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How To Reduce The Risk Of Back Injury By Packing Your Backpack Correctly

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By Author: Rob Parker
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A quick look around will provide ample evidence that backpacks are in great use all over. From recreational specialty items to common baggage carriers, backpacks are used by people of all ages. In fact, it is likely that the greatest concentration of backpacks you will see is in the hallways of a school that caters to children of any age, or any other place where kids are likely to congregate on the way to or from school. They are great tools for transporting books and supplies easily.

If a backpack is used incorrectly, though, the results may be catastrophic.
Too much pressure on the spine over time can lead to extensive back injury, resulting in pain which may last for a lifetime. Just as you pay attention to your child's nutrition and health during their early years in order to give them a solid background for healthy living, it is important to follow some basic rules for packing a backpack; these same guidelines apply to adult backpack users as well.

The Purchase. The first step in appropriate backpack usage occurs before you ever pack the bag for the first time; you need to pick your pack correctly. Make sure that the material is lightweight, and that the shoulder straps are very wide. If you are selecting a backpack for hiking purposes, a frame and waist straps will also be in order.

How much do the contents weigh? A big part of safe backpacking means making sure that you don't overload your spine. Doctors recommend that kids carry no more than 15% of their body weight. Given the size of text books and other materials, this can add up fairly quickly. For adults, the weight you can carry safely will depend on your build, but most adults will come to an understanding of how much is too much when it comes to contents.

Keep heavy items centred. Most backpacks come with several compartments, and it is important to utilize these as you are packing. Put lighter contents off to the side in these compartments, while heavy items such as text books should be placed in the main compartment, as close to the center of the back as possible. Heavy items should also be place towards the bottom of the bag; the base of the back is much more suited to carrying heavy burdens.

Packing a backpack correctly is a critical part of preventing back injury. The earlier one starts correct packing, the less chance of a serious injury later on.

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