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Carrying heavy loads comes with risks for back pain


In 1902 the US Cavalry recommended that horse never carry more than 20 percent of its weight into battle. Current studies confirm that the percentage put the least strain on the animals heart, respiration, muscles and bones. use that rule of thumb for what you and your children carry, too. Unfortunately, kids regularly tote backpacks that way 22 percent of their body weight or more. A lot of your throw portable computers over your shoulder, haul a weeks worth of veggies home from the farmers market or strap on a baby carrier to tote around a 30 to 40 pound child. Plus, many of you double or triple up. A purse Wayne three to seven pounds shares a shoulder with a shopping bag overflowing with groceries in a gym bag with workout clothes. Then there's the schlepping 40 pound carry on bags for airports. Ouch! You're risking chronic lower back pain, shoulder injury, neck strain, headaches and poor posture. Kids can injure their spine in ways that may call steel lifelong problems.

Here's how to make whatever you're toting safer:

1. Weight backpacks and purses; lighten the load is there too heavy. Always used both backpack shoulder straps. One shoulder carry amplifies the risk of lower back and shoulder pain and restricts blood flow to the arm.

2. Get rolling! Computer cases, kids backpacks, carry on luggage, shopping carts and gym bags come with great invention called wheels. Use em!

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