Back to School with Backpack Safety

August 5, 2013
Spokane, WA

With the new school year approaching, people are rushing to get equipped with the proper school supplies.  While backpacks are one of the most convenient ways to carry books and supplies, an overloaded or improperly worn backpack can put youth and adults at an increased risk for spinal or back injury.

To help make sure a backpack is being used properly, and avoid injury St. Luke’s suggests the following tips:

  • Wear both straps
  • Remove and put backpacks on carefully
  • Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles
  • Lighten the load.  Keep the load at 10-15% or less of the person’s body weight
  • Select a backpack with design features that enhance safety and comfort

Diagrams and additional tips are available on St. Luke’s website at 

About St. Luke’s Rehabilitation InstituteSt. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute is the region’s largest free-standing physical medicine and rehabilitation hospital and the only Level I trauma rehabilitation hospital in the Inland Northwest. St. Luke’s serves more than 7,000 patients each year in inpatient and outpatient settings - people who have suffered a stroke, lost a limb, and suffered a brain injury, spinal cord injury or one of many other illnesses or injuries. St. Luke’s is a division of Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS).

For more information on St. Luke’s:



Nicole Stewart
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St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute
711 S. Cowley St.
Spokane, WA 99202-1330

Inpatient Information: (509) 473-6058
Outpatient Information: (509) 473-6869