Backpacks are the better option BUT only if worn properly by evenly disturbing weight across your shoulders and body and not overloaded.
One shoulder bags may cause alignment issue in our backs because the weight of the bag is unevenly distributed across your body.
How Can Backpacks Cause Back Problems?
Heavy backpacks may cause you to lean forward. Over time this can cause the shoulders to become rounded and the upper back to hunch which causes neck and back pain.
If you wear your backpack over just one shoulder, or carry your books in a messenger/shoulder bag, you may end up leaning to one side to offset the extra weight which may cause lower and upper back pain and strain your shoulders and neck.
Also tight, narrow straps that dig into your shoulders can pinch nerves and interfere with circulation, and you might develop tingling, numbness, and weakness in your arms and hands.
Is My Backpack a Problem?
You may need to put less in your pack or carry it differently if:
- you have to struggle to get your backpack on or off
- you have to lean forward to carry your pack
- you have back pain
If you adjust the weight or the way you carry your pack but still have back pain or numbness or weakness in your arms or legs, talk to your massage therapist or chiropractor.
Tips for Choosing The Right Backpack
- Consider the construction. Look for two padded straps that go over your shoulders. Wider straps are the best. Look for a backpack with a waist belt, which helps to distribute the weight more evenly across the body.
- Carry it properly adjust the straps so the pack sits close to your back. If the pack bumps against your low back or your butt when you walk, the straps are probably too long. Always pack your backpack with the heaviest items closest to your back. Don’t drop all your stuff in the main compartment (using the side pockets will distribute the weight more evenly). Wear both straps over your shoulders.
- Use your locker. Keep your heavy books and things you don’t need in your pack.
- Plan your homework so you won’t have to tote all your books home on the weekend.
- Get two sets of books and keep a set at home.
- Limit your load to no more than 10% to 15% of their body weight.
- Pick your pack up properly by bending your knees