We all know that backpacks are a brilliant way of lugging around all of those textbooks and exercise books at school. They’re also far better for your child than an over-the-shoulder bag. However, 1 in 4 UK secondary school students are suffering from backpack related issues, read on to find out how to reduce the chances of your child experiencing neck spasms, shoulder and neck pain, and posture issues. It all starts with something no student is without: their bag…

As children get older, their backpacks usually get heavier. Recommendations vary on how much weight in a backpack is too much, but it shouldn’t be more than 20% of your child’s weight. The ideal weight is no more than 10%.


Often students end up carrying around all sorts of things! Here’s what you need to know to help your children lighten up their backpacks:

Start by shopping for a lightweight, well-designed backpack. Skip the leather and look for the smallest size possible. Everything important should fit in but extra space may encourage your child to stuff unneeded items in, adding to the weight. You’ll be surprised what they keep in there!

Look for compartments. Compartments also may reduce clutter. An outside mesh pocket for a water bottle makes it less likely your child will have a forgotten—and heavy—water bottle in the bottom of the backpack.

Pack a separate lunchbox. A heavy lunchbox can add to the weight. Consider having your child carry the lunchbox separately rather than packing it into the backpack.

Talk with your child about ways to cut back on what’s carried. Students can get in the habit of keeping all their books in the backpack all the time, whether they need them or not.


Clean out the backpack often. Some kids are worse than others, but if your child is on the messy side, unneeded papers and other odds and ends can add considerable weight.

Remind your child to keep some books in their lockers, if possible, rather than carry everything throughout the day.

If your child struggles to put on the backpack, it’s probably too heavy. Other signs of trouble include red marks on the shoulders, a tendency to lean forward with the pack, worsening posture overall, and headaches or aches in the neck, shoulders, or back.

If you’re worried about your child and want to take advantage of our FREE 15 minute consultation then get in touch on 01354 694050 or e-mail us at