Heavy Back Packs and our Kids

Backpack for kids will affect their spine - Austin Chiropractic - Dr. James Lee
Backpacks can Hurt Young Spines


As the summer approaches and the school year ends, kids will be putting down their backpacks and picking up their bikes. Replacing those heavy books for kites and frisbees.

Now is a great time to review whether or not your child’s back pack fits appropriately and is not creating additional stress on the spine. Heavy backpacks can adversely affect the spine of growing young people.

It is recommended that children carry no more than 10% of their body weight in the backpack. In addition, the straps should be tightened so that the pack is worn high on the back, not hanging low, covering the waist.

Encourage your child to also carry the pack in one hand, switching hands every so often. This is to reduce back stress, and allow the arms to share their burden of the load. But mostly, heavy backpacks, unwieldy and cumbersome, are the main cause of spinal stress.


  • Your child’s locker habits can also reduce backpack weight. Swapping books 1-3 times per day, for upcoming class periods makes them more efficient.
  • Reviewing the backpack contents before leaving school, and carefully considering what is needed for homework and studying, can reduce the afternoon and early morning loads.
  • Electronic course books and study materials can be accessed with Ipods, smartphones, tablets, to make carrying course work a lot lighter!

 FUN FACT: Dick Kelty, in 1951, invented the modern backpack. Before then, books were not as plentiful, and a simple leather straps held 2-3 together!

I look forward to seeing you soon;

– Jim

Dr. James Lee - Austin Chiropractic - Dr. James Lee
Dr. James Lee