Australian children are facing an epidemic in the form of dangerous everyday practises which could lead to poor spinal health and the development of permanent spinal problems. The major culprit of this epidemic is the incorrect use of school bags and it’s negative implications on spinal health.
an early age (as young as 3 years old) children begin to carry school bags. At
the same time, the spine is undergoing dynamic and dramatic change. Therefore
important that any stress on the spine is kept to a minimum. It is now believed
that adult back pain and spinal disorders may stem from the childhood years.
Fashion, incorrect loading and weight can affect the developing spine in a variety of ways.
discuss these in detail:
Fashion: there are many school bags that are both well constructed and designed for optimal back support. However, students wear them incorrectly. Some children walk with their bags slung over one shoulder.
This leads to their spines becoming distorted under the uneven weight. Even when wearing their school bags correctly, the bag is sometimes positioned too low down their spine. This leads to the bag bouncing off their buttocks or upper thigh, causing them to change their posture, shorten their stride or stoop forward.
Lifting their bags so that the top of it is level with their shoulders will take away this interruption to their gait and help them to regain their correct posture.
Incorrect loading of the school bag: It is important to make sure that when a school bag is being loaded, the heavier objects are placed at the bottom of the bag close to the lower back. There are 2 reasons for this:
will reset the centre of gravity of the bag and bring it closer to the spine.
This will increase the stability of the bag and reduce the amount of bag sway;
lower back (lumbar area) is the area of the spine that is strongest and designed
to carry the heaviest weights so it is only logical that these object be placed
at the lowest point of the bag. The lighter objects (jumpers, hats, empty lunch
boxes) can then be placed towards the top of the bag allowing for correct weight
The weightof the school bag: It is recommended that students only carry a
of their body weight in their school bag.
However this is very rarely ad heard to especially in the later formative
years when the inclusion of lap tops, oversized text books and writing
materials easily causes this recommended weight to be surpassed.
one or a combination of the above factors will cause in increase in spinal
stress resulting in symptoms such as chronic headaches or lower back pain as
well as a collection of other musculoskeletal conditions.
Chiropractors are skilled at assessing and evaluating school bags and how they should be correctly carried. Chiropractors can also give many helpful hints and advise on minimizing the damage caused by incorrect fitting school bags.
the action needed is to simply change the lengths of the straps so that the
school bag fits more symmetrically on the student’s back. Chiropractors also
have the expertise to deal with any musculoskeletal problems that could be caused
by ill fitting school bags.
At the Mount Street Chiropractic Centre we can help! With over 35 years of experience, we can present students and parents alike with vital information that will hopefully stop any niggling problem into to becoming lifelong, chronic ones.