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ERIC Number: ED497784
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
Carrying Backpacks: Physical Effects
Illinois State Board of Education
It is estimated that more than 40 million U.S. youth carry school materials in backs, routinely carrying books, laptop computers, personal and other items used on a daily basis. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 7,277 emergency visits each year result from injuries related to backpacks. Injury can occur when a child tries to overcompensate for the extra weight by leaning forward, arching his or her back or leaning to the side. Carrying a backpack with one or two straps promoted significant forward lean of head and trunk compared athletic bags or strapless bags. This type of compensation leads to improper spine alignment causing fatigue and strain that may result in further injury. The daily physical stresses associated with carrying backpacks on one shoulder significantly alter the posture and gait of youth. This document includes suggested weight restrictions, guidelines for proper use of backpacks, guidelines for selection and warning signs that a pack is too heavy. (Contains 1 diagram and 1 table.)
Illinois State Board of Education. 100 North First Street, Springfield, IL 62777. Tel: 217-782-4321; Fax: 217-785-3972; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Illinois State Board of Education, Springfield.