Using a backpack allows a child to carry a number of schoolbooks and items in a practical way, distributing the heavy load across the strong back and shoulder muscles. The risk, however, is overload, which can strain the back, neck, or shoulders.
The back will compensate for any load applied to it for an extended period of time. A heavy weight carried in backpacks can:
- Distort the natural curves in the middle and lower backs, causing muscle strain and irritation to the spine joints and the rib cage
- Lead to rounding of the shoulders
- Cause a person to lean forward, reducing balance and making it easier to fall