GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Kids will be anxiously slinging on new book bags Monday morning. But the homework haul could be very harmful to their backs.
Over–stuffed bags are making homework a literal back–breaking assignment. "I have to carry all of it around and it just puts a lot of strain on my back sometimes," says High School Freshman Nathan Bryner.
Doctors say heavy hauling through years of school can equal painful problems. "Headaches, neck pain, as well as lower back pain," says Dr. Dean Younker, a chiropractor who operates Peak Performance Chiropractic Clinic.
Add to that bad posture, tingling hands and even a greater risk for scoliosis.
"There is something called mailman scoliosis from carrying things too much on one side," says Younker.
The one-strap, tote style is exactly what's hot this fall. "I use a tote and I like it's because it's stylish right now. It's a girlie thing to carry to and from school," says 7th grader Taylor Dickerson.
But Taylor has a plan for assignment overloads. "A day that you know you're gonna have a lot of homework, just bring a backpack," says Dickerson. Or, perhaps, keep one handy in your locker.
Sabrie Thompson also choose the tote style, saying it's actually more comfortable than the traditional type. "I think it'll be fine 'cause it's got a lot of padding for my back. The two straps (kind of backpack) just kind of weighs you back," says Thompson.
Experts say to aim for backpacks with thick straps and a lot of padding towards the bottom, so the lower back can be protected.
Doctors also say sometimes using a bag that has wheels can be a good option. Triangular–shaped bags also help distribute weight more safely for students sporting a hefty load.
It's recommended that backpacks shouldn't weigh more than ten to 15 percent of a student's body.