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Heavy bookbags hurt students, physical therapists urge safety

School has started or is starting soon and physical therapists are trying to make sure kids don't hurt themselves by having too much in their backpacks. Studies show a student's bookbag should be no more than 15 percent of their body weight. Heavy backpacks can cause neck tension, back problems, and even nerve damage. Also, therapists warn that wearing a backpack the wrong way could lead to permanent posture problems. Physical therapist Marcia Scullion said, "Your grandma used to say if you make a face like this it's going to stick. This is basically the same thing… Your body will make adaptive changes according to your posture." Scullion says the proper way to wear a backpack is with the straps tightly secured with the majority of the weight in the center of the back. The bookbag should not hang down past the lumbar region of the spine.

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