Friday, August 8, 2014

Back to School: Are Backpacks Too Heavy?

It seems as though this is the age-old question. Are backpacks – or book bags – to heavy? And are kids carrying too much weight? From kindergarteners to non-traditional college students, books are a necessary part of getting through class. They help kids read, allow students to study necessary materials, and provide a read-along during class or homework sessions. But when those books are two or more pounds each, they can add up quickly. 

Over time, carrying multiple books – whether on a single shoulder or slung behind the back – can lead to some serious pains. Including backaches, muscle twinges, poor posture, and more. As a daily routine, that can go on for years, obviously this leads to some concern. In fact, it might be the very reason adults have ongoing back issues later in life. 

So how do we keep these kids (or adults returning for additional studies) safe through all the carried weight? 

Taking Advantage of Tech

One such way to reduce weight is through the use of technology. Items such as tablets or eReaders allow students of all ages to carry thousands of books (far more than they need) in a single, lightweight device. Talk to teachers about school policy for using such tech, and consider purchasing electronic versions instead. 

Cutting Down the Carry Load

Students don’t always have the same classes each day, which means heavier books can stay at home from time to time. This is especially true for college students, though more K-12 schools are switching to “block” or alternate schedules. 

Doing your Homework

Carrying books can be a heavy venture, but depending on the class they might not be needed in-person. Instead, consider reading and taking notes the night before, then using the notes in class for a lighter alternative. However, this should also be first discussed with the teacher to avoid any lack of preparedness. 

To save you or your child’s back, look to alternatives rather than heavy books. It just might be a simple switch that offers plenty of back relief for years to come.