Is your backpack working for you?
It’s never too late to make sure your child’s backpack is appropriate now that we’re rolling into heavier homework loads which means backpacks will inevitably get heavier. So today’s post talks about great tips to make your backpack work for you!
Before beginning, take your backpack and load approximately 10-15 lbs worth of books or weight in the pack and loosen all of the pack’s straps and hip belt. Make sure to do this in front of your mirror.
- Choose the right sized pack. Adult-sized backpacks are made for adults, and children for children (duh!). Make sure to buy a pack that is appropriate for your body size. Most stores and catalogs list this information in the product description. An easy way to determine if the pack size is right for you is to check that when the shoulder straps are adjusted to fit snug, the bottom of the backpack should be about two inches above your waist.
- Don’t carry your house in your pack! Your filled backpack should weigh no more than 15% of your body weight. So if you weigh 140 pounds, your pack should not weigh more than 21 pounds. So a 90 pound child should not carry more than 15 pounds. So remember to remove any non-essentials. Remember, you can always still carry one textbook in your arms if the pack is too heavy.
- Lift with your legs. To lift and put on your backpack properly: face the pack, bending at your knees—not your waist—then lift with your legs and apply one shoulder strap and then the other.
- Balance your pack. It may be more fashionable to wear a pack on one arm but this can cause muscle strain and imbalance. Wear both shoulder straps, and adjust them so that they are comfortably snug. If the backpack has a waist strap, use it. It will distribute the weight of the pack more evenly.
- Set a time limit. Try to wear your backpack for 30 minutes or less. If you’re stuck wearing it for longer periods, try to carry the lightest load possible, and try to follow all of the other rules as best to your abilities.