A Purdue University student has a solution for those who say that backpacks cause back pain: a massaging backpack.
“I designed the backpack massager in a way where it would hit your back in six different pressure points to stimulate blood flow and release stress in those areas,” said Pranay Parekh, a Purdue junior in the School of Industrial Engineering. “When the massagers stimulate the blood flow, it takes the weight of the bag off your shoulders and back.”
The American Chiropractic Association reports that the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor to a disturbing trend of young children suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations.
Parekh began researching the technology for the backpack while he was still in high school after reading in an article that students are carrying 40 percent of their weight in their bags. According to Kids Health, it is generally recommended that students don’t carry more than 10 percent of their body weight in backpacks.
Parekh recognized it was a problem that affected him and his peers, so he put his entrepreneurial spirit to work. With a built-in massager, called EUME, the backpack aids in reducing back and shoulder pain because it massages both areas while the user is wearing the backpack.
“EUME comes with a range of features, including adjustability for people of different heights and postures so that massagers can be perfectly placed at pressure points,” Parekh said. “And the backpack is waterproof, includes a phone charger, has various interior organizational compartments and security pockets.”
The backpack is made with the reflective exterior material, so cyclists and pedestrians are more easily visible to drivers at night because the car light illuminates the bag. EUME comes in three variants — the classic pack, daily backpack and travel pack.
Through a recent Kickstarter campaign, Parekh was able to get an idea of how potential customers in the U.S. market would react to his product. Parekh will continue to work on developing and expanding EUME even after he graduates from Purdue in 2019, and is already in talks with distributors to sell his bags around the country.