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How to Choose and Use a Backpack to Avoid Injury

(PRWEB) August 21, 2006 -- According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there has been nearly a 300 percent increase in backpack-related injuries among U.S. students since 1996.

 “  Encourage your children to do stretches to relieve tight muscles and strengthen back muscles  
Choosing the correct school
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 backpack and wearing it properly can help children avoid injury and improve posture, according to Massage Therapy Training Institute instructor Kristin Phillips. "When choosing a backpack, look for one that is the correct size for your child," Phillips recommends. "Make sure that it has both padded shoulder straps and a padded back. In addition, it should have a waist strap, lumbar support and multiple compartments to help distribute weight."

Avoid the popular messenger bags, which have only one shoulder strap, because it's unhealthy to distribute all the weight on one side of the body. Instead, children should wear both straps of the backpack with weight distributed as evenly as possible. Straps should be tightened until snug, but not tight and the stabilizing waist strap should be buckled. Adjust the backpack so it sits high on the back. The bottom of the backpack should not hang more than four inches below the waistline. "If it's lower, the child may lean forward, which can lead to poor posture development," Phillips notes.

A loaded backpack should never weigh more than 15% of the child's body weight. When carrying weighty items, the heaviest items should be placed in the back of the backpack, closest to the child's body. Phillips says that, in addition to choosing and using a backpack wisely, exercise can help prevent injuries. "Encourage your children to do stretches to relieve tight muscles and strengthen back muscles," Phillips advises.


About Massage Therapy Training Institute (MTTI)
For more than 18 years, MTTI has been a leader in bodywork and healing arts education
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, both locally and nationally. Training at MTTI, by instructors who work in the field, will give strong foundation on which to build a successful career. MTTI has an established reputation and offers continuous career support to its current students and alumni. For more information regarding courses and curriculum visit www.MassageTherapyTrainingInstitute.com


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