Backpack Brutality

Meghan Tuzzolino, Columnist

A school backpack for a student aged 5-14 should weigh no more than 10 percent of the child’s body weight. However, on average, backpacks of students for this age range weigh anywhere from 30 to almost 50 percent of their body weight, or about 15-35 pounds, states CNN. Consequently, many issues result from hauling a 20-pound backpack around for the better part of 5-7 hours, according to The Great Outdoors. This includes posture deforment, stress on your joints, and back pain in general.

Carrying around such a heavy weight can, in some situations, stunt children’s growth if the weight is extreme enough. The problem is that accumulating a backpack with such mass is much easier than you would think. Most students’ bags must include multiple notebooks, binders, loose leaf paper, a calculator, textbooks, assigned reading, pencils, erasers, highlighters, folders, and a variety of other class-specific needs. These are just some of the basics. And without such items, many students would fall in the category of “ unprepared” or lacking learning materials, likely losing points in class. Therefore, in order to have everything you need, the weight can add up easily.

Another facet of problem is that if you do have a desire to clean out your backpack and lighten the load, there is a high probability something you need will get thrown away. And when a student has multiple subjects requiring them to keep assignments to either review, regrade, or use to study, it can get confusing. The best way to avoid this situation entirely is to try and plan out your backpack storage methods thoughtfully, and preferably before buying a backpack and even before going back to school. This way you can plan out what is essential in a backpack for your school day or school day, and can do so in a much less stressful manner.

When you are in the market to declutter or start fresh with a new backpack there are some guidelines you should follow. First off, do not purchase a backpack that is too large, because that leaves room for unneeded and unnecessary items to find their way into your backpack. You want just enough room to fit the essential amount of supplies. Next up, start off with one of everything to decrease the total weight of your supplies, meaning start off with one pencil, one packet of loose leaf paper, one eraser, etc. Refill as needed; this way you don’t get overwhelmed having 40 useless, broken pencils and only one that works. With these ways to declutter, you can successfully manage and store your school supplies without putting your long term health at risk, and can ultimately lessen the deltas of school work.