Do you know how much your (or your child’s) backpack weighs? It’s easy to calculate your maximum load.

  1. Weigh yourself and record it.

  2. Figure out your maximum load. It’s 10 per cent of body weight for grades k-8 and 15 per cent for grades 9-12. For example, if you’re in grade five and weigh 90 lbs, multiply that by 10 per cent. (0.10 x 90 = 9 lbs).
  3. Weigh your stuff. Easy way: weigh your loaded pack on your bathroom scale.
    More accurate way: weigh each item on a kitchen scale, including your empty pack, record each item’s weight and add them up for your total loaded pack weight.
  4. Compare your maximum load to your loaded pack. Surprised? If you’re over, maybe it’s time to lighten your load!

TIP! Always make sure you carry your backpack with both straps to keep the weight even on both sides of your body. Slinging your pack over one shoulder puts all the weight on one side and causes you to lean under the stress.

To ensure your child’s back is healthy and strong, consult your chiropractor. They can teach you and your child how to pack, lift and carry a backpack properly to prevent injury. More information, including where to find a chiropractor near you, can be found at

View our Pack it light, wear it right information kit

View our Pack it light, wear it right video