bottom of the backpack is just above the waist. Don't wear it slung low over the buttocks."    (Continued via Inside Toronto)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Backpack Buying - Ergonomics

Backpack Buying

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