As we prepare for the back to school season, let us remind you of how a backpack should be worn.  Remember the weight should be 15% of your body weight if you are older than 12.  Younger than 12, the backpack should only be 10% of your body weight.  If you have a scale at home, it is really easy to see how much your bag weighs.  Simply pack your backpack up for school with all the items you normally take with you and place it on the scale.  These rules also apply for all the other types of bags yo umay carry like purses, computer bags, hip packs, etc...    

Correct way to carry a backpack

Wear Backpack High on Back to Prevent Pain

Always wear both shoulder straps rather than slinging it on one shoulder. Adjust the shoulder straps, so the backpack is high on the back and the shoulder straps are comfortable on the shoulders (as demonstrated in the photo). The backpack should not sway from side to side as you walk. Children should carry no more than 10% of their body weight in their backpack. If a waist strap is available, it should be used, as it transfers the weight of the pack to the hips rather than having all of the weight riding on the shoulders. 

Incorrect way to carry a backpack

Wrong Way to Wear a Backpack - Using One Strap - Sling Method

Wearing a backpack slung over one shoulder (as demonstrated in the photo) puts all of the pressure on that shoulder.

Regular carrying of a backpack this way may result in bad posture habits and strain the shoulder and neck.

Take the time to use both straps and position the backpack high on the back, where it won't sway with each step.

backpack too low

Wrong Way to Wear a Backpack - Low on Back

Wearing a backpack low on the back increases the pressure on the shoulders. This position may lead to shoulder and lower back strain.

Loosening the shoulder straps makes it easier to put the backpack on and to take it off, but you should adjust the straps immediately, so it rides high on the back.

This low back position may lead to a forward lean, which places pressure on the lower back. Loose straps also allow the pack to sway back and forth when you walk, which can be uncomfortable and may result in the straps chafing your shoulders.