Media Advisory - Medical Professionals Urge Parents and Kids To Adopt Backpack Safety Guidelines To Reduce Back Pain and Injury

    TORONTO, Aug. 22 /CNW/ - With only days left until the school year
begins, medical professionals urge parents and kids to consider safety and
ergonomics when selecting, packing and using backpacks, amid studies that show
students carry a hefty average of 17 percent of their total body weight in a
backpack. The heavy weight load placed inside a backpack puts undue stress on
a child's spinal development, often leading the body to overcompensate for
this weight by leaning forward or sideways. Selecting a backpack with a proper
support system - to help correct the wearer's posture and make the load feel
lighter - as well as packing and lifting the bag properly, can greatly
minimize the risks associated with developing avoidable back problems.
    Dr. Dan Yaron, chiropractor and Medical Director, Obus Forme, is
available to discuss backpack safety tips and techniques for parents and kids
while selecting, packing, and lifting a backpack during the school year.

    Backpack Safety Essentials: Preventing Pain and Injury From Heavy
    Backpack Loads

    -   Choose a backpack with a proper support system to help correct the
        wearer's posture and make the heavy load feel lighter. Opt for a
        backpack with numerous pockets and compartments to keep things from
        shifting around, and adequate padding to prevent digging into the
        back or shoulders.

    -   Carry only what is necessary in the backpack, and make frequent trips
        to the locker during the day if possible; each night, clean out the
        backpack from unnecessary items and papers.

    -   Make sure the pack is the right size! Backpacks should not extend
        higher than shoulder level and not lower than 4 inches below the
        waist. Adjust both shoulder straps so that the bottom of the backpack
        is just above the waist - don't wear it slung low over the buttocks.

    -   A loaded backpack should weigh less than 10% of the student's body
        weight (JK-8); older students can carry up to 15% of their body
        weight. If you have to lean over, the backpack is too heavy,
        incorrectly fitted or wrongly packed.

    -   Pack the heaviest items so they are closest to the child's back. If
        the heaviest items are packed further away, this throws off the
        child's centre of gravity and causes unnecessary strain. Bend at the
        knees to lift the backpack; squat or kneel, but never bend at the

    About Obus Forme
    Obus Forme(R), a division of Integral Orthopedics Inc., is a company with
a passion for developing and manufacturing innovative consumer products that
are engineered to enhance people's lives by delivering comfort and support to
the human body. From the original, award-winning Lowback Backrest Support to
the latest in therapeutic pillows, office equipment and the groundbreaking
Comfort Support System(TM) Backpacks, Obus Forme(R) is committed to creating
valued products for use at home, in the office, and on the go. Obus Forme(R)
products are now available in more than 40 countries worldwide. Further
information is available at and

For further information:

For further information: Tamara Colodny, Tiffany Bourré, The Idea
Workshop Ltd., (416) 504-3977 ext. 25,,; Marko Bukovec, Director of Marketing, OBUS FORME,
(416) 785-1386,

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