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Avoiding back to school backpack pain

Fitness expert Jodi Stern of Pilates Plus discussed ways to alleviate back to school back pain Tuesday on News 8 at Sunrise.
Fitness expert Jodi Stern of Pilates Plus discussed ways to alleviate back to school back pain Tuesday morning on News 8 at Sunrise.

While backpacks are designed to better distribute the weight students and teachers carry, Stern said they are often slung over one shoulder, and that causes undue stress on one side of the body.  "Before your child goes to school, you want to really make sure that they've got the backpack on evenly distributed, they don't have too much weight on one side or the other because back problems really do start when kids are younger," she said.

Stern said if you overload a backpack, you're likely to slump forward.  She recommended putting as many books in your locker as you can.  Stern also said it's important to rotate the weigh of your books and materials around the body, switching side to side and back to front.  Shifting weight side to side is also important for teachers carrying cases.

Packing heavier materials lower inside a backpack allows the body's stronger core to shoulder more of the weight burden, and Stern said that will also serve to strengthen the core as well.
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