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Lighten the Back Pack to Stay Healthy

Dr. Warren Bruhl discusses proper back pack loading for students as they head back to school

As your student heads back to school, be sure to pay attention to the excessive burden placed on her back from excessive weight of books and school supplies.  Unfortunately, it is all too common for a small girl weighing less than 100 pounds to carry a back pack weighing 25-30 pounds.  

When your son or daughter are exposed to the repetitive strain of carrying excessive loads on the spine, discs, muscles, and ligaments break down and weaken.  Posture suffers and ultimately health declines.  

The safest weight limit your son or daughter should carry should be no more than 8-10 percent of his/her total body weight.  Also, loads should be placed closest to the body and evenly distributed.  A pack that offers extra padding in the back and on the shoulder straps is also a plus.  Additionally, a belt strap across the hips further unburdens the load.  

Several good models of packs are available for students and my personal favorite is the Posture Pack.  If you would like more information on proper safe back pack use and or exercises to aid in strengthening a young person's back, you may email me at dc4kids@aol.com

Take care and have a safe year and go lightly on that back pack.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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