OTA Club to Ease Burden of Overloaded Backpacks

Published 09.18.2007

Student News

By this time of the semester, your backpack is filled with all the "stuff" you need for class and it's heavy! Do your neck, back or shoulders 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 more 7,000 emergency-room visits in 2001 were related to backpacks and book bags. The Occupational Therapy Assistant club will conduct a "weigh-in" to illustrate how heavy your backpack is, and will provide information on proper techniques to pack and wear backpacks. The club is sponsoring this event in conjunction with Wednesday's American Occupational Therapy Association's Backpack Awareness Day. 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 demonstrate 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, pick up a handout for tips to "Pack it Light, Wear it Right", and buy a raffle ticket to win a backpack filled with school supplies. The event will be held in the ACC lobby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Michelle Rabenstein, OTAS, president of OTA Club Pat Martin, OTA clinical director and OTA Club adviser