The excessive weight of backpacks can be problematic for children’s health. An online calculator tells you if your child’s backpack is heavier than recommended.
The campaign “Look Behind Your Back” was launched ten years ago and, among other things, has been raising awareness of problems related to the Excessive weight of school bags.
Considered the main “enemy” of children in schools, heavy backpacks contribute to low back pain or lower back pain, in addition to other problems that lead to spine and back problems.
“The excessive weight of backpacks associated with poor posture and unhealthy lifestyle habitsare at the base of the most frequent back problems in the child population”, reads on the campaign website.
Now, with the start of a new school year, the site offers a calculator that allows parents to calculate if your children’s backpack is heavier than it should.
To this end, parents are asked about the child’s own weight, in addition to the weight of the backpack. After entering these data, a value is displayed that corresponds to the percentage of the backpack’s weight in relation to the child’s weight.
Backpack weights are divided by four categories:
- Equal to or less than 10%: Good, the weight of the backpack is within the recommended values!
- Between 10% and 15%: A threshold value, which does not exceed the recommended values by much, but which can be improved if possible.
- Between 15% and 30%: A backpack too heavy. It should improve in order to reduce weight. Take only what is essential. Choose to leave material at school (eg lockers, if applicable). This weight on a daily basis can damage your spine in the long run.
- more than 30%: Pay close attention to overload! This daily weight is “dangerous” for your spine. Reduce the weight you carry on your back urgently to avoid future problems.
Imagine, for example, a child weighing 35 kilograms, whose backpack weighs seven kilograms. This corresponds to 20% of its weight. According to the “Look Behind Your Back” campaign calculator, weight falls into the orange warning category.
The recommendation is that the backpack should not exceed 10% of the children’s weight. The calculator is available here.