Carrying a backpack incorrectly day in and day out causes strains, and most people use their head to counteract the weight. Choosing the right laptop backpack can make a big difference.
According to back pain worldwide statistics, about 31 million Americans have suffered or experienced low back pain at any given time.
Why Do Backpacks Cause Back Pain and Shoulder Pain?
1. Heavy Backpack
When you over packed your laptop backpack with a lot of stuff, chances are you will get very uncomfortable, and your shoulders start to feel the strain. When you wear it incorrectly on the shoulders, you will tend to bend forward your body to compensate for the unbalanced weight.
When doing this in a prolonged period, the spine starts to compress. As a result, the ligaments and muscles surrounding the spine are stretched and overworked while trying to compensate, leading to shoulder strain and back pain. Carrying a heavy backpack cause not only back pain and shoulder pain but also affect your body posture.
2. Carrying Your Backpack Wrongly
Many of us like to wear our backpack over just one shoulder because we like to think that it is cool and easier when in a hurry.
However, when you wear a laptop backpack one-sided for a prolonged time, your body can end up leaning to one side to accommodate the unbalanced weight. This not only causes pain but also creating balance concerns that could lead to a fall. It is hard to reverse back the pain once it becomes your habit.
3. Poor Ergonomic Design
Poor design of a laptop backpack can contribute to back pain and muscle strain.
If the shoulder straps are too narrow and not adequately padded, they can bite your shoulder and give you uncomfortable feeling around the neck.
When the inferior straps compress the nervous system around your shoulder and at the back of your body, you will begin to feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.
What to Look When Buying a Laptop Backpack for Back Pain?
1. Multiple Compartments
To avoid or minimize the back pain, you need to have a proper weight distribution. To achieve this, you should look for a backpack that has multiple compartments. Most of the laptop backpack has a laptop dedicated padded compartment at the bag.
A laptop is probably one of the bulky items that you carry around. Ideally, you want to keep your laptop closer to your back and let other small items equally distributed into other pockets.
If the backpack is lacking compartments and pockets, chances are you will stuffing all your items only one-sided, resulting in a poor posture, discomfort, and potentially back pain.
2. Adjustable Features
When you’re looking for a laptop backpack, you should look for a bag that has adjustable features like an adjustable shoulder strap, waist strap, and adjustable sternum strap.
Adjustable shoulder straps allow you to adjust your backpack fits snugly against the shoulders and just below the waist.
You want to make sure that you carry the bag as comfortable as possible by adjusting the straps.
The better the backpack fits, the lighter the load is to carry. If the backpack is too loose and away from your back, you will feel the increase of weight due to unbalanced weight distribution.
Another feature that the laptop backpack should have is the waist strap. The idea is that the waist strap can help to stabilize the balance of your body when carrying a heavy load.
The waist strap pulls the bottom of the back closer to your hip bones area.
Adjustable sternum strap, however, is not designed to carry any weight but to make it stay forward on the body.
It also helps to ease the pressure on your shoulders as well as stop your backpack from falling right off and.
3. Well-Padded Shoulder Straps
When you carry a lot of stuff with a backpack straps with no padding, they will dig into the shoulders. It’s going to give you a tense shoulder or a headache if you carry anything heavy on your shoulder.
By having well-padded straps will undoubtedly help ease the pain. You should look for soft and comfortable straps, and the thickness of the straps doesn’t matter. What matters is the quality of the straps.
There are some thinner foams and super high-density straps that will you feel comfortable when carrying your bag. The width of the shoulder straps should be wide enough without biting into your shoulder.
When it comes to gender, men typically have broader shoulders than women, and therefore, getting a wide shoulder strap is the right choice.
If you’re a woman, slightly less wide should be okay as long as they are fit to your shoulder. If too narrow then it could lead to bruising and chaffing.
The weight of the backpack is an essential factor to consider when looking at the right laptop backpack for back pain.
You should try to find a slimmer bag because it will feel lighter and be easier to manage with it closer to your back.
A thinner and lightweight backpack is generally going to be a better center of gravity as compared to a thicker backpack where you will feel heavier.
There are so many types of laptop backpacks and so many brands to go along with it that it can be an overwhelming decision to choose just one. Hopefully, this post has helped ease that decision a bit for you.
For me, one of my favorite laptop backpacks that helps you relieve the back pain is the Mark Ryden AVIATOR. It offers ventilated shoulder straps, a ton of storage space, great additional features, and a USB charging port.
Finally, one piece of advice here is that no matter which backpack you buy, never overload a bag. As a rule of thumb, never carry the bag more than 15%-20% of your body weight.