Could Heavy Backpacks Carried by 91 Million Students Lead to Poorer Grades?

TIBURON, Calif., Aug. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ 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, Prichardcites a 2013 study in the May-August 2013 issue of 2013International 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

Credentials: Bob Prichard is president of Somax Performance Institute, a company that has been improving the efficiency of athletes for 48 years; their athletes have won 44 Gold Medals and set 11 World Records. Prichard has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest and other magazines and has written dozens of articles himself. He holds two U.S. patents. Are You Robbing Your Brain of Oxygen? will be his second book.

Contact: Bob Prichard, (415) 435-9880;,

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SOURCE Bob Prichard

Could Heavy Backpacks Carried by 91 Million Students Lead to Poorer Grades?

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