Backpacks Weighing Down Students

Emily Selgelid, Reporter

Students are not only burdened by their work, but also the weight of it. Papers, binders, textbooks, and basic school supplies add up quickly, sometimes up to 15-18 pounds for high school students.

When worn right, backpacks evenly distribute weight on the shoulders and back. But, knowing the high school population, no one cares enough to have correctly balanced backpacks and evenly pulled straps. It matters more to get to class on time with the needed materials than to put general health first.

Walking with a heavy backpack causes a backwards pull on back muscles, and the shoulders to roll forward and down, causing additional strain. Compensating for that heavy weight forces the body to bend forward at the hips, which compresses vertebrae. Overtime, this can create a curvature to the spine and rounded shoulders.

To prevent future back problems, trying to loosen the load in backpacks seems plausible, however it isn’t always a sure-fire solution. Some classes require textbooks and binders that add that extra weight. To combat this, try going to the counselor to get a locker to store excess items. In addition to this, consider starting a workout routine to strengthen those back and shoulder muscles and prevent them from weakening. Yoga, weight training, and even short repetitions of simple workout moves can make the difference between growing with numerous back issues, and living a healthier life.