What are sternum straps? (29 characters)

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Sternum straps keep shoulder straps in place during impact and prevent slipping. They are commonly used in racing seat belts and backpacks for exercising or backpacking. They are made of strong nylon webbing and can be adjusted for proper positioning.

Sternum straps are any type of material that connects two shoulder straps of a backpack, harness, or seatbelt system across the sternum. The purpose of the sternum straps is to keep the shoulder straps in place especially during impact and to ensure they do not slip off the shoulder at any point. The sternum strap on a backpack also helps keep the shoulder straps in place for comfort while the backpack is loaded. These pieces of material are usually not load-bearing straps, although they will be rated for load in the event of an impact.

One of the common applications of sternum straps is a connecting piece on racing seat belts. Car racers are often strapped into the car seat using a lap belt and shoulder belts, as the driver is likely to experience pulling forces during acceleration, deceleration and cornering. In this application, the sternum straps will be used to keep the shoulder straps from shifting during cornering, acceleration and deceleration. Preventing shoulder strap movement also prevents limited arm mobility, as the rider will need to have his arms free during the entire duration of the race.

Backpacks worn while exercising will have a tendency to shift and all straps included with the backpack will be positioned to prevent such movement. Backpacks used for backpacking tend to be much larger than other backpacks and will feature two shoulder straps and a waist strap. The sternum straps in this case will be mounted on the shoulder straps and the sternum strap is usually connected via a buckle system. This allows the user to take off the pack quickly and easily when needed; it also allows the user to adjust the belt tension. Wearing the strap too loose can allow the shoulder straps to move out of position, and wearing it too tight can cause neck and shoulder discomfort.

Most sternum straps are made with a strong nylon webbing that resists stretching. Harnesses usually use nylon webbing that is rated to support a load, while backpack sternum straps can be made of lighter and thinner nylon. The straps are connected to the shoulder straps using a plastic or metal buckle in many cases and the straps can be adjusted up or down so that they can be positioned correctly over the person’s breastbone.

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