Avoiding back pain caused by heavy backpacks

Health Smart
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HIGH POINT, N.C. — This school year, experts are trying to make parents and students aware of a problem that often goes unnoticed — back pain caused by overweight backpacks.

Alexis Wright Ph.D. says heavy backpacks can have damaging effects on a person’s neck, spine and other areas.

Wright is an assistant professor of physical therapy at High Point University.

For the past year, she’s used YouTube and other platforms to educate the public about the dangers backpacks can cause when they’re too heavy and are worn for too long.

“I think we just don’t think about it,” Wright said. “It’s just you’re throwing everything you can into a backpack because you have to and it’s the only way to get around. And it’s the only way to carry things that you need for school.”

Wright says backpacks shouldn’t be more than 10 percent of the student’s body weight.

She also says they shouldn’t be worn for longer than 15 minutes at a time.

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