Yippee the kids are back at school and as much as I’ve loved having them around they need to go back…

Though I’m not looking forward to the traffic congestion; quiet roads are always appreciated.

With kids going back to school you must be organised, which we pretty are in our house, when I say we I mean Kate my wife, with everything ready for school, uniforms, shoes, PE kits and so on.

It’s unfortunate but we do see kids in the clinic for treatment and with a little research lots of statistics about kids and backpain can readably be found. I come up with these figures:10% of pre-teens and 50% of 15-16 year olds complain of back pain.

So much can be affecting our kids it’s difficult to know where to start: sports, athletics, poor desks, growth spurts, technology, inability to type and carrying school bags. 

I pick on bags because they can influence posture and create imbalances in how we get about to and from school but also our everyday life. They can also make recovery of the shoulders and lumbar spine harder as we age.

There is a period in both adults and children’s lives (to cool for school) where we are simply to cool to carry bags, its not fashionable and simply doesn’t go with the outfit…

How many times do we simply throw them over our shoulder to look casual and cool without ruining the look. My son wears his over both shoulders till I’m out of site then its off, and my wife, well she says she is married to an osteopath…. Lol. 

You don’t see any guidelines but have you ever wondered how heavy a school bag should be? 

I did come across a figure of 10% of body weight. A figure that is easy to fill with kids, even more so as an adult. Harrison my son should be fine though because last year his PE kit and school bag spent more time on the peg in the cloakroom as forgetting it was his special skill!


A ten year old can probably weigh 27-35 kg obviously depending on size and build, so basing it on 10% even 3.5 kg that is just three and a half bags of sugar.

So what can we do…

Here’s our tips for helping you:

Firstly pick the right bag that allows comfort and practicality with packing. 

Keep the bag as small as practical as we always fill what we have.

A proper rucksack with double straps is best for school, it helps keep it close to the body, this is more manageable, comfortable and less stressful on the body.

When filing the bag, lie it flat on the straps so you can put heavy stuff at the bottom; here we want to keep the heavy stuff closer to the spine as it makes it easier to carry and safer and use side pockets for small items that are used regularly.

Try to put the bag on with skill and ease without movement that contorts the body requiring you to spin, bend and twist, all that does is bring amused looks, clinic visits and possibly rain.  Lol 

Stick it on the table so you can back into it, or get assistance if possible – in a similar way to when someone holds a jacket so you can put your arms in. 

Re-Pack daily if possible to help keep it organised and take out the accumulating  junk that has been sat there for 3 months.

So there you have a few tips on bags, and if you have any concerns over your child’s spine or your own come in for a chat and assessment. We can give advise on how to improve, identify possible issues and even help get rid of any pain you maybe experiencing. 

How Heavy Is You Child's Rucksack
Article Name
How Heavy Is You Child's Rucksack
Looking after your body one step at a time, examining how heavy a rucksack should be and how you can minimise the effect of it weight.
Publisher Name
Deansgate Osteopathic Clinic
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