Parents, take note! Backpacks may not harm your child’s back if they contain a reasonable amount of weight and fit correctly, a Canadian study claims.
“To put parents’ minds at rest, recent literature suggests there is little evidence to support links between backpack use and pain,” said Michael Holmes, an Assistant Professor at Brock University in Canada.
Mr. Holmes said while several systematic reviews have been done, it has been difficult to link usage of backpacks to poor biomechanics and ultimately back pain or damage.
“If a backpack has a reasonable amount of weight in it and fits correctly, children are not wearing it long enough for long-term damage to occur,” he said.
To assist with the myth busting, he offers a scenario to help put parents’ concerns into context. “For a nurse, who lifts hundreds of patients a day over a long career, there is a cumulative loading effect on the spine that will eventually cause damage to the spine. It is a main reason why back pain in nurses or caregivers is so prevalent,” he said.
By comparison, kids are strong and resilient. Even if fatigue does occur, they recover fast,” he added.