Tuesday, September 20, 2016

National School Backpack Awareness Day: Sept. 21, 2016!!

The Wellness Department is fortunate to have the expertise of Dr. Thomas Ball & Dr. Victoria VanNederynen of Performance Health Center in Natick coming to present to our 6th grade classes on Wednesday September 21st and Thursday September 22nd. 

Here is a message from Dr. Ball about the backpack safety & injury prevention presentation:

We are honored to take the time to educate parents, students, educators and school administrators, and communities about the serious health effects that backpacks that are too heavy or worn improperly have on children.  More than 79 million students in the United States carry school backpacks.
 • More than 2,000 backpack-related injuries were treated at hospital emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, and clinics in 2007.
 • It is recommended that a loaded backpack should never weight more than 10% of the student’s total body weight (for a student weighing 100 pounds, this means that the backpack should weight no more than 10 pounds).
 • About 55% of students carry a backpack that is heavier than the recommended guideline of 10% of the student’s total body weight.
 • In one study with American students ages 11 to 15 years, 64% reported back pain related to heavy backpacks. Twenty one percent reported the pain lasting more than 6 months.
 • In a study on the effect of backpack education on student behavior and health, nearly 8 out of 10 middle school students who changed how they loaded and wore their backpacks reported less pain and strain in their backs, necks, and shoulders.

I will also take some time to discuss "Text Neck" and how too much time spent looking down at your phone can cause lifetime damage to the cervical vertebrae.  This class will be interactive with the students, and I will bring in my "model spine" to show them what is happening internally when their posture is distorted either from an improperly fitting backpack or from looking down too long at their phones.

As always you can contact me with any questions at Performance Health Center.  

Here is the National School Backpack Awareness Video:

Here are some useful links on backpack safety:

As always, if you have any questions please let us know.

Yours in Health,

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