Backpacks weigh students down
Stephanie Roger | Collegio reporter
Research studies suggest the weight of a backpack could put your back at possible risk for chronic back pain and do more harm to those already diagnosed with a back-related medical condition or with a previous injury. Students across campus are currently carrying backpacks weighing anywhere from 6 to 25 pounds.
According to caringmedical.com, the most common place for back pain is the lower region. Four out of five adults will experience this pain at some point in their lives.
Cristin Shrum, undeclared freshman, says she has a history of back pain that started in high school but it’s nothing major. She says she sometimes finds herself taking ibuprofen for the pain.
“More than likely, I am always carrying my books to class,” Shrum said. “But on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I carry my heavier books along with my laptop, dictionary and other things.”
Shrum’s backpack weighed in at 10 pounds. She says having an hour break between her classes helps.
Will Chance, sophomore in physical education, walks to and from school everyday from his house, three blocks off-campus. Chance says although he has never had back injuries or problems, he did have
two knee surgeries from previous injuries.
“Towards the end of the day, yeah, my back does get sore,” Chance said. “But I’m usually fine because I just go home and relax.”
Other students, like Bobby Urteaga, junior in psychology, and Kenan Lousch, freshman in elementary education, say the weight of their backpacks aren’t a problem, “I have multiple hour breaks between classes and I used to go back to my room to get my books,” Urteaga said. “But I just carry my notes now.”
Lousch’s backpack weighed in at 15 pounds. Like Urteaga, he says he doesn’t experience any back pain although he carries his books everywhere
“I’m used to carrying my books, I carried all of my books in my backpack throughout high school because my locker was too far away from classes.” Loush said
However, students should be aware of the signs or symptoms of back pain. They are muscle spasms, cramping, stiffness, and pain radiating down your buttocks to the leg, ending in the foot.
Preventing future back pain starts with the proper way to wear a backpack. Always use both straps and avoid wearing bags that go over one shoulder. Limit the weight to 10-20 percent of your body weight. Lastly, try to carry books and school supplies you need for that day only.