With the school year approaching, it’s important to keep in mind the proper way to pack and wear a backpack to prevent strains and injuries. 

Whether it’s your own backpack, or your child’s bag, there are some things to keep in mind. 

“We oftentimes over-pack our kid’s backpacks or buy them too big of a backpack,” said Erin Ogrady, a chiropractor at Railway Chiropractic in Weyburn. “You should be buying a backpack that works for your student.” 

Ogrady added when the backpack is too big or too heavy it is not good for your posture or your back. 

“When you're buying a backpack, you really want to look for a backpack that's lightweight, vinyl canvas material works really well,” said Ogrady. “Look for two straps on that backpack. They should be padded wide and adjustable, so you can tailor the backpack to your child. You also want to look for a waist or hip strap, which is harder to find in the smaller backpack category, but easier in the adult-size backpacks.”   

She said waist and hips straps help when carrying heavy loads, and that the part of the backpack that touches your back should be padded. While she recommends using a bag with two straps, she has some advice for those who only have a bag with one strap.  

“They're very easy to overpack and then all the weight is on one shoulder,” said Ogrady. “If you're really stuck on that one shoulder crossbody kind of bag, definitely try switching it up side to side, try not to overload it for sure, carry an extra bag. When you are wearing a backpack, it should never be more than 10, maybe 15 percent of the person's body weight anyways, and we think on one shoulder that can be a lot. So, just make sure you're switching sides.”   

More information on back health can be found HERE.