When you drop your child off at the bus stop, how many children do you see slumped over by the weight of their backpacks? An average 6th grader’s backpack weighs 18.4 lbs. Some children’s backpacks weigh as much as 30 lbs1. Why is this dangerous? Extra stress on a child’s spine has a negative impact on the rest of their body. Zhao et al. found that a backpack over 15% of a person’s body weight negatively impacted their blood pressure, increased their heart rate, and led to muscle fatigue2.
So how much should a backpack weigh? Experts suggest that it should not be more than 10% of a person’s body weight2. One study found that even at this backpack weight, proper positioning is key! Wearing a backpack on one shoulder can lead to an increase in spinal curves3. At your next visit, be sure to bring in your child’s backpack and we will be more than happy to weigh it for you! A heavy, ill-fitting backpack can dramatically affect your child’s ability to hold their NUCCA correction!