backpack vacuums back pain

Backpack Vacuums Not Back Pain Vacuums

Don’t Backpack Vacuums Hurt Your Back?

When asked this question, I always have to laugh and tell my soon to be famous story of the lady that worked for me cleaning offices and her experience with backpack vacuums. She was constantly having back and arm pain.

Each day she would groan when she would stand up and say “Oh! My back is killing me!” One day I asked if she had every tried a backpack vacuum. Well you would have thought that I had asked her to move an entire room of file cabinets. She said there was no way that her back would be able to withstand an entire shift with “that thing” on her back.

Well the next night I brought one in with me and made her a deal. If she would try it for an hour, I would clean her restrooms for her that night. Well she kept it on the rest of the shift and was mad when I didn’t bring it the next night. She said that she had slept better than she had in years, was not sore and her arm didn’t hurt.

Vacuuming with an upright vacuum causes you to twist in an unnatural way. Add in the weight and strain on your arm, and it’s no wonder custodian and housekeepers have a much higher occurrence of back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Backpack Vacuums Are Comfortable!

Backpack vacuums are designed so that the weight of the machine is supported by your shoulders and hips, right where our bodies are supposed to carry weight, not extended from our arms. Most problems users have are a result of the backpack vacuums adjustments not being set properly for their specific needs. By following the manufactures directions, they should me so comfortable, you almost forget you are wearing it.

I truly think the only reason more custodians don’t use them is that they have never been shown how to properly use backpack vacuums. Make sure to try a couple of models and styles and take time to fit it for comfort. Your back and arms will thank you!


6 replies
  1. Mark
    Mark says:

    “One day I asked if she had every tried ;a backpack vacuum.”
    How about, “One day I asked if she had ever tried a backpack vacuum.” ?

      • Lori
        Lori says:

        I’m a custodian and I started a new job that requires me to use a backpack vacuum.I worked with it for one hour and I never have back pain and my back bothered me for two days ! I’m a a very active person who is in great shape and I work out on a regular basis. I don’t think these are a good idea or maybe I’m just too petit !

        • BaldGuyClean
          BaldGuyClean says:

          Hi Lori. It could be that it is just not fitting you correctly. Most of the weight should rest on your hips via the waist belt, rather than on the shoulder straps. If it does not have a waist belt, or it is not fitting properly, you may have some issues. Hope it works out for you!


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