AOTA's National School Backpack Awareness Day

On the third Wednesday of each September, we celebrate the American Occupational Therapy Association’s National School Backpack Awareness Day! Join AOTA and occupational therapy practitioners, educators, and students across the country on September 17, 2014, 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. Check out the event planning tips and strategies available below.

If you are a consumer, click here for tips on packing and carrying bags and backpacks.

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 Connections.

If you are a member of the media looking for backpack research and ergonomic tips, please contact AOTA's Media Relations Manager Katie Riley at or 301-652-6611 x2963. Click here to view our press release about AOTA's National Backpack Awareness Day.

Listen to the recording of Dr. Karen Jacobs' pediatric virtual chat on backpack awareness (look for the episode from September 13, 2011).