They Say: Heavy Backpacks Will Haunt Your Adult Life


kid-with-backpackIf your back is aching you might want to blame your grade school teachers. A new study out of Mount Sinai Medical Center claims heavy backpacks aren’t just a problem for kids.

The strain put on a back during the development years is having ramifications on into adulthood.

Studies have long posited there are problems with kids and backpacks – from the oft-quoted Consumer Product Safety Commission estimate that there were more than 21,000 backpack-related injuries treated at hospital emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, and clinics between 1999 and 2000. An American Academy of Pediatrics study put that number in perspective in 2002, noting those injuries weren’t just back strain problems but kids tripping over backpacks (twenty-eight percent), getting hit with one (thirteen percent) and other injuries to the body.

But this new study points to a curvature of the spine that’s happening over time, and wouldn’t necessarily put kids into the ER for the sort of injury that has more immediate repercussions. Instead they’re saying the pressure caused by the curvature (the heavier the load, the worse the curve) is showing up in adults with disc problems.

I remember literally flipping over on the soccer field from the weight of my bookbag, and my nurse practitioner mother raising an issue with the school about the amount of heavy books being sent home in my bag. No surprise, then, that I have back problems now?

Was your back overloaded when you were a kid?

Image: curiouslee, flickr

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