4 Back to School Tips For a Healthy Spine

Here are 4 tips on how to keep your kids from suffering from postural issues due to bad habits with carrying their backpacks. 

1. Carry your bag on both shoulders! The weight needs to be distributed evenly on both sides of the body to avoid compensating. 

2. How heavy should the backpack be? Our recommendation for children up to the age of 13 is between 10%-15% of their body weight. Overloading their backpacks may put a lot of stress on their spine and cause extreme tension on the back, shoulders, and neck muscles. This can result in pain, discomfort, and an accumulation of injuries. 

3. The most expensive backpack may not always be the best.  There are plenty of choices and most of them are sufficient. The basic specifications to look for are: The backpack has to have a medium-hard support along the back and adjustable straps for the length. The backpack will be perfectly adapted to contour the back without pulling backwards. 

4. What about the “ERGONOMIC” backpacks? Typically, this is a marketing gimmick. One design doesn’t necessarily fit all kids, so the best thing to do is to keep it simple. If you see a backpack at the store with all the “bells and whistles”, you will most likely pay a premium price for a product that may not be necessary.

- Elite Spine and Health Center
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