Backpacks: The Real Back Stabber

Esha Shah, Staff Writer

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Aching shoulders, curved backs, and backpacks filled with pounds of supplies needed every day. Does this sound familiar? It’s every high school student as they walk around the campus dragging a heavy weight that they have no choice but to bring along. Every student needs one, but how much is this necessity affecting our own health?

There are many injuries and permanent damages around the country that are diagnosed everyday due to extensive loads carried in students’ backpacks.

The heavy weight on student’s backs cause them to lean forward and round their shoulders, creating a huge risk of shoulder, neck, or back pain and curving of the spine.

According to Katie Carr, a child-safety expert, almost 14,000 injuries are accounted for every year in the United States.

Have any Amador students noticed their backpack having an affect on their health or posture?

“I definitely feel that my posture has worsened due to heavy loads in my backpack. For one, I slouch a lot all the time,” said Esha Patel (‘21).

“I suffer from minor scoliosis due to the heavy weight I carry around in my backpack everyday,” said Sophie Judge (‘20).

Is there a certain point where the weight becomes too much? According to the American Chiropractic Association, backpacks shouldn’t be more than 10% of a person’s body weight.

Most Amador student’s backpacks are between sixteen to twenty-eight pounds which has the potential to be dangerous to the spine and shoulders.

Strategies that will help make one’s backpacks lighter, but still stay organized with all the handouts and notes from classes, would include having a light plastic folder for each class instead of binders, and one homework folder to keep the work for that night.

Leaving materials that are not needed on certain days at home can also help lighten the weight on our backs.

“Sometimes on ACCESS days, I’ll take out the things I don’t need,” said Vienna Lee (‘19).

Making sure you keep a light load in your backpack can prevent injuries.



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