Wearing a backpack wrong can start a lifetime of back problemsSubmitted: 08/23/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

TOMAHAWK - People usually wait until they're older to start taking better care of their backs. But back problems can start at any stage in life. Even your kids backpack can start a lifelong problem.

Dr. Grace Zuiker works at Allied Health Chiropractic Centers. She says backpack size is important. And it's not about how much stuff you can fit in them.

"I think the most common mistake is not having the hip belt to help support the weight of the backpack. And when kids are carrying whatever's in their backpack, they're carrying it too far away from their spine, rather than tight and close to their spine," says Dr. Zuiker.

The hip belts should fit snugly right across the hip bones. And you never want them to skip fastening that chest strap.

"It's going to take the weight off of his shoulders as he tightens it here. So now he's carrying most of the load more forward on his body. And when you're putting books in the bag you want the bigger books closer to your body and the smaller things further away," says ," says Dr. Zuiker.

Instead of finding a bag that fits as much in it as possible, you want to buy the smallest backpack your child can get away with. That way the weight in the bag is distributed through the support straps property.

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