• Tatum Gould

School Bags & Back Pain

Updated: Feb 7

With kids going back to school next week, we start to notice an increase in children in the clinic, often presenting with either low back pain or pain between the shoulder blades. One of the biggest reasons behind these areas of pain is heavy school bags, compounded by being incorrectly fitted and worn.


It is recommended that a school bag’s weight should not exceed 10% of the child’s weight – kids can carry upwards of double this amount! Over time, carrying a school bag that is too heavy and improperly fitted can result in undesirable postural asymmetries. These muscular changes only progress each school year, if school bags remain too heavy and poorly fitted. Resultant long-term back pain can then become a problem for them to manage long term.


School Bag Tips:

  1. Bag type: - A backpack is recommended over a shoulder bag, as the two straps allow for even distribution of weight across the shoulders

  2. Bag size: - Ensure the bag itself is not too big for the child as this will avoid overpacking and exceeding the carrying weight recommendation

  3. Adjust shoulder straps so the top of the bag is in line with the top of the shoulders

  4. Pack heavier items closer to the body and lighter items in the smaller front compartments for good load distribution

  5. Adjust the sternal strap so it holds the bag against the body. This will reduce the amount of bag movement as the child walks and moves

  6. Adjust the waist strap to sit comfortably around belly button height, above the pelvic crests

BodyPlus Physiotherapy offers all school-aged children:


GAP-FREE postural assessment + school bag fit*

(*If no private health fund, $35 flat fee)


Go to our online bookings portal or call us on (08) 7226 6349 to book your child in to see one of our physiotherapists today.

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