3 Ways School May Be Damaging Your Child's Back

2 min read

3 Ways School May Be Damaging Your Child's Back

Unfortunately heavy backpacks, outdated school furniture, and insufficient activity in school can all be causes of a stiff or sore back, even in the youngest children. While these things may cause minimal discomfort now, they can negatively impact your child's health in the long run. Check out the top three ways that school may be damaging your child's back, along with the solutions.


Heavy backpacks are all too common in schools today and while they can certainly help in the transportation of books, they can also do more harm than good in your child's well-being. According to a recent study, most students said they've experienced pain from their backpacks; a whopping 64% reported having back pain at some time. Researchers say that pain can be associated with wearing a backpack weighing more than 20% of the student's body weight.

Solutions include using rolling backpacks, wearing backpacks on both shoulders, keeping the shoulder straps snug, placing heavier books closest to the back, and carrying only what is necessary each day.

School Furniture

Did you know over 83% of elementary school students sit at chair-desk combinations that are not correct for their height?Traditional school chair designs often have rigid seats that incline backwards, which tenses the child's shoulders while restricting blood flow. Too often, school furniture is out-of-date and does not conform tominimum orthopedic-physiological requirements, which results in back pain in even the youngest students.

Ergonomic solutions include a rocking mechanism in chairs as well as the ability to swivel in order to change seat inclination, which Virco chairs offer.

Insufficient Physical Activity

Many schools are reducing or eliminating their physical education classes. The USDH recommends that children and adolescents should take part in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. A recent survey found that a mere 18 percent of all high school students actually obey to this recommendation, while a mere 33 percent attended physical education class each day. Sitting for all these hours in a day can cause stiffness, resulting in back pain along with other health issues.

It's important to ensure that your child takes part in some type of physical activity a few days a week, whether it's a sport, bike riding around the neighborhood, or playing with friends in order to keep them healthy and happy.