AOTA's National School Backpack Awareness Day: Sept. 16, 2015

AOTA's National School Backpack Awareness Day!September 16, 2015 is our annual School Backpack Awareness Day! 

Join AOTA and occupational therapy practitioners, educators, and students across the country as we help others Live Life To Its Fullest by avoiding the pain and injury that can come from heavy backpacks and bags. Students, parents, educators, school administrators, and community members will learn safety tips to stay protected from back pain throughout life. You have the chance to help by organizing local events and educating people of all ages about proper bag usage. Teach others how to properly choose, pack, lift, and carry various types of bags—including backpacks, purses, briefcases, and suitcases. 

We celebrate American Occupational Therapy Association’s National School Backpack Awareness Day annually on the third Wednesday of each September. 

Get Involved

If you are a holding an event on September 16, 2015, we offer event planning tips and strategies. Please share photos, links to media articles, and write-ups of your event on OT Connections or by emailing

Spread the Word

Have an idea that you want to share with others, or get advice on how to host your own Backpack Day event? Visit the Backpack Forum on OT ConnectionsListen to the recording of Dr. Karen Jacobs' pediatric virtual chat on backpack awareness (look for the episode from September 13, 2011). Consumers: Read our tips on packing and carrying bags and backpacks

Educating students and parents is key to preventing musculoskeletal conditions that can last into adulthood. Want to hold an activity or event for AOTA’s National School Backpack Awareness Day (September 16, 2015) and unsure where to start? Join Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA for a live chat at 9 p.m. ET September 3. Gain ideas, learn about resources, and ask questions to help you prepare for Backpack Day. 

Contact AOTA Media Relations

If you are a member of the media looking for backpack research and ergonomic tips, view our 2015 press release with backpack shopping tips or contact AOTA's Media Relations Manager Katie Riley at or 301-652-6611 x2963.