WKYT Reality Check: Backpacks can weigh down little lifters

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As students head back to school this month, they're be taking with them a lot of school supplies, and a lot of those books, pens, and pencils will be packed up in a backpack.

"What the parents have to be concerned about is they have to remember that this can get pretty heavy. This is becoming a weight or what we call in my business a load, and how anybody lifts distributes that load across their body and how they carry it throughout the day, this is an area of concern," explains Fitness Plus owner Sheila Kalas. "It can really dig into the shoulders, which is not proper. It can really cause an arching of the back, which will lead to back problems which is undesirable."

If you're still shopping for a backpack, Fitness Plus trainers recommend thinking about size, straps and a straight form.

"We don't want the backpack to be bigger than the kid. When you put it on their back, it should not drop lower than two inches below the belly button. The straps should be padded so its not leaving red marks and they should be able to walk straight when the backpack is on them," Laura Coombs demonstrates.

"Once we get into the older kids, and the load gets a little heavier, what I like to look for is a hip strap, so that we have not only the two shoulder straps but also something that's gonna go around the waist and help to distribute it evenly again."

If your student just has to carry more than tne percent of their weight, the amount Coombs says is the limit for a child to carry on their back, she recommends having them hold the extra books in their arms, not on their back.

Joseph Beth Booksellers and J&H Lanmark provided all book bag examples to Fitness Plus in Lexington.


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