Studies Shows That School Backpacks Reduce Vital Capacity In Children

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As the new school year gets underway, many parents are buying their children new backpacks. In doing so, their biggest concern is likely to be whether they will hold up to the beating they are likely to take. What parents may not know is that backpacks loaded down with books could limit the amount of oxygen getting to their child’s brain, according to Bob Prichard, president of Somax Performance Institute in Tiburon, Calif., and author of the upcoming book Are You Robbing Your Brain of Oxygen?

As proof, Prichard cites a 2013 study in the May-August 2013 issue of 2013 International Journal of Basic and Applied Medical Sciences, which found that vital capacity (the ability to take in oxygen) was reduced 33-40 percent in school children as backpack weight was increased. In addition, a 2005 study led by Daniel H. K. Chow, Ph.D., reported that “the weight of schoolchildren’s backpacks are of concern because of effects including compromise of pulmonary function.”

Prichard says, “Backpacks can overuse a child’s musculature, creating lasting tension and microfibers that will restrict their oxygen intake for the rest of their lives unless they are detected and released. And in my experience, the consequences may include poorer performance on tests and assignments.”

This former monthly columnist for the New York Times and broadcast analyst for NBC Sports Olympic says anyone under the age of 30 who carried a school backpack is at risk for low brain oxygen. “My own research indicates that this can lead to lower salaries, missed promotion opportunities, and mood fluctuations. However, it is possible to reverse the damage in both children and adults.”

In an interview, he can explain:

  • The relationship between carrying a backpack and chest tightness and what other common activities can also negatively impact brain function.
  • Why lower brain oxygen persists long after backpacks are no longer being carried.
  • The link between brain oxygen and obesity, diabetes and even school shootings.
  • How to tell if your child suffers from a lack of brain oxygen and what to do about it if he they do.
  • How one college student who was put on Ritalin when young went from a C-plus student to straight A’s

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