As Chiropractors, we are increasingly seeing poor posture develop in children. There are a variety of reasons for poor posture, ranging from ipad and computer use, sitting too much, not living an active lifestyle and of course school backpacks. 60-80% of children have poorly fitted backpacks, which can lead to postural strain and a range of posture related issues down the track.
- Choose a backpack with two wide, padded straps and a padded back for increased comfort. Narrow straps can dig into your shoulders and singles straps put too much weight on one side of the body and can cause postural strain. The width of the backpack should be no wider than the child’s chest and no longer than the length of their torso.
- The total weight of the backpack should not weigh more than 10% of your child’s body weight.
- A backpack with a waist strap will help distribute the weight more evenly. Put the heaviest items at the bottom of the backpack and as close to the spine and centre of the bag as possible.
- Make sure your child wears their backpack with the straps tight enough that the backpack sits snuggly against their back. The bottom of the backpack should sit above the buttocks and shouldn’t put their spine backwards. Tighten the waist and chest straps first and then tighten the shoulder straps.
- Help your child organize their backpack by teaching them to bring home only the books they need and get rid of unnecessary items to reduce the weight.
For more information on backpacks and posture, download the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia’s ‘Straighten Up’ App from the Apple app store, link below.