Teenager Carrying Backpack Incorrectly

Backpack Misuse Can Lead to Long-Term Health Problems or Injuries

Teenager Carrying Backpack IncorrectlyAs your kids are heading back to school and stuffing their backpack full of school supplies and books, it is important for parents to make sure that their backpack isn’t too heavy.  Did you know that most children carry their backpack improperly? Misusing a backpack and wearing it improperly can lead to long-term health problems or injuries.  According the WebMd, your child’s backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 15% to 20% of your child’s body weight. For example, a child who weighs 100 lbs shouldn’t carry more than 20 pounds in their backpack.  This includes all of your child’s of books, supplies, and their belongings.  A textbook typically weighs between 3 and 4 pounds.  If your child is carrying several books in the backpack, your child could easily go over their maximum weight limit.  If you child is constantly carrying around a backpack that is too heavy, your child could be at risk for potential neck, shoulder, or back problems.

Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only.  If your child is complaining about neck, shoulder, pain between their shoulder blades, or back pain, please see your child’s doctor immediately to rule out serious health problems or injuries.

Teach Your Child How to Properly Wear a Backpack

Your child’s backpack is a useful tool and they come in a wide variety of sizes, styles, and colors.  A backpack that is used correctly should rely on your core muscles (back and stomach muscles) to carry the load evenly.  It is important that your child places the shoulder straps over both shoulders.  While it may seem easier to carry your backpack over one shoulder, it is actually harmful to your upper and lower back, shoulders, and neck.  Most people aren’t aware that your body will automatically try to compensate the additional weight naturally.  Most kids lean towards the opposite side of their body to offset the extra weight.

Continue Reading: Prevent Back Injuries by Choosing the Correct Backpack for Your Child


6 responses to “Backpack Misuse Can Lead to Long-Term Health Problems or Injuries”

  1. Leigh @oneandoneequalstwinfun.com Avatar

    Backpacks can do awful things to your back! Glad they now have the pull alongs. Great tips!!!

  2. Corinne Avatar

    Wow! I guess I knew heavy backpacks were bad (I mean how can they not be?) but didn’t realize how bad. My daughter is in 1st grade and I do have to remind her to take out all the excess paper she likes to keep in there. As she gets older, we will probably have to switch to a rolling bag to avoid any problems.

  3. Anna M Avatar

    I remember in middle school/high school just how bad my backpack was at times.. So stuffed it wouldn’t zipper and sometimes I thought the straps would break right off the backpack. I read recently that there are a few schools switching over to digital textbooks.. I think it’d be awesome if it catches on so that kids won’t have to worry about all these back problems from carrying too much weight in the backpacks!

  4. The Momarchy Ladies Avatar

    This is actually extremely useful. I cannot tell you how many times I remember from my childhood feeling extremely uncomfortable due to my backpack being so heavy!

  5. rhonda Avatar


    Your back is at the core of you, and it’s so true, that absolutely have to take care. I’ve seen epople with awful trouble with their backs, and it always stems from something that has happened or some sort of strain. It makes perfect sense that kids, especially, need to be supervised and close attention paid to those backpacks. Excellent article.

  6. Michelle Avatar

    I know my kids backpacks have been way too heavy at times. At our high school they use block scheduling so the kids don’t need to bring everything home every night, but in the younger grades they do. I try to get them to carry less! All the more reason to switch to tablets like some of the school systems are!