How heavy is too heavy for a backpack ?

As we skid into the final quarter of the school year, I would venture to guess that most of us aren’t checking our kid’s backpacks for fear of what actually may be in there! Most likely old food, crumpled up important notes, progress reports left unsigned, acorns, leaves, rocks or even slime in some cases.

Regardless of what is inside their backpack, take a moment to lift it up and check to see how heavy it has become over the school year. Books, notebooks and folders tend to accumulate, and then when you add a lunch, water bottle or a musical instrument, it can get quite heavy!

So what is too heavy for a backpack?

Good news is that has already been figured out for you! The research is here and published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy :

PREVENTION AND REHABILITATION| VOLUME 25, P174-182, JANUARY 01, 2021

A study in India observed 20 boys aged 9-14 years old and analyzed how they walked while increasing the load in their backpacks in respect to their weight.

What they found was this: as the load in the backpack increased, they noted marked movement changes “in the child’s ankle, knee and hip joints. These changes were evident when the backpack load increased beyond 15% of their body weight.”

“Carrying heavy backpacks may result in cumulative trauma later in life due to biomechanical adaptations during gait.”

Bottom Line:

The ideal weight to carry a backpack WITHOUT having it alter their posture was LESS THAN 15% OF THEIR BODY WEIGHT.

Here’s a table to help you figure this out:

WEIGHT OF PERSONMAXIMUM WEIGHT OF BACKPACK
50 pounds7.5 pounds or less
75 pounds11.25 pounds or less
90 pounds13.5 pounds or less
100 pounds15 pounds or less
110 pounds16 1/2 pounds or less
125 pounds18.75 pounds or less

Get out the scale or just take a tug on the backpack and see if it falls into the range that fits for maintaining good posture.

And if you are brave enough, go ahead and take a peek inside …

Call, email or schedule your complimentary 20 minute posture consultation today

https://letsmeet.io/joyoftherapypllc/consultation