At this time of year the dangers of carrying a school bag regularly hit the headlines. Research continually shows that daily carrying of a heavy bag causes serious damage in children and teens; including a report carried out in Dublin which investigated the weight of schoolbags and the factors related to carrying them on first year secondary school students. Over 68% of the pupils monitored in this study were carrying bags that weighed more than 10% of their own body weight and 59% of the pupils reported discomfort when carrying their bag.
It is not just the evident discomfort felt when carrying the bag that is a serious problem, but also the damage that is created through bad posture adopted to compensate for the heavy weight that can lead to long term damage.
As the story is raised every year it is clear the problem isn’t being addressed and the weight of school bags is not being reduced. So what can children and teens do to help prevent any long term damage? Make sure your child isn’t carrying anything unnecessary, only take the books and other heavy items that they need for that day. Make sure the bag they are carrying is a back pack and is worn correctly over two shoulders with the weight evenly balanced. And make sure if you see any changes to their posture you have it checked out.
Watching your back,
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 Schoolbag weight and the effects of schoolbag carriage on secondary school students S. Dockrella , C. Kanea , E. O’Keeffea