How to wear your school backpack correctly

How to wear your school backpack correctly

Requel Trevillion demonstrates how to wear a school backpack to prevent shoulder and back pain.

Full Video Transcript

Hi, my name’s Raquel. I’m one of the physiotherapists that works at St Leonards Physiotherapy, and I see the adolescents. With school just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to remind ourselves how we should be wearing our backpacks.

Now, most students, like Claire, like to wear their backpacks on one shoulder. Now, the problem with this is that to balance the bag, we tend to slop over on to one leg and hitch one shoulder so that the bag doesn’t fall off. This tightens one hip, tightens one shoulder, and this is how neck and back pain can begin. So the first tip is two shoulders.

The second thing is that the bag should never hang below the buttocks. They should always sit just above. So we need to tighten the shoulder straps, to make sure the bag sits close and snug to the back, and doesn’t sag down too low.

And the final thing is the hip strap. And, in true teenage form, Claire has removed the most important part of her backpack: the hip strap. So, most teenagers complain of getting a tight, sore neck when their bag is too heavy. The hip strap would prevent that problem from occurring in the first place.

When we use our hip strap, it transfers all of the weight to the strongest part of our body: the pelvis and the legs. Without the hip strap, the neck gets tight and sore, and the spine gets compressed. So the next best thing for Claire to do would be to slip her thumbs under the shoulder straps and take a little bit of that pressure off her neck and shoulders, and off her spine, just to give it a little break.

So, there are my three top tips for carrying backpacks. Enjoy the rest of the year.