The Dangers of Wearing Bookbags

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Are you sick and tired of dragging your heavy book bag to school every single day? Are you aware that some of your classmates are carrying bags that weigh up to twenty-five percent of their body weight? You are probably thinking to yourself, why is this even an issue worth discussing? My heavy book bag-wearing friends, schools should provide a classroom set of textbooks, because wearing a heavy bag to school every day negatively affects your body, and there are simple ways to prevent the long-term damage.

If schools provided a classroom set of text books, life would be so much more “light-weight”. There are usually eight periods in the school day, and almost every class gives a textbook. Now, these textbooks are not small; the average weight can be up to three point five pounds or more. In addition to the heavy textbooks, the weight of other notebooks, school supplies, and other personal belongs all add up. Arguably, the school does assign students lockers specifically to store school supplies, but not every student has the time to go to his or her locker, or perhaps we all just get a little lazy sometimes. In addition to using the texts in class, teachers do assign textbook homework at times, so that means most kids will keep the book in their bag all day so they do not forget it at school in their locker. Instead of carrying the book home, teachers could just print out the pages required for that night’s assignment. If teachers do not agree with that idea and would like to save some trees, most textbooks are on the internet nowadays. Having a set of class books would also save the school some money. In addition, the books are less likely to incur damage when they stay in the classroom. Class sets of texts could also prevent students from suffering long-term back problems by carrying the books around all day.

Wearing a heavy book bag everyday to school affects your body in a negative way. Do you ever find yourself leaning slightly forward while wearing a heavy book bag? This shows how your body naturally is trying to equal out the weight of the bag to your body, by arching the back or bending forward at the hips. (Pistolese) This posture can cause compression of the spine according to Kids Health. Now, I am sure we all do not want to be walking around like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, so the less the weight is best. The ratio of your body weight to your bag gives you the result of your spinal health, the heavier the bag, the worse your conditions. Heavy straps dig and add pressure to the blood vessels and nerves in your shoulders, not only straining your neck, but it causes pain and tingling in the arms, hands, and legs. (Livestrong) Luggage with one strap instead of two, such as side purses, put more weight and stress to one side of your body, creating an unequal amount of weight distributed. Students wearing packs that are twenty-five percent of his or her body weight showed balancing problems while performing regular everyday tasks such as walking up the stairs or opening doors. Those wearing packs fifteen percent of their body weight maintained their balance moderately well. Finally, those wearing five percent of their body weight showed the best results of keeping their balance.

There are ways to prevent these long-term back problems. Try to start using your locker more often. Stop in between classes to put heavier items in your locker and then go to your next class. You should only buy certain book bags, such as ones with two wide shoulder straps help equal out the weight rather than one strap. Do not swing the bag to one shoulder. Also, look for bags that are already lightweight before you buy them. Chest and waist straps are always a plus because it helps channel weight down to your legs, so not all of the weight is on your back. Some bags have lumbar pillows on the back of them, causing extra comfort and support. You should also wear your satchel a certain way. Place heavier items toward the back of your backpack. When you place heavier items to the back, they are closer to your body, when they are in the front of your bag it causes your body to lean back more because it is heavier.

Teachers should really consider a classroom set of books; students should not be wearing heavy backpacks, for not only does it affect their backs now, but also can cause permanent damage by compressing the spine. This is easily preventable by eliminating the need to carry textbooks to each class by providing students with a class set instead. Try to help yourself out by some of the advice; it really can make a difference. Who wants to haul around a bag that is almost half of what you weigh? We all want to keep lovely posture, I mean, unless you would like to be walking with a walker and cane by the time you are out of school.





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