Double the backpacks, double the pain

Madison Springett, Of The Talon staff

Now that spring sports have officially started, it isn’t uncommon to see students walking around with two backpacks on their front and back. Carrying just one average-size backpack can cause shoulder, neck, and back pain, but wearing a backpack on both your front and back can cause a greater risk of these health effects.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, doctors are saying that carrying heavy backpacks can lead to headaches, neck and back pain, and muscle soreness. It also says that in some extreme cases it can affect or contribute to scoliosis. Doctors say that children shouldn’t carry backpacks that weigh 15% of their body weight. 

As a volleyball player freshman Logan Pope uses a 14 pound athletic bag and a 10 pound school bag.

 Science teacher Sean Torgoley says he thinks that these health effects are dependent on your posture, but it could cause back problems due to bad posture throughout the day.  

“Without doing official research, I feel like it all depends on your posture. Standing with good posture could probably help build strength in your legs; however, the vast majority of the time posture will be sacrificed throughout the day and it could cause back problems,” Torgoley said.

Science teacher Sarah Moonier says she thinks that wearing two backpacks can balance the weight so health problems aren’t as drastic. 

“Two backpacks are probably better than one really heavy one on your back. They’d balance the weight some so you have less stress on your back. The weight of a heavy backpack puts pressure on your spine and pelvic girdle, which changes your posture and gait. This can lead to back and leg pain,” Moonier said. 

Science teacher Mark Matusiak says he thinks that if you are going to wear two backpacks they should be pulled tight and they should be light. 

“People think that if they wear them in the front and in the back, it would even things out, but you’re putting more weight on your body, which could cause issues. If you’re wearing two, they should both be light and you would want the heavier one on the back, not your front and pulled tight,” Matusiak said. 

Lockers can be very useful for students who participate in any sport during the school year. The locker rooms are also an option for students to use for their sports bag. More often than not students choose to carry around their sports bag because it is more convenient to have it with them. But the locker rooms can be helpful as they are preventing students from carrying around multiple heavy backpacks and increasing the risk of health problems. 

Freshman Willow Powell plays lacrosse, and like all freshmen, she has a locker, but she said that she carries her bag with her on the days that she doesn’t put it in her last-hour class. She also said she thinks her sports bag is heavier than her school backpack because of all the extra items she has in it.

To carry all her lacrosse equipment and necessities, freshman Willow Powell holds a 15 pound lacrosse bag and a 15 pound school backpack.

“I’m on C team, but I play with JV too. I usually put [my sports bag] in my last hour teacher’s room. I have a locker; I just don’t know where it is. For my lacrosse backpack, I have literally anything for any possibility; that’s probably why it’s so heavy. [I have] extra clothes, sweatpants, a long sleeve, a hoodie. I have three pairs of shoes, cleats and tennis shoes, and just another extra pair, some food, and extras of everything. I have extra mouth guards and usually two extra water bottles. I feel like the clothes in there make [my sport’s bag] heavier,” Powell said. 

Some people disagree with Powell and think that their school backpack is heavier than their sports bag. Sophomore Jacob Shiner plays varsity volleyball and he said he thinks that his school backpack is significantly heavier than his sports bag. 

“In one backpack, I carry everything for school, such as my Chromebook and various notebooks. In my other backpack, I carry my shoes, a change of clothes, and other miscellaneous items that might be useful. My school backpack is much heavier than my sports bag by about 20 pounds,” Shiner said. 

Likewise, senior Chloe Ceballos plays varsity soccer and she  said she thinks her school backpack is heavier than her sports backpack because she has much more in her school bag than her sports bag. 

“I would say my regular backpack is heavier just because I have textbooks and notebooks in there and that’s why I carry it on my back instead of my front,” Ceballos said.