Studies from John Hopkins Children Center and many other places have shown that backpacks cause back and shoulder pain and poor posture in children. Here are the numbers:
- The average student has a visual analog pain scale level of 4.3 with some reaching an 8-9, as reported by Northeastern University in June of 2001.
- From a survey by the American Academy of Orthopedics: 71% of doctors feel backpacks are a clinical problem, 58% see patients with pain related to backpacks, and 52% think that this is a serious problem.
- 55% of students carry an overloaded backpack, as reported by Simmons College in February of 2001.
- 3,300 children aged 5-14 were treated in emergency rooms in 1997 for backpack related injuries according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- An Auburn University study showed that 67% of children suffered muscle soreness, 51% back pain, 24% numbness and 15% shoulder pain.
- 65% of adolescents’ doctor visits are due to backpack injuries as reported by National Public Radio in October of 1998.
Here's a company that has suspension-loaded backpacks which recover energy from walking as well.