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Caution! Heavy Backpack Ahead

By Donna Stark

The new year is right around the corner, and like many other people, you may be thinking about the changes you would like to make in your life. Perhaps you want to improve your health, so a new gym membership might be in order. Or maybe you want to start eating better, so you are thinking of signing up for a healthy meal plan. These are great ideas for a healthier, happier you, but what about your loved ones? Have you considered how their lives can be impacted by simple changes in habit?

New Year, New Backpack

Sure, summer ended and school shopping was completed nearly six months ago. That new backpack with superheroes, or pineapples splashed all over it, is probably still in great shape ... but is it helping to keep your child in great shape? One of the most impactful and simplest things you can do for your child is to observe them as they head off to school. Are they slouched forward? Are they leaning to one side, struggling to carry the weight of their backpack? That's what really needs to be determined because if they are, that's the change that needs to happen. If you are willing to spend some extra money on pre-packaged health food delivered to your door every night, I bet you'd be willing to ditch the sub-par backpack. Start your child's year off on the right foot with a backpack that is sure to improve their health in more ways than one.  

Caution! Heavy Backpack Ahead

Wearing a heavy backpack can cause significant strain to your child's shoulders, spine, and neck  and the body's natural response is to compensate by either leaning forward or to the side, pulling the spine out of its proper alignment. This can lead to pain, poor posture, stiffness, headaches, muscle weakness, and mobility issues. Unfortunately, the longer the extra weight is carried, the worse it gets.

How to Help

One of the tell-tale signs that a backpack is too heavy is if your child cannot stand up straight while wearing it. Rolling backpacks are a perfect solution, but might not be the preferred choice for your older child. So when purchasing a backpack, consider the following:

  • Look for wide, padded straps that are adjustable
  • Make sure the straps are snug, and not too loose
  • Choose a fit that is close to your child's body
  • Encourage your child to wear it over both shoulders

Healthy Habits for Everyone

Keep in mind that your child may not bring the discomfort caused by the backpack to your attention. So watch them. And don't be afraid to take them to your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic, who can offer some good advice and fix any spinal restrictions that may be impeding their optimal health.

Be that parent that takes an extra few seconds in the drop-off line to truly observe how your child is walking. And if you notice that some things are off, add a new backpack to the list of healthy changes! It truly will make a difference ... just as much as those meals being delivered right now to your front door!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pooler, Ga. 

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