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Two strap method stops backaches

Jan. 31, 1997

By Elizabeth Case

Lariat Reporter

In a hurry to reach class on time and avoid penalties from professors, many college students only slip one arm through a backpack's straps while sprinting out of the door and soon find that their shoulder is aching.

Is school hazardous to students' health? Improper posture and over-stuffed backpacks are two factors that contribute to back pain among students.

Sacared Bodison, coordinator of sports medicine for the University of Maryland at College Park, Md., told The Chronicle of Higher Education that most students are aware that carrying their backpacks on both shoulders will help them avoid back problems.

Baylor students are choosing comfort over fashion.

'After a couple weeks, I saw that it was acceptable here to carry my backpack over both shoulders. It is much more comfortable,' Ryan Fieker, a Tulsa senior, said.

Wearing a backpack on both shoulders was the equivalent of a pocket protector in the 80s, but that fashion taboo is over. Students in the 90s are not as concerned with fashion as with convenience.

Nicole Stone, a Harlingen senior, said that she carries her backpack according to how heavy it is or how far she has to travel.

'If there are crowds that I have to walk through or if I have to walk across campus, I wear it on both shoulders,' Stone said. 'Otherwise, it is easier to wear it on one. After a long break, I have even found bruises on my shoulder after using my backpack again.'

David Fogg, a registered massage therapist in Waco, suggested that students carry the weight of their bookbags on the center of the back so the strain is balanced. He also mentioned that poor body mechanics, such as slouching in a chair during a lecture can strain back muscles.

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