September Is Backpack Safety Awareness Month At Back To Health Chiropractic Centre

Heavy, Overloaded Backpacks Can Cause Back Problems In Students.

It’s “Back-To-School” time again! Back to school for children means summer is finished and homework time is starting.  Children in grade school today are getting way more homework then I ever did when I was in grade school.  More homework to take home means heavier backpacks.  The three biggest problems I have seen with backpacks today are: 1. Most of the time, they are too big for the child (which means they are not fitted properly), 2. The backpack is overloaded making it heavy and unsafe for the child to carry, and 3. There is poor distribution of backpack contents.

What does the research say about backpacks when they are too heavy? 

A recent study showed that carrying backpacks heaver then 15% of the child’s body weight can change the postural angles of the child’s spine.1

Another study showed that the most prevalent symptoms amongst students related to carrying heavier backpacks were in the neck, shoulders, upper back and lower back. 2

It is very likely, then, that when children and students carry backpacks that are too heavy or overloaded, that this can lead to posture problems, tension on the spine, back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain.

Students in high school should have backpacks that are not heavier then 15% of their body weight.

Children in grade school should have backpacks that are not heavier then 10% of their body weight.

Read this previous post, “Chiropractic Advice For Backpack Safety”. You will find 10 useful tips to make backpack use safer for your child.

September is Backpack Safety Month at Back To Health Chiropractic Centre.  This means you can bring your child’s backpack into our clinic, we will weigh it for you, see if it is suitable for your child and show you and your child how to pack it and wear it safely and correctly.


1. Ramprasad M, Alias J, Raghuveer AK. “Effect of backpack weight on postural angles in preadolescent children.” Indian Pediatr. 2010 Jul 7;47(7):575-80. Epub 2009 Oct 14.
2. Whittfield J, Legg SJ, Hedderley DI. “Schoolbag weight and musculoskeletal symptoms in New Zealand secondary schools.” Appl Ergon. 2005 Mar;36(2):193-8. Epub 2004 Dec 20.
About The Author

Dr. Walter Salubro

Dr. Walter Salubro is a corrective care chiropractor, the owner of Back To Health Chiropractic Centre in Maple, Ontario, and the author of Back to Health by Choice. Dr. Salubro graduated from York University in 1996 and from the National College of Chiropractic in 1999. He has been practicing chiropractic and serving his community of Maple and Vaughan for over 20 years. Dr. Salubro is on a mission to give hope to people who are sick and suffering, especially when all other types of treatment they have tried have failed them. His purpose is help as many people get well with chiropractic care so they can live a long lasting, healthy, and happy life. Dr. Walter Salubro is dedicated to providing exceptional chiropractic care for all his patients. Dr. Salubro provides chiropractic care to people of all age groups. He is trained in applying specific chiropractic techniques that are just as suitable for children as they are for adults. Dr. Walter Salubro is trained and certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP®) and is a certified ScoliBrace provider. He also caters to the care of infants and pregnant mothers. Dr. Salubro is certified from the Academy of Chiropractic Family Practice and the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics (CACCP). Dr. Walter Salubro is Webster Technique Certified, which is certified and recognized by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA).