Richmond Chiropractic Centre


President Plaza

#5520-8181 Cambie Road (next to the Radisson Hotel)
Richmond, BC
V6X 1J8

Phone number:

+1 (604) 270-1007


Consultation hours

Monday, Thursday and Saturday | 9am – 2pm
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday | 9am – 6pm

Back to School – Proper Backpacks for Students

I can’t believe the summer is almost over. Students will be back to school.

It is important to know what type of backpack to use and how to use it properly. Research has shown that wearing poorly designed or overloading backpacks has a long-term health risks in students’ growing spine. In fact, over 50% of Canadian youths suffer from one episode of back pain once in their school year. That is why it is important to know how to carry your loads safely and comfortably to prevent poor posture, neck and shoulder injuries.

  • Elementary students should not carry more than 10% of their body weight and secondary students should avoid weight exceeding 15% of their weight? So, if your child is 80 pounds, he shouldn’t carry more than eight pounds- or the equivalent of a pair of shoes, a snack, drink and 2-3 textbooks.
  • Backpacks should be made of the lightest material possible– vinyl and canvas are much better than leather.
  • The top of the backpack should not extend higher than the top of the shoulder and the bottom should not fall below the top of the hipbone.
  • The shoulder straps should be at least 2 inches wide and should not fit too snugly around the arms, straining muscles and affecting nerves.
  • A hip strap or waist belt can take as much as 50-70% of the weight off the shoulders and spine. The waist belt will equalize the strain on the bones, joints and muscles.
  • Students should pack the heaviest items closest to the body so that the weight is nearest the body’s own centre of gravity.
  • A backpack that is too heavy or rides too low causes one to lean forward and put extra strain on the back.
  • Both straps are critical to avoiding injury- as slinging the pack on one-side causes the spine to lean, increasing the likelihood of middle and lower back problems that can worsen later in life.
  • The best way to put on a pack is to place it on a desk or table at waist height and then slip it on. Avoid twisting!!


Have your spine checked regularly to ensure proper alignment. Prevention is key to avoiding injuries. Ask about the British Columbia Chiropractic Association backpack safety program, “Pack it Light, Wear it Right.”

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