How far the average Malvern student walks and the weight he carries


Distance Between Buildings / M. Pichola

Tommy Pero

It’s no secret that Malvern students have to walk from class to class everyday, and those small walks add up.

Distance Between Buildings / M. Pichola
Distance Between Buildings / M. Pichola


In one word, Mike Bradley ’17 described Malvern’s Campus as, “big.” Regardless of what Malvern students think about the size of the campus, they still have to walk around it everyday. But exactly how far?

According to Malvern’s website, the campus is a total of 103 acres. Comparatively, Georgetown University’s campus is 104 acres, according to their websites.

Additionally, the borough of malvern has a total of 768 acres, according to Director of Finance and Facilities Mr. Ted Caniglia. This means Malvern Prep is 13.4% of the entire borough of Malvern.

However, not all of the acreage is where the academic buildings are, or where a student would walk over the course of a normal school day.

Even accounting only for the distance between buildings, Malvern’s campus still stretches larger than some area schools.

West Chester East is .14 miles across at its widest part. The Haverford School is .13 miles from the two furthest buildings. Comparatively, Malvern’s campus is about a quarter of a mile miles across the widest part of the ring road.

Something different about Malvern’s campus that separates it from some other schools is that there are multiple buildings and they are spaced out. Malvern students can walk anywhere from .02 to .1 miles getting from one class to another.

Throughout an entire day, those hundredths and tenths of miles add up.

Through an eight day cycle on the current schedule, the distance a student walks every day at school was monitored. Overall, the student followed a standard sophomore schedule regarding location; theology, language, history, and english classes in Carney, a science in Sullivan, an arts class in Duffy, a math class in Tolentine, and study hall mostly in Stuart.

The average distance across the eight day cycle was 2.235 miles per day. The eight day high was 3.81, while the low was 1.7 miles.

Additionally, the average flights of stairs climbed over the same cycle was 10 flights. One flight of stairs is defined as an elevation gain of 10 feet through steps.

While Malvern students are walking just under two and a quarter miles and 10 flights of stairs a day, they are often doing it while carrying a heavy backpack.

Backpacks range in style as much as they do in weight— from a freshmen in a Swiss Army bag carrying all his books, to a senior with a backpack that looks like Yoda carrying only a copy book.

To find out how much the average backpack ways, we weighed 40 backpacks, 10 from each of the Upper School grades.

The average backpack weight for the freshman was 19.96 pounds, for sophomores was 24.05 pounds, for juniors was 19.24 pounds, and for seniors was 18.57 pounds.

The average across all four grades was 20.445 pounds. The heaviest backpack came from a sophomore weighing in at 35.9 pounds. Naturally, the low came in from the senior with the Yoda backpack which was only 3.9 pounds.

The infamous Norton Anthology of British Literature used for Honors British Literature, weighed in at 4.2 pounds, justifying its nickname: “The Brick”. Just that single book weighs more than the lightest backpack measured. Thanks to the Honors British Literature teacher, Mr. Roper, Malvern juniors can get stronger mentally and physically.

However, there could be a risk to carrying around a backpack weighing twenty or more pounds everyday. School Nurse Mrs. Catherine McGettigan stressed that a backpack that is too heavy can cause physical problems. She said, “from the Demorse hospital: ‘most doctors and physical therapists recommend that kids carry no more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight.’”

If this 15% proportion is to be followed, the weight of the average student should not be below approximately 135 pounds.