Back-to-School Backpack Ergonomics for Children and Adolescents August 11 2017

Back-to-School Backpack Ergonomics for Children and Adolescents

Backpacks have always been a talking point when it comes to children and classroom ergonomics. The increasing size of textbooks, required classroom materials and sports equipment makes for a heavy load to cart back and forth from school every day. Children and adolescents may have more flexible bone structure but that doesn’t mean it will prevent poor posture or musculoskeletal disorders into adulthood from carrying a heavy and poorly designed backpack for years. Muscle strains and back pain are primary symptoms of an issue arising from an unhealthy backpack.


Choosing the Right Size


You should be picking a backpack that fits the particular body size of the person wearing it. The size of the backpack shouldn’t be bigger than the child’s back, ideally hanging one to two inches below the shoulders and no more than four inches below the waistline.


– Children under 5’0” should purchase a small backpack.
– Children between 5’0” and 5’5” should purchase a medium backpack.
– Children over 5’5” can handle a large backpack.


    Carefully fitting and sizing a backpack for your child or teenager will prevent injury and encourage healthy posture.


    Special Features


    These additional features will enhance the ergonomic value of your backpack and reduce the strain on your back. A good ergonomic backpack with the following features can reduce the stress associated with carrying a backpack by 80% and lighten the overall load by 30%! This promotes all-day comfort for your little one or teenager.


    – Straps should be at least two inches wide to evenly distribute the weight of the pack over both shoulders. It is always best to have a backpack with two straps instead of one to ensure you’re not putting too much strain on one shoulder.
    – A chest strap keeps the shoulder straps in the correct place and encourages the right posture. Make sure the chest strap is adjusted properly as being too tight or too loose can negate its function.
    – A waist strap can take additional stress off the back and spine, placing the weight onto the hips instead. Moving weight to a lower part of the body takes strain off the spine and increases comfort.

    Padding should line the straps and the part of the backpack lying on the child’s back. This helps eliminate stressing pressure points as well as preventing the contents of the backpack poking the child’s back.

    – Having a backpack with many specialized compartments distributes weight more evenly within the backpack and prevents the contents from shifting. This also allows for more flat objects like notebooks to be placed in the large pocket that rests directly against the child’s back.



      Backpack Weight Matters


      The bag itself should be made of a lightweight material, as the backpack itself will add to the total weight carried. How heavy a backpack should be depends on the child or teenager’s height and weight as well. Generally, a backpack should never exceed 25 total pounds in weight, including its contents.


      Investing in a proper backpack can make a major difference for your child or teenager’s posture and spinal health for the rest of their life. Consider the following styles that are ergonomically friendly and available on our website:


      Kensington Contour Laptop Backpack


      Ergonomic backpack.

      Unique, fully adjustable lumbar support uses a contoured panel to hug the back and help shift weight onto the hips. The curved, shock-absorbing shoulder straps help keep the load light while the padded SnugFit sleeve delivers heavy-duty computer protection. Padded, contoured shoulder straps ease neck and shoulder strain.


      CODi Tri-Pack

      Ergonomic small backpack.This triple compartment backpack is lightweight and compact in design measuring at 15” long, but features plenty of space. Adjustable padded shoulder straps, breathable, padded back, and leather wrapped top grab handle make for a comfortable carry for anyone looking for a small backpack. Dual side mesh pockets for water bottle or accessories. Middle Compartment features a notes organizer, accessory pockets and zippered mesh pocket to hold phone or iPod®/MP3 player with ear bud outlet to top outer pocket. Breathable, padded back to increase comfort and reduce fatigue. Adjustable, padded shoulder straps curve to contour the shoulders and back. Adjustable sternum strap for additional support.



      CODi Sport Pak

      Ergonomic sports backpack.Made with CODi sx2™ ballistic nylon the strongest weave available. Leather top carry handle for easy grab and go. Outer multimedia pocket for phone or iPod®/mp3 player with ear bud pass-through. Three quick-access outer zippered pockets and two outer mesh pockets keep important items handy. Oversized inner compartment features an expandable notebook section and additional storage space. Rear laptop compartment heavily padded for protection. Breathable, padded back to increase comfort and reduce fatigue. Adjustable, padded shoulder straps curve to contour the shoulders and back adjustable sternum strap for additional support




      Want to see more options? Look through our available backpack selection here.