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Is Your Backpack Bringing You Down?

Posted on: January 18, 2017

by Abby Dye 

    Is your backpack too heavy? The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that backpacks should only weigh up to 10 to 20 percent of your weight. Carrying too much in a backpack can lead to lower back problems later in life. Junior Colleen Lampman struggles with the weight of her backpack. Only weighing 110 pounds herself, Lampman struggles with lower back pain as a direct result of her heavy backpack. She explained that the only solution to her pain would be to get a back massage, but that is too expensive of an option for her. Lampman said that, “Everything piles up and I feel like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

    Psychology and history teacher Mrs. Hogel explained how backpack size depends on the personality of individual students. Students who carry huge backpacks tend to to be wrapped up in school and tend to be the ones who carry too much in their bags. Mrs. Hogel expressed her concern for heavy backpacks by stating, “The amount of weight that is put on kids’ backs jacks their posture.” Safety is a key factor as to why some students do not carry or carry very little in their backpacks; they don’t want the pressure on their spine.         

     Mrs. Hogel agrees that some teachers do give out too much homework, and admits that she is actually one of them. She tells her AP Psychology classes, “I know I’m the reason you are stressed out till three in the morning.” However, when students elect to take an AP class, they are signing up for a college level class. “I’m supposed to teach them like a college professor. They are taking a college course and in that case I have to prep them.” She does divides the work by giving out sections of homework a little at a time, rather than all at once.

    How can you lighten up your backpack load? Get rid of the nonessentials. With winter break coming up, make sure to clean up your backpack. It’s half way through the year and exams for first semester are completed. Throw out the extra papers and keep the used notebooks at home. Start second semester with an organized, light backpack so that next year can go a lot smoother in terms of staying up to date in school.