A child should have only 10% of their weight on the back. Backpacks create musculoskeletal pain and discomfort. With the growth of the education field, the weight of the backpack has increased. The overloaded bags on the shoulder of small children may form spinal deformities in them. The pain doesn’t come up in a short time but later on, can form the curvature of the spine.
The bones of children are soft. The heavy loaded bag on the back affects the structure of the spinal cord. The heavier bags cause joint, neck, and back pain. This also affects the biomechanics of the body. Later this causes postural deformities. This creates a forward head posture. The extra weight on muscles strains them.
The body goes into a natural posture. The symptoms are not visible in a short span but can be fatal later on. The body gets the problem of imbalance which affects the health of the nervous system. The spine can get affected and spines can be prone to injuries. The solution is to reduce the weight of bags or to guide students to have a better posture. These overloaded bags cause skeletal deformities and create daily stress for school children. The heavy bags create a front bend to take load by tilting forward. The bend can strain the spine and affect the posture.
What are the short term effects?
The effects of the heavy bag can be weakening of the body and tired feeling. The spinal effects can cause pain, discomfort and weak body. The body gets prone to injuries. The body doesn’t remain active and energetic. The tissues get damaged which cannot be noticed recently. The tissues lose the quality of flexibility. It becomes stiff which makes the muscles prone to injuries.
What are the long term effects?
Long term effects can be spinal pain, postural deformities, alignment problems, also affecting the nervous system. Deformities can cause severe problems. At a small age, the bones are softer and can be easily affected by load. Thus, the heavy loaded bags can be the cause for the spinal curvature. The postural deformities can make communication between the brain and body goes wrong. The imbalanced alignment can affect the nervous system and coordination of brain and body.
What effects does the spine have on the brain?
For the long run, the heavy loaded bags can create body weakening and postural deformities. The properly balanced spine helps in the functioning of the brain. When the spine is not balanced or active, the brain is also affected. The impulse of the spine is helpful for the brain to work. The active spine gives an energized feeling to the brain. The static spine provides the message of tiredness. The stiff spine does not send an impulse to the brain for better functioning. This over the time of the long run degrades the performance of the body. The mental and physical growth is hampered. The body will not be active and charged for physical activity. Children can become lethargic.
What is the solution to address this issue?
The backpacks should be of good quality. The parents should check the load of bags. The bags should be of the lightweight. The bags should be worn over both shoulders. The doctors should be concerned if parents notice any kind of deformities in children. Children should be active and take regular physical activity. Longer duration of sitting should be avoided. Even smartphones or gadgets can make the child inactive. This results in longer time if sitting and playing, this makes them inactive and causes postural deformities.
Teach children about physical activity. Explain to them about how spinal deformities occur and can affect them. Have a talk to their teacher if the bag is heavy for them. As a parent, have a regular check on the posture of the child. The spinal deformities are a time taking process. It slowly affects the body without showing any symptoms.
How to carry school bags and type of bags you use?
It should be ensured that the bag only has 10% of the body weight. Here are some tips for school bags:
- Bags should be not oversized.
- Bags with padded shoulders should be used.
- The bottom of the bags should end above the waist.
- The backpacks should be flat on the child’s back.
Heavy objects should be kept at the bottom of the bag to give better weight distribution.