Does Your Back Hurt? Check Your Backpack

Published 09.20.2005

Student News

The semester is well under way and I have to ask you: does your neck, back or shoulder hurt yet? Do you know why?

It just might be your backpack. Carrying too much weight or improperly wearing backpacks can cause neck, back and shoulder pain and compromise posture and breathing. The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission estimates that each year, nearly 5,000 emergency-room visits result from injuries related to backpacks and book bags;six out of 10 students report chronic back pain related to heavy backpacks.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant club will conduct a "weigh-in" to illustrate how heavy your backpack is. The group will also provide information on proper techniques to pack and wear backpacks.

The OTA club is sponsoring this event in conjunction with American Occupational Therapy Association's Backpack Awareness Day, Sept. 21. Occupational Therapy practitioners from across the country will weigh backpacks, highlighting the large number of students who carry more than the recommended load in their packs and then demonstrating ways to lighten the load.

Occupational therapy assistants work in a variety of settings serving individuals with physical, psychosocial, or developmental disorders. They work to promote, reinforce, restore, or maintain health through the use of purposeful activity.

Stop by and let us weigh your backpack and pick up a handout for tips to "Pack it Light, Wear it Right," in the LEC outside the Susquehanna Room from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Kelly Campbell, OTAS, president of OTA Club Pat Martin, OTA clinical director, OTA Club adviser