Transcript: Backpacks | Jul 22, 2000

(music plays)

The opening sequence begins.

Clips of people of different ages flash on screen one by one against an animated blue sky background. First a baby boy, then a 10-year-old boy with short brown hair, a teenage girl with curly brown hair, a man in his thirties with middle-parted brown hair and glasses, and finally a woman in her sixties with long gray hair.

The title appears: "Your Health."

Maureen stands in a studio with windows and sofa chairs in the background. She is in her forties, has short, side-parted, curly blond-highlighted brown hair in a bob, and wears a blue suit.

Maureen says HI, I'M MAUREEN TAYLOR.
IF YOUR CHILD'S
BACKPACK IS LIKE MOST,
IT'S PROBABLY FULL
OF TEXTBOOKS, GYM GEAR
AND LEFTOVER LUNCH.
BUT ALL THAT WEIGHT
COULD CAUSE BACK PROBLEMS.
HERE'S PHYSIOTHERAPIST
KAREN WEBB.

Karen Webb appears in park on a sunny day. She is in her fifties with greying blond hair pulled in a ponytail. She is wearing a blue t-shirt and a black skirt.

Karen says BACKPACKS ARE
USED BY OUR CHILDREN
AS EARLY AS KINDERGARTEN,
THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL,
RIGHT INTO COLLEGE.
BY ABOUT MID HIGH SCHOOL
BACKPACKS CAN WEIGH
AS MUCH AS 10 KILOGRAMS
OR 22 POUNDS.

Clips show a small girl carrying a backpack walking in front of a school followed by a group of high school children exiting school buses.

A moment later Karen is shown back in the park. A caption reads "Karen Webb. Physiotherapist."

Karen says LONG-TERM IMPROPER
CARRYING OF A BACKPACK
CAN LEAD TO POOR POSTURE,
SHORTENING OF TISSUE,
STRETCHING OF
SOFT TISSUE,
AND EVENTUALLY PAIN.

A teenage girl with shoulder length black hair walks down the path carrying a backpack. Her shoulders are hunched over and her head is bent downward.

Karen approaches the girl and says YOUNG PEOPLE TEND TO WALK
IN A FORWARD BENT POSTURE
WHEN CARRYING A BACKPACK.
AND THIS IS BECAUSE THEY ARE
COMPENSATING FOR THE WEIGHT
OF THE PACK ON THE BACK.
WHAT HAPPENS OVER TIME IS
THEY WILL GET SHORTENING
OF THE MUSCLES AT THE FRONT
OF THE HIP, LENGTHENING
AT THE BACK AND A CHANGE
IN THE ANGLE OF THE BACK,
AND THIS CAN LEAD
TO BACK PAIN.
ROUNDED SHOULDERS, HEAD'S
POKING FORWARD, AND CARRYING
A BACKPACK ON ONE SHOULDER
WILL ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO
THE PROBLEM.

Now a 12-year old boy approaches Karen carrying a backpack. He is standing up straight.

Karen says NOW, WE'RE GOING TO TALK
ABOUT THE PROPER WAY TO
CARRY A BACKPACK.
FIRST AND FOREMOST, THE
PACK SHOULD NOT WEIGH MORE
THAN 10 PERCENT OF THE
CHILD'S BODY WEIGHT.
SECONDLY, ALWAYS USE BOTH
SHOULDER STRAPS AND ADJUST
THE STRAPS SO THE BAG CAN SIT
CLOSE TO THE BODY AND HIGH.
PADDED STRAPS AT THE
SHOULDERS HELP TO PREVENT
PRESSURE POINTS, AND A
STRAPPING SYSTEM AT THE
FRONT, AT THE WAIST-HIP AREA
OR THE CHEST, CAN HELP
TO DISTRIBUTE THE WEIGHT
THROUGH THE BODY.
THIS ALLOWS THE CHILD
TO STAND IN A NICE,
UPRIGHT POSTURE AND NOT
PUT STRESS ON THE BACK.
WHEN CHOOSING A BACKPACK,
TRY IT OUT, MAKE SURE IT FITS.
AND ONE OTHER THING IS IF
YOU'RE WALKING FOR A LONG
PERIOD OF TIME WITH A
BACKPACK, LIKE AN HOUR,
STOP, UNLOAD, AND
TAKE A BREAK.

A slate reads "Viewers should consult their own medical professional for advice specific to their individual circumstances."

A production of TVO Ontario, copyright The Ontario Educational Communications Authority 2000.

Watch: Backpacks