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Backpack Quiz

Backpack Quiz

by Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP1 Comment

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!

1. The average middle schooler’s backpack was found to weigh:

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

2. Your child’s backpack should weigh no more than what percent of their body weight?

Answer: b. 10% - Your child’s backpack should weigh no more than 10% of their body weight.2

3. There is no difference between child and adult-sized backpacks.

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.

4. Which backpack is being worn correctly?

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).

5. Heavy items should be placed where in the backpack?

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.

6. The best way to pick up a backpack is:

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.

Request a Free Assessment

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.

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About the Author:
Tara Hackney, a physical therapist in Marion, IA, enjoys working with all patient types, especially gymnasts, cheerleaders, and dancers. She is the prominent blogger for Athletico's Gymnastic/Cheer Program. With an orthopedic specialization and training in dry needling and Graston technique, Tara hopes to answer your questions about injuries and injury prevention in an easy-to-understand manner. She hopes to ease fears surrounding pain and injuries, address concerns about recovery, and provide tips to prevent injury. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, reading, and watching her nephews play sports.

Read more health resources related to these topics:

Back PainErgonomicsGeneralbackpack safetybackpack tips

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