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Saggy, heavy backpacks can cause harm

<p>It’s that time of year again, which means time for parents to re-equip their kids for another year of school.</p>




Eight-feature system designed to correct the wearer’s posture


Obus Forme Izzo, $29.99





Airmesh padded back, shoulder straps and top carrying handle


The Roots Alpine, $24.99





“The backpack should sit between your shoulders and your waist, not below — you see a lot of kids walking around with a sagging backpack and that’s not good for posture.”






Padded computer pocket, bike helmet pocket, water bottle holders


Obus Forme Metro, $34.99





Two large main compartments with fully padded laptop section


Roots Snow X, $19.99





Media port, cellphone pocket and multiple pockets


Roots Cross Country, $24.99





It’s that time of year again, which means time for parents to re-equip their kids for another year of school.





From pens to books, shoes to clothes, one important thing that can’t be forgotten for getting back to school is finding that perfect backpack. Every student needs something to carry their lunches and homework in, but the key to finding the right one is to try it on.





Lisa Gibson, a Canadian Tire spokesperson, says the problem is that many times people buy something that looks good or that they think will be sufficient to carry books to and from school.





“You have to make sure it fits you well. It’s like buying shoes, try it on first,” says Gibson. “The backpack should sit between your shoulders and your waist, not below — you see a lot of kids walking around with a sagging backpack and that’s not good for posture.”





Dr. Dan Yaron, chiropractor and medical director for Obus Forme, says a lot of people don’t realize that carrying so much weight on their back can do a lot of harm in the long run. So it’s important to make sure the backpack is carried snug to your back, and isn’t too heavy.





“For elementary school kids, they shouldn’t be carrying anymore than 10 per cent of their body weight,” advises Yaron. “For older kids and adults, it goes up to 15 per cent maximum of their body weight. Carrying around something too heavy isn’t healthy on your body, and could lead to back problems down the line.”





Finding something that is well-padded will prevent objects from poking into your back. Side compression straps are also a bonus feature to look for.





“These straps help draw the load closer to the body to minimize the effect of the weight of the backpack on posture, and they’re really good for protecting the zippers,” Yaron says. “Adequate compartments to keep objects from shifting around in the pack, and all the other bells and whistles that kids want for the electronics and their headphones is also good.”





Gibson agrees, saying the compartments will also keep your lunch from dirtying books or water from spilling over on something like your laptop or other electronics.





“There’s so many different kinds of backpacks, so it’s important to find the one that’s right for you,” she says. “Make sure you’re getting something you’re comfortable with and suits what you need it for, whether it be carrying books or anything else.”


 
 
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