General | January 25, 2024

The ABCs Of Backpack Posture: A Guide For Students Heading Back To School

Dr Arthur Phlorides-OSTEOPATH-Double Bachelor of Health Science/ Applied Science (Osteopathy)

As an osteopath dedicated to promoting overall well-being, I often find myself counseling students on maintaining a healthy posture, especially when it comes to carrying school bags. With the back-to-school season upon us, it’s crucial to address the significance of choosing and wearing a backpack correctly to support optimal spinal health. 

First and foremost, the right backpack can make all the difference. Opt for a backpack with padded shoulder straps and a padded back to provide proper support and cushioning. Ensure that the backpack is proportional to the student’s body size, with the bottom of the bag aligning with the lower back. 

Equally important is how the backpack is worn. Encourage students to use both shoulder straps to distribute the weight evenly across their back. Wearing a backpack over one shoulder may lead to muscle strain and an imbalance in the spine, potentially causing discomfort and pain. 

Additionally, educate students on the significance of adjusting the straps to ensure the backpack sits snugly against their back. This helps maintain a neutral spine and prevents unnecessary stress on the shoulders and lower back. 

Furthermore, packing wisely is key. Encourage students to organize their belongings efficiently, placing heavier items closer to the back and lighter items towards the front. This distribution helps maintain the body’s centre of gravity, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal issues. 

I often emphasize the importance of regular breaks between classes to give the spine a chance to decompress. Encourage students to utilize lockers whenever possible, minimizing the need to carry unnecessary items throughout the day. 

By adopting these backpack posture recommendations, students can foster a healthier, pain-free spine, ensuring they are better equipped to tackle the academic challenges that lie ahead. 


  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2022). Backpack Safety. 
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2022). Back Pain at Work: Preventing Pain and Injury. 
  3. American Chiropractic Association. (2022). Backpack Safety Tips. 
  4. Spine-health. (2022). Choosing the Right Backpack for Back Health.
  5. Cleveland Clinic. (2022). Tips for Choosing a Backpack for Your Child.