The heavy backpacks that kids tend to be lugging around have caused concern among health professionals. They are usually overloaded and often worn improperly with only one shoulder strap. A study in the medical journal Spine, found that the use of back packs during the school day is associated with back pain. Another study concluded that children hunch forward and lower their heads to accommodate the burden of wearing heavy backpacks.

Some backpacks have become more ergonomic, adding more pockets to distribute weight more evenly and offer room for not just books, but many other items kids now carry. But even ergonomically designed backpacks must be worn properly and not overloaded with unnecessary things.

Backpacks should not weigh more than ten percent of a child’s bodyweight.

They should have wide padded straps and be worn over both shoulders.