Event Ideas: Young Adults and Adults
The American Occupational Therapy Association’s National School Backpack Awareness Day™ is an annual nationwide event taking place the third Wednesday of September.
Through activities such as weigh-ins and ergonomics workshops, students, parents, educators, schools, and communities are empowered to make positive choices and encouraged to recognize the relationship between their actions and their health. The day of activities highlights a range of benefits offered by occupational therapy practitioners and services. Below are some ideas for promoting Backpack Awareness Day to young adults and adults.
Remember: A backpack or bag should not exceed 10% of the person’s weight.
College and University Students
Core Message: You are not indestructible: Avoid potential injuries that can be directly caused by overpacking or improperly using backpacks.
- Provide relevant information that can easily be implemented into young adults’ daily lives in a quick and concise manner.
- Consult with students about how they are drawn to events and advertise in that manner. Use campus resources, including radio stations, Web sites, and school papers that can assist in reaching a larger group of people. Use Facebook and Twitter, and establish a fan or group page for them to follow.
- Participate in student wellness fairs that promote healthy packing in campus fitness centers, dorms, and student unions.
- Use a chart with body weights and the suggested backpack weight rather than a scale.
- Partner with local stores for discounts if students attend events promoting back protection awareness.
Core Message: Alleviating discomfort associated with inappropriate selecting and packing of bags will allow increased participation in meaningful activities and greater ability to fulfill social and familial obligations.
Motivate adults to change by showing them how to alleviate discomfort and increase participation.
Host an adult Backpack Awareness Day event at an office, local mall, or gym; write an article for a community publication; or approach local radio and TV stations about a story on adult backpack, bag, and purse weight and use.
Share backpack information with parents, teachers, and other adults when promoting a weigh-in for children.
Provide pediatricians with information about packing diaper bags to distribute to new mothers. Provide outreach to other professions in the health care industry by distributing back protection pamphlets in hospital waiting rooms and physicians’ offices.
Partner with airlines or luggage companies to distribute information online or in brochures about proper packing. Host office events dedicated to back protection awareness and ergonomics (both in and out of the office).