Parents beware: rucksacks are bad for children’s backs…

Many teenagers are carrying dangerously heavy bags to school that weigh up to 10-15% their own body weight, and this is putting them at risk of back pain in and related disorders the future, according to a new study.

Heavy rucksacks can cuase back problems later on in life

If you’re the mum of a conscientious student, you’ll often marvel at how they manage to carry such heavy bags. It may look like they are trying hard at school, but according to findings published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, the posed threat by the substantial weight is made even greater by the fact that many teens do not get enough exercise.

Researchers discovered that 62% of children lugged backpacks that surpassed 10% of their body weight; and 18% of kids’ carted bags that topped 15% of their own body weight.

And the results are damaging because one in four students who took part in the survey had experienced back pain for more than 15 days during the previous year; and 70% of the students with back pain were diagnosed as having scoliosis which is a curvature of the spine. Those with the heaviest backpacks were 50% more prone to have back pain for more than 15 days in contrast to those with the lightest bags.

Common problems consisted of continuous and involuntary muscle contraction and low back pain. Also, girls were more likely to have back troubles than boys and this risk increased with age.

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