Back to School, Backpacks, Bad Backs

The horrors of summer ending mean school books, PE kits, lunch boxes all need to be heaved to school and home again. If you are a Harry Potter fan then you know about the “undetectable extension charm.” This is the spell that helps you fit every object and piece of luggage into a small bag – with no increase in weight!

A study conducted in 2016 has shown that 60% of students have pain due to backpacks and bags. But it’s not always the weight of the bag that should be blamed. It’s how long the load is carried and how it’s carried that are the primary causes of pain.

Ways to save your back

Since there is no way that we can cast the extension charm on everything we stuff into our bags or backpacks, there are simple yet significant ways to keep the health of your spine.

1. Limit load to about 15% of your body weight. But doctors recommend a maximum of 11kg regardless of how big you are. So, what weighs 11 Kgs?
• 25 quaffles (if you’re a quidditch fan you’ll know this is the same as 25 size 5 footballs)
• one 19-inch flat screen TV
• one average-sized 2 year old
• 12½ bags of sugar

2. Distribute the weight evenly. Wear shoulder straps over both shoulders. Look for features like wide, padded shoulder straps. And don’t forget to use those waist belts. They’re there to shift the load to your trunk and hip.

3. Arrange your things by placing the heaviest closest to your back and never let your pack hang more than 4 inches below your waist.

Remember, small steps add up and your spine will thank you one day!