What Is Some Evidence of Backpacks Causing Back Problems?


Quick Answer

A study conducted by University of California researchers in Riverside found that two of every five children who wear backpacks report pain as a result of slinging the bag over one or both shoulders, explains WebMD. The study surveyed approximately 3,500 middle school students, with 90 percent of the students who experienced back pain revealing that it was "very bad" or "bad."

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Full Answer

The study revealed that girls report significantly more back pain than boys carrying backpacks, notes WebMD. The data gathered from the study's participants revealed that pain affected students wearing backpacks that weighed more than 20 percent of their body weight.

The back compensates for the excess weight of a loaded backpack over an extended period of time, according to Veritas Health. The back, shoulders and neck can experience pain. The extra weight of a backpack has the potential to cause muscle strain and spine joint irritation while distorting the natural curves in the lower and middle back. Students may notice that their shoulders become rounded and that they have trouble balancing or tend to lean forward after long-term use of wearing a heavy backpack. The muscle strain can result in both short-term and long-term muscle spasms, back pain and muscle strain.

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