Wellness July 22nd, 2016

Why Finding The Right Backpack Is Crucial To Your Kids' Health

As your child starts up the new school year, one question you should be asking yourself is not whether your son or daughter is ready to simmer down and get back into homework mode (C’mon! Who is?!), but rather, if you’ve prepared for your child’s first day back.

Now, I’m not talking about the hottest gel pens, fresh new binder paper, voluminous textbooks and first day outfits that have been accumulated for this joyous time of year. Instead, I’m talking backpacks. After all, your child’s backpack hugs them every day and follows through the ups and downs of K-8.

Did you know most doctors and physical therapists recommend that a child’s backpack should never exceed 15-20% of their weight, with 10% or less being an optimal ratio? Well, now you do. And while school is an important time for mental development and intellectual stimulation, it’s also an incredibly important time for physical growth and wellness! If your child is overburdened by lugging around a heavy backpack, they could potentially face various neck, back and shoulder problems, and their posture will suffer from the weight placed on their shoulders.

So, if you haven’t weighed your child’s backpack in the past, or simply don’t know where to start … fear not! Zappos is here to school you on all the backpack know-how’s to outfit your child in style, while focusing on safety and comfort.

Just like a shoe, backpacks need to have the right fit. The bag your child carries should be large enough to fit any books or materials they need in their day-to-day, but it shouldn’t engulf their small frame. A good rule of thumb is that the backpack should only cover 75% of your child’s back. For the more petite scholar, check out this Fjällräven pack:

Choosing backpacks with thicker straps can help to better distribute the weight that is being carried. By adjusting the straps, you can prevent extra pressure from being placed on muscles that are still developing. Fitting the backpack to sit at an appropriate height will create a world of difference. Just think like Goldie Locks: not too low or not too high, the pack needs to be just right! This Under Armour delivers the best of both worlds, with padding and placement.

On the topic of straps – it’s key that you chose a backpack with two straps, rather than a crossbody messenger bag or purse. A single strap will strain your child’s neck and back muscles. Two straps will keep your student’s posture and weight distribution balanced. So, yes, two is better than one! Try this sweet High Sierra option, with lots of color options:

If lockers aren’t an option, and heavy books are the name of the game, roller bags can be a great option! With a sturdy handle and wheels, your child will be effortlessly cruising the halls. Just remember that roller bags are a great option if your child’s school is all one level, that way no one is left hoisting their bag up and down stairs between classes. Check out some of our options from Kipling, High Sierra and Jansport.