It’s back to school time! How much do you know about your kids’ backpacks – how much they weigh, how it should fit, and how to prevent aches and pains from backpack wear. Take our quiz and test your knowledge!
Answer: c. 15-20 lbs - A consumer report found the average 6th grader’s backpack weighed 18.4 lbs and the maximum weight was 30 lbs!1
Answer: b. 10% - Your child’s backpack should weigh no more than 10% of their body weight.2
Answer: b. False - Children should not wear adult-sized backpacks as the straps will not fit appropriately and can lead to potential injuries from incorrect carrying. There is also a risk of “overpacking” a larger backpack, making the backpack too heavy for the child’s size.
Answer: A. - A correct backpack fit includes: Straps worn over both shoulders, backpack should not drop below waist level and should be worn higher on back, use of chest strap if available (not pictured).
Answer: b. - Heavier items should be placed in the back pockets, which will rest closest to the body. You do not want to put heavy items in front pockets further from the center of mass. Heavy items can also be placed in a locker if available to decrease the backpack’s weight during the school day.
Answer: A. - If your child’s backpack is getting heavier, remember good lifting can help them, and you avoid injury. Bend your knees when lifting, try to avoid twisting or flinging your backpack over your shoulders, bring the bag close to your body, move it to your back and place both straps over your shoulders.
If your child experiences back pain due to backpack use, reach out to an Athletico near you to schedule a Free Assessment. One of our expert clinicians will assess your child’s condition and provide recommendations for treatment options.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
2. Drzaƚ-Grabiec J, Truszczyńska A, Rykaƚa J, Rachwaƚ M, Snela S, Podgórska J. Effect of asymmetrical backpack load on spinal curvature in school children. Work. 2015;51(2):383-388. doi:10.3233/wor-141981.