HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - As you put your child's backpack on in the morning, you may want to make a couple adjustments. With all of the electronics, textbooks, even water and lunch, the backpack's weight can add up.
A lot of times you'll see students with their backpacks slung over one shoulder or hunching forward from the weight.
Huntsville chiropractor David Land recommends using both straps that are correctly positioned and tightened for comfort. He also says proper weight distribution is key so your child isn't having to feel like they have to lean forward to balance the weight.
Land says tightening the straps properly will help to keep the backpack from sliding around for improper weight distribution. He does recommend putting their backpack away in a locker as often as possible.
Land says backpack waist straps have shown some benefit as another point of attachment to help distribute the weight but he says he would rather the student strengthen themselves so that they don't need the strap.
"The child could perform abdominal crunches, they could perform planks. They could lean against the wall and do standing push-ups," explained Land. "They could do any activity in which we are strengthening and training the posture support muscles to be able to resist the tendency of that weight to pull and draw them forward."
Land says if a student comes into his practice, they'll do light manipulations but it's the continuation of corrective exercises that they've seen the most success. He has also recommended rolling backpacks for certain patients with pre-existing back conditions.
Experts recommend there should be no more than 10 to 20 percent of the person's weight in that backpack.