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Backs n Bags n Books n Back to School

Backs ‘n Bags ‘n Books ‘n Back to School

Gone are the days of form rooms and desks, you’re lucky if you get a locker with a lock on it these days!  That means you end up lugging everything you need around with you all day.

On the bright side, you’re doing a mini weight regime every day.  That must build up some muscles mustn’t it?  And think of all those extra calories you burn off as you climb the stairs carrying extra weight.  That must burn off the packet of crisps you ate at break.

The reality is that carrying a heavy bag of books isn’t great news for a growing body.  The weight of the books alone can cause aches and pains in the upper back and neck and what about posture??  Most of us slouch a little too much anyway, but who can stand tall against the pull of a pile of books.

Well don’t despair, here are some top tips on how to fight back and save your back.

•    Get a back pack style of bag and carry it across both shoulders to distribute the weight evenly.  Alternatively get a single strap cross body bag as this too will distribute the weight across the body.
•    Some ‘back pack’ style bags have a waist strap which distributes the weight around the pelvis, if it’s there and you have a particularly heavy day, use it to help spread the load.
•    Make sure the bag has wide straps, if it only has one strap, alternate which shoulder you carry it on.  Everyone has a dominant hand and the tendency is always to carry on that side.
•    Don’t wear the straps too long as the weight of the books will pull down away from your body.  The further away from the body’s centre of gravity the weight is carried, the harder it becomes.  The body’s centre of gravity is about pelvic level, but usually it is better to carry weight around the mid back.
•    DON’T OVERFILL THE BAG.  Sort through exactly which books you need and don’t carry around any passengers!
•    Get organised and share text books with a friend.  You bring one for one lesson and get them to bring something to another lesson.
•    Get the teacher to specify which books you will need for the next lesson so you don’t end up bringing extras on the off chance that you will need them.

In summary, ‘Think smart’ as well as look smart! That way you’ll be free of aches and pains and fit to play whatever you want to play.


Lizzy Lane, founder of Coventry Physiofirst Centre, has worked at the highest level in sports physiotherapy at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, and the 1994 Commonwealth Games. To book an appointment with Coventry Physiofirst Centre call us on 0845 680 0619. 

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