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BACK to School – Back to Backpacks


Although there are perhaps more important concerns with our kids returning to school this year, it may be refreshing to be addressing a topic like backpacks! After all, we want our children to be healthy today and into the future. How your kids wear backpacks, and what they put into them, can make a difference in long-term spine health.


The following offer general guidance on proper backpack use:

  • The top of the backpack should not be above the child’s head
  • The bottom should be well above the child’s buttocks
  • The backpack should sit in the middle of the spine
  • The contents of the backpack should not exceed 15% of the child’s body weight
  • Both straps should be used to distribute the weight evenly from right-to-left
  • Waist straps help to secure the pack
  • Padding on the back and straps helps to minimize pressure on the spine and shoulders
  • Minimize the time that the child is wearing the backpack
  • Backpacks with wheels can be an option for younger children


These simple measures can help improve posture in your child and prevent the development of spinal imbalances, which can ultimately lead to back pain. Prevention is key.

Marcia Spoto PT, DC, OCS 

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