A Chiropractor’s Guide to Backpack Safety

Are you going hiking this summer? Or do you walk to work and regularly need to carry a bag? Believe it or not, there are some vital tips you should be following to keep your body properly calibrated while wearing a backpack. 

When adding weight to your frame, you need to do it in the right way. When carrying our work stuff, our sports gear or even our life belongings while travelling, backpacks or other types of devices that help evenly distribute the weight are a handy invention. Think about weight lifting, for example: when performing a back squat with weight, we need to do it correctly or else we’ll injure ourselves! 

A backpack may not be as heavy as a weight lifting exercise, but the length of time we carry it can certainly take a toll on our body. Think about the type of backpack you need, for the purpose you need it for. 

Here are our 4 best tips for backpack safety:

  • Never use just one strap – Backpacks have two straps for a reason. Prolonged use of one-strap bags and handbags can cause your posture and the way you hold our body to become misaligned, eventually resulting in pain and dysfunction. Two straps will allow you to properly balance the weight and maintain good posture. 
  • Don’t carry too much – Carrying a bag is a lot like weight lifting. If you’re going to be walking for a long time, you should always consider the effect this has on your spine. If you aren’t used to carrying weight or wearing a bag for long periods – think about how much weight you are carrying. Too heavy of a load can lead to a buildup of back pai
  • Good posture – Having a good posture is extremely important — it makes the body function more effectively and it also keeps you pain-free! When wearing a backpack, maintaining good posture allows the spine to load any weight properly through the curves of the spine and keep your back happy.
    Slouching may put too much pressure on discs, nerves and this can kick off a painful episode. Walking with added weight on your back while maintaining a good posture is a great exercise for your body, as it will help strengthen your postural muscles.
  • Break and stretch – If you are travelling and hiking for long periods, you should consider taking breaks to give your back and shoulders a rest. Your muscles will be engaged the entire time while using a backpack, making it essential to allow your muscles and joints to rest from time to time.
    When breaking, stretch off your back, neck and shoulders. Move them in each direction they can move to help reset your body. The last thing you want is to end up injured while hiking or travelling, as this might put a damper on your trip!

Contact Total Health & Sports Today
We hope you’ve found our guide to backpack safety helpful. Be sure to follow these steps and always make sure you have the right backpack to meet your needs — whether it be travel or daily commuting.

For advice on how to maintain great posture or to book a session with our team, contact our team at Total Health & Sports Performance and book an appointment today!