Backpacks May Spawn Falls.
Research presented at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s annual meeting in San Francisco exposes yet another potential danger of heavy backpacks: they promote falls in students who wear them.
Specifically, students who carried packs weighing 25% of their body weight exhibited balance problems while performing normal activities such as climbing stairs or opening doors, which in turn increases their risk of falls. In contrast, students who carried packs weighing 15% of their body weight maintained their balance moderately well. Those carrying 5% of their body weight were the most effective at maintaining balance, compared with their peers who carried more weight.
Roller Bags are Not Cure-Alls.
An empty roller bag can weigh up to 80% more than an empty backpack. Factor in that there is a tendency to add more things to a roller bag, it can end up weighing 50 pounds or more. At some point during the day, a child needs to lift that bag, and proper guidelines still should be followed.
These disturbing trends clearly show the importance of a comprehensive educational program designed to give students, parents, and teachers the guidelines necessary to prevent future spinal conditions due to improperly worn backpacks.
Backpacks are Not Just Causing Problems In The United States.
The amount of weight carried by children in their backpacks is an important issue that deserves serious consideration. To quantify how much weight children are likely to carry in their backpacks, researchers in Milan, Italy, determined the weight of all the backpacks used by sixth graders at several schools.
The average load carried daily 20.5 pounds, reaching as much as 27.5 pounds, with the maximum daily load averaging 25.3 pounds. Over one-third of students carried more than 30% of their body weight at least once during the week . . .
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