National School Backpack Awareness Day

Today is National School Backpack Awareness Day created by the American Occupational Therapy Association. This is actually an important topic as, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 22,000 people treated for backpack related injuries in the US last year. That figure included 8,500 children between the ages of 5 and 18 who ended up in doctors’ offices and ERs.

Backpack Wearing Tips from the American Occupational Therapy Association

Image source: American Occupational Therapy Association

AOTA Tips for Preventing Backpack Injuries:

  • Your packed backpack should weigh no more than 10% of your body weight
  • Select a backpack that is the right size for you
  • Distribute weight evenly. Load heaviest items closest to your back and balance materials so that you can easily stand up straight.
  • If the backpack has a hip belt, wear it to improve balance and take some strain off sensitive neck and shoulder muscles
  • If your backpack is still too heavy, consider a book bag on wheels

One thing that Microsoft research found is that 96% of people who carry a tablet also still have a laptop. While tablets have been around for a while, many are not up to the task of replacing laptops. I had found this true in the past as well but just last week I received a Surface Pro 3 tablet (I won this from a contest for the Windows Champions team) and it definitely has the power to replace a laptop when I am traveling! Weighing in at only 2.41 pounds with the attached Type cover and Surface Pen, it can cut the average weight of tech someone carries around in half as the average weight of a 14″ laptop is 4-5 pounds.

Surface Pro 3 is only 2.41 pounds

While I do not carry a backpack, I do carry a large purse so that I can fit all of my tech gear inside when I travel. I have taken a laptop, 2 tablets, and 3 phones plus all of their cords and cables and accessories with me on trips and that bag gets heavy! Tomorrow I am headed to a conference in Atlanta and I am not taking a laptop and the only tablet I am taking is my Surface Pro 3 and I am positive that this tablet will be able to handle my work load on this trip with ease. I can even leave a pad of paper at home because with the Surface Pen I can take notes in my own handwriting right on the Surface Pro 3 and it is actually very readable (well, as much as my handwriting can be LOL). Plus this has a gorgeous 12″ display screen! I am certain on this trip that my shoulder will be grateful that I am not lugging around a laptop and multiple other devices.

Do you or your kids carry around over weighted backpacks? Have they caused you pain or injury? Is a heavy laptop one of the items inside causing the problem?