One in four students experience back pain because of the heavy backpacks they carry every day, a new study published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood has found. Sixty percent of the students carry packs that are more than 10 percent of their body weight, which can cause a number of chronic pain conditions. The New York Times reports:
Among the risks described by Dr. Pierre D'Hemecourt, a sports medicine specialist at Children's Hospital Boston, are stress fractures in the back, inflammation of growth cartilage, back and neck strain, and nerve damage in the neck and shoulders.
The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission calculated that carrying a 12-pound backpack to and from school and lifting it 10 times a day for an entire school year puts a cumulative load on youngsters' bodies of 21,600 pounds — the equivalent of six mid-sized cars.
Image: Child carrying backpack, via Shutterstock.