What would you do if you were told that by expanding a simple program you could save thousands of students from developing neck, shoulder, and back pain? More than 79 million students in the United States carry school backpacks. Out of those students, more than 23,000 backpack-related injuries were treated at hospital emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, and clinics in 2007 (Backpack).
By looking at these numbers, it’s pretty clear that there is a problem with the students of today. The general public buys backpacks that are in style and make them appear “cool.” The general public does not think about the proper techniques when it comes to packing a backpack or which backpacks actually do a good job evening out the weight of the load over the body. Also students do not know that a backpack should weigh less than fifteen percent of their body weight.
In a study with American students ages eleven to fifteen years old, 64 percent reported back pain related to heavy backpacks, 21 percent reported the pain lasting more than six months (Backpack). According to a study by Boston University, approximately eighty-five percent of university students self-report discomfort and pain associated with backpack usage (Berghaus).
According to Dr. Siambanes, “this pain could be a harbinger of longstanding back problems or even permanent injury.” Studying local eleven through fifteen year olds and their backpack habit, Dr. Siambanes found the main predictor of pain was how much a backpack weighed compared with the student carrying it. Long-term effects have not been assessed, Siambanes said, but he plans to follow up on its research to learn more. “This is truly alarming,” said Siambanes, a physician and partner in the spine center, in Riverside. Research has shown that adults with severe back problems often had pain as a kid. You can suffer all your life from this kind of injury (Back).
As you can see numerous studies have been done...