Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

A weighty subject: Local schools take steps to help students prevent injury by lightening their backpacks

A weighty subject: Local schools take steps to help students prevent injury by lightening their backpacks

On an average school day last year, Piper Bond carried six notebooks, two binders, several textbooks and a laptop computer around Gilman School in his black Jansport backpack. The pack weighed between 35 and 40 pounds – the equivalent of an 8-by-8-inch concrete block.

Some days, he also even carried a canvas tote bag for additional books.

“I liked having everything on me and not having to go to my locker,” the 17-year-old senior from Roland Park said. “That’s been my mindset since I’ve been in school.”

But too much weight, along with wearing a backpack incorrectly, can lead to poor posture, fatigue, muscle soreness and even lower back pain, experts said. According to the...

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