Back in the UK, research carried out by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) suggests that the average 11-year-old carries a heavy, potentially damaging bag around all day and as a result they're putting enormous strain on their spines and run a great risk of developing back pain later in life.
The report also recommends that parents and teachers play a more active role in helping children choose the appropriate bags: "the majority don't opt for rucksacks and 93 per cent of pupils are choosing their own bag with fashion rather than comfort at the top of their list".
The BCA can offer advice to parents and schools. It's currently running an initiative called Watch your Back and already BCA chiropractors have worked with Bolton Metropolitan Council, visiting schools in the area offering practical advice on children's posture, school bags, exercise and using computers. There's also a video and leaflet aimed at Year 6 pupils, which illustrates the importance of looking after the spine.