Even though they are designed to give you a hand–and they do, for the most part–there are some considerably harmful effects to carrying them around everywhere.
Going through a normal school day may make students feel as though they’re carrying a heavy load, since, in most cases, they are. Improper knowledge and usage of backpacks can cause damage that, although reversible, can be quite painful. So what do you do? How can you avoid back tracking while backpacking?
On average, around 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries, on the basis of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. These backpack-related injuries can be the result of a backpack that is too heavy or simply wearing a backpack incorrectly.
Believe it or not, there is an improper way to wear your backpack. Wearing your backpack too low may cause the weight to strain your shoulders and lower back. Despite it is recommended to wear you backpack higher on your back, wearing it too high causes neck pain and joints and muscles to tighten. Thus what are you supposed to do? Just drag your backpack behind you? Well, no not exactly. It’s best to find a happy medium. It is recommended that the bottom of your backpack hang about two inches below the waist. At that, wearing your backpack on one shoulder is a huge no-no. Putting all the weight of your backpack onto one shoulder results in bad posture.
“I see kids with giant book bags and they can barely walk,” Landon Moore, a media production major of Searcy, said. “There’s honestly nothing you can do about having to carry so much stuff, unless you just carried around a bunch of bags.”
By now you may be thinking about just tossing the old backpack and carrying your books around in your arms. Before you do that, it’s important to realize that there are ways to prevent backpack-related injuries.
“I have pre-existing back problems so I carry mine how it’s designed to be carried to avoid extra back pain,” Grace Dilday, a sophomore undecided major of Fayetteville, said. “I double strap it higher on my back.
Also, pay attention to just how much you stuff into your backpack. It’s easy to put every single textbook you own into your backpack, just to avoid having to carry anything in your hands. However, this practice is not the most ideal option for your back. It’s recommended that your backpack weigh no more than 15 percent of your body weight. Thus to put it into perspective, someone who weighs 120 pounds should carry a backpack that weighs no more than 18 pounds. And backpacks come with multiple compartments for a reason.
Distributing the weight throughout all the compartments can help lighten the load a bit. Wow, who would’ve guessed it?
In order to avoid carrying so many textbooks around each day, college students can opt for online versions of textbooks if they are available.
Most professors maybe won’t change their minds about having you carry your textbook to class every day, just to relieve you of your back pain. Also, as geeky as this may sound, it may be easier for those who are susceptible to back pain, to use a rolling backpack rather than one you carry.
As a college student, the weight of the world may be on your shoulders, however that doesn’t mean you have to physically carry it around.
Ensuring that your backpack is working for you, instead of against you, is very important. College can be stressful enough without having to worry about the potential damage that a heavy load may cause. Therefore take a load off and assure that everything you carry is completely essential.