Backpack Safety - Functional Advantage
Neil Sauer Health Tips

"Almost Daily Health Tips From Physical Therapist Neil Sauer..."

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Backpack Safety

It's that time of year again! With kids heading back to school in the upcoming days and weeks, parents need to think about the safety and comfort of the load their children are carrying on their backs. Backpacks are designed to distribute the weight of the bag evenly across the upper back of the child. When worn improperly or too much weight is placed in the bag, it can lead to injuries such as strains, posture problems and unnecessary aches and pains! Here are just a few helpful backpack safety tips: 

  • Carry up to 15% of their body weight in backpack contents. 
  • Select the correct size. Never wider or longer than child's torso, also making sure it doesn't hang more than 4 inches below waist.
  • Purchase a bag that offers padded back support as well as padded shoulder straps. 
  • Look for a bag with compression straps on the sides or bottom. This will help to stabilize the contents inside, preventing them from sliding around. 
  • Use both straps on the bag. Adjust the straps of the bag to keep the load as close to the back as possible.

Fun Facts!


14,424 Americans sought medical treatment for backpack injuries last year 


Researchers have reported seeing backpacks that weigh more than 40 percent of a child's weight 


Backpack-related injuries sent more than 7,000 people to the emergency room in one years time 


58% of healthcare professionals have seen children complaining about back or shoulder pain related to backpacks 

Neil Sauer

Neil Sauer

Physical Therapist, Certified Health Coach and company owner Neil Sauer graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science. During that time he played four years of collegiate soccer. Neil earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Central Michigan University in 2006. He has taken continuing education courses for Stanley Paris manual therapy techniques and a Gary Gray Functional Training course. He has also taken selective functional movement assessment courses with the North American Sports Medical Institute (NASMI). Neil’s treatment philosophy goes beyond reducing pain and restoring motion/mobility. He has a passion for health and wellness and for improving the quality of life of his clients, and works holistically with them to ensure their injuries do not reoccur and that his clients enjoy optimal functionality. He strives to help his patients live more active, mobile and healthy lives knowing that they don’t have to rely on pain medications, injections or surgery. In his personal life, he is married and has two sons. During spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, spending time outdoors and leading an active and healthy life. Neil also likes to read as much as possible when he finds/makes time. He primarily reads books on leadership, business and special forces. An avid exercise enthusiast, he continually works to improve his own health and wellness.
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