Backpack! Backpack!

Taylor Boesker

Taylor Boesker

14,000 children are treated for backpack related injuries every single year. 5,000 of those children end up in the emergency room with excruciating neck, back, or shoulder pain. All of these injuries are caused from overweight backpacks. When a backpack is too heavy, the back tends to lurch forward, the muscles in the mid and lower back become overworked, the shoulders stoop, and the neck, with shoulders and back ache. Studies show that your backpack should be 10-15% of your body weight.

McPherson High School coach and biology teacher Mr.Gerstner was questioned about switching to online notes rather than using a physical textbook. “I do focus mostly on notes and getting you the information I think you need moving ahead. I think textbooks are a tool to be used in the classroom, but not something you need everyday”.

Just a few years ago, the school gave McPherson High students their own Chromebook and since then a few teachers have switched to online learning.  Mr.Gerstner was asked his ideas on using everything digital and how it might affect our health. “I hated it when a teacher required us to carry this book around all the time and we never used it. I do see a lot of students and in particular athletes with back issues.  Most [high school] students are growing and I wonder what carrying 25 lb backpacks do to hinder this process”. There are perks to using text books, but is our health more important?

My backpack with books is 31 pounds”

— Breckyn Martens

My backpack normally weighs 15 pounds”

— Brianna Bradley

If kids grunt when putting on or taking off the backpack, have red marks on their shoulders from the straps those backpacks might just be too heavy.”

— Huffington Post