Don't Let Your Bag Weigh You Down

Posted on by Phuong Mai

Ah yes, autumn is here—a time for cashmere sweaters, vibrant leaves, and, of course pumpkin spice lattes. (Unless you live in California, where we are finally getting a taste of, well, summer.) The kiddos are back to school, and their backpack are already swelling with books and supplies.

Growing up, we couldn’t wait to purchase our new faithful backpack that would serve as a guardian for everything we thought to be sacred. We used anything—patches, keychains, pins—to accessorize our bags and accentuate our personalities. But what we didn’t consider was the amount of weight we carried.

Children and adults should not be carrying more than 10% of their body weight in a backpack. And yet we often do. In fact, citing the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reported that more than 28,100 individuals were treated for injuries related to backpacks in 2014 and that more than 8,300 of those injuries involved kids and teens ages 5 to 18. Too much weight leads to poor posture, pinches nerves, and back and neck pain.

Whether you’re a college student or working professional, check to make sure you’re not overloading your bags. In addition:

1. Keep the heaviest items low and closest to the center of the body near the spine.
2. Avoid having the backpack lower than four inches from the waist.
3. Remember to use both straps and keep them tightened.
4. If you find yourself leaning forward then you probably need to lighten to load. (Leaning to support the weight can strain the back.)

At P.MAI, we went through dozen of iterations specifically on the dimensions of our backpacks. Why? Because we wanted to ensure that it was large enough to carry your essentials without being too large that we’d be tempted to overpack. Be conscious about what you truly need to carry on a daily basis. We want to help you simplify, beautify, and edit your life. A healthy spine is a beautiful one! Carry on, beautifully.

Ah yes, autumn is here—a time for cashmere sweaters, vibrant leaves, and, of course pumpkin spice lattes. (Unless you live in California, where we are finally getting a taste of, well, summer.) The kiddos are back to school, and their backpack are already swelling with books and supplies.

Growing up, we couldn’t wait to purchase our new faithful backpack that would serve as a guardian for everything we thought to be sacred. We used anything—patches, keychains, pins—to accessorize our bags and accentuate our personalities. But what we didn’t consider was the amount of weight we carried.

Children and adults should not be carrying more than 10% of their body weight in a backpack. And yet we often do. In fact, citing the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reported that more than 28,100 individuals were treated for injuries related to backpacks in 2014 and that more than 8,300 of those injuries involved kids and teens ages 5 to 18. Too much weight leads to poor posture, pinches nerves, and back and neck pain.

Whether you’re a college student or working professional, check to make sure you’re not overloading your bags. In addition:

1. Keep the heaviest items low and closest to the center of the body near the spine.
2. Avoid having the backpack lower than four inches from the waist.
3. Remember to use both straps and keep them tightened.
4. If you find yourself leaning forward then you probably need to lighten to load. (Leaning to support the weight can strain the back.)

At P.MAI, we went through dozen of iterations specifically on the dimensions of our backpacks. Why? Because we wanted to ensure that it was large enough to carry your essentials without being too large that we’d be tempted to overpack. Be conscious about what you truly need to carry on a daily basis. We want to help you simplify, beautify, and edit your life. A healthy spine is a beautiful one! Carry on, beautifully.