WHY DO 90% OF CHILDREN HAVE BAD POSTURE WHEN CARRYING BACK BACKS?
An interesting Chiropractic Association of Australia (CAA) study commissioned a parent survey to examine how parents think their children are using their bags. CAA study of more than 340 school children on high-traffic school commute routes evaluated how children carried their backpacks. It revealed 90 per cent of school children have bad posture when carrying their bags and could experience spinal damage as a result, while 75 per cent are not using their backpack’s ergonomic features which could prevent such damage.
17% OF BODY WEIGHT CARRIED ON DEVELOPING SPINES x 2 MAX RECOMMENDED!
Carrying too much and in the wrong way On average, parent’s estimate junior school children are carrying the equivalent of 17 per cent of their body weight in their school bags which is almost double the maximum recommended weight. While many children are using both backpack straps, 20 per cent continue to wear their backpacks slung over one shoulder and 33 per cent are wearing their backpacks too low on their backs.
HOW DO YOU BEST CARRY A BACK PACK?
Backpacks are being overfilled with extra items such as sports clothes, with 79 per cent of school bags full to the point of bulging. One in three parents report their children wear their backpacks positioned too low. Junior school children are carrying the heaviest backpacks compared to their body weight while middle school children are most likely to carry a backpack on one shoulder rather than both.
75% UNFORTUNATELY DO NOT USE THE BACKPACKS ERGONOMIC FEATURES?
Ergonomic features ignored by students, but important to parents school children are reluctant to use their backpack’s ergonomic features with 75 per cent failing to use these features. While the majority of school children carry backpacks with ergonomic features, 35 per cent are carrying backpacks without any supportive features.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BACKPACK FOR CHILDREN?
Despite more than 85 per cent of parents saying it is important their child’s backpack is ergonomically sound, 26 per cent were unsure if their child’s backpack had basic design features to prevent spinal damage. Ergonomic features are an important consideration for parents with nearly one in five parents saying ergonomic features were their primary consideration when purchasing a backpack.
DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE GOOD or BAD POSTURE?
Unfortunately posture takes a back seat to often! While 90 per cent of school children had bad posture when carrying their backpacks, 50 per cent of parents felt their child’s posture was good, highlighting a lack of education among parents in how to identify poor posture. A quarter of parents observed their children to have slumped head/shoulders while carrying backpacks.
HAS YOUR CHILD EVER HAD A SPINE, POSTURE & BACKPACK SCREENING?
MANY YEARS AGO ROUTINE SPINAL ASSESSMENTS WERE OFTEN STANDARD IN SCHOOLS. THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE. AS A COMMUNITY INITIATIVE CHIROSPORTS PROVIDES A COMPLIMENTARY '5 MINUTE' SPINAL HEALTH SCREENING INITIATIVE FOR ALL SCHOOL CHILDREN.
Please call Chirosports Northern Beaches on 02 9970 7611 to arrange an appointment and mention the complimentary community screening for school children when booking. Please note this is an assessment only, and does not include any treatment. There is no obligation for future care regardless of the outcome. If a scoliosis or some other matter requires x-rays to confirm our findings, appropriate recommendations will be made. X-rays are performed by an independent organisation, and we have no formal affiliation with and radiology organisaton.
1. Negrini, S., & Carabalona, R (2002). Backpacks on! Schoolchildren's Perceptions of Load, Associations with Back Pain and Factors Determining the Load. Spine, 27(2), 187-195.
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2004-2005). National Health Survey: Summary of Results. (No. 4364.0). Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.