Our Chiropractor’s Top Tips to wearing your backpack.

With Term 2 right around the corner we thought it might be a good idea to share our top-tips when it comes to your children wearing their backpacks.

It seems as though the demands for children to carry around heavy backpacks is just the norm! Especially when children may not have access to leaving laptops, text books or sports clothes in lockers.

This can ultimately result in one heavy backpack!

The caution around heavy backpacks is the unnecessary load thats placed on the growing spine. Which can result in an increase in Low back pain, headaches and poor posture.

It is recommended that the weight of a child’s backpack is no greater than 10% of their body weight.

We understand that with the demands of what children bring to school in their backpack, it may be difficult to achieve the above recommendations.

This is why we’ve developed our top-tips to helping your children with wearing their backpacks.

1. Only Pack What You Need.

Though this may sound simple, it is what it is. If you don’t need your text book or laptop because your school day does not require it, then don’t pack it.

2. Ensure both straps are worn over both shoulders.

You’ve seen those kids, the ones who swagger around with their backpack hanging off one shoulder, this friends, is not cool. There’s nothing cool about having a sore back.

To ensure the weight of your backpack is disrupted evenly throughout your back, we highly recommend you wear both straps across the shoulders.

3. Make sure straps aren’t too loose and all zippers are done up.

An added bonus is to have both straps as snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug, so your backpack is sitting behind your upper back, and not dragging by your feet.

By ensuring all the zippers are done up will ensure one of two things-

Firstly, that nothing will fall out!


Secondly, that the load is distributed equally throughout the backpack and not focused on just one spot.

4. Pack Heaviest items close to the spine.

We know that the low back is designed to carry heavy loads.

So by packing your heaviest items, whether that is text books or your laptop, you may find that you have less low back pain, because your placing the load where your body was designed to carry load.

5. Make sure backpack does not weigh more than 10% of your body weight.

We’ve touched on this briefly but it is important to keep this in mind.

Best way to measure this is to measure the weight of your child and calculate 10%.

Extra load on a growing spine is not healthy for your child’s development. Add in genetic , hormonal and environmental factors and there’s a lot of negative impacts on the delicate growing spine.

6. Make sure your backpack is the right size for your child.

Though it’s cute to see a 5 year old child with their giant backpack on ready for school, it just won’t do their growing spine any favours.

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend to choose a backpack that is roughly the same size as your child’s body. Yes, this may mean you may need to buy a few different pack packs, but your child’s growing spine will thank you.

7. If you can’t adjust your child’s backpack, then get adjusted.

We understand that it may be hard to achieve the above, which is why we recommend getting your child checked and adjusted by our Paediatric Trained Chiropractors.

As previously mentioned additional load on the growing spine can lead to poor posture, low back pain, headaches and shoulder pain which could ultimately lead to difficulty in concentrating at school.

It’s important to nurture the growing spine, much like we would nurture the growth of a new plant with water, nutrients and support.

Let our Chiropractors help nature the growth of your child’s spine.

The Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) recommends the following back pack. You can find out more by watching this YouTube clip

If this has sparked your inner voice and has you asking all sorts of questions, why not book in for a visit?