Bags That Are Easy On the Back

childrens backpack back painBack pain can be caused by fashion bags and backpacks 

Some women are willing to go to great lengths in the name of fashion, but chronic back or neck pain shouldn’t be one of them. Especially since there are so many bag styles today that can help relieve back tension caused by certain bag shapes and weight.

The American Chiropractic Association suggests that women carry bags or purses that weigh no more than 10% of their body weight. For example a 140 lb woman should carry a bag no heavier than 14 lbs.

Some of you may read that and think how could someone possibly have 14 lbs. of stuff in their purse. More and more women everyday are becoming victims of the Mary Poppins bag crisis.

The time has come to become informed about what types of bags we should carry as well as sort through our purses and make the tough decision of what really needs to stay.

Bag Styles to Avoid:

  • Long-Strapped Shoulder Bags: Though the thought of carrying a fashionable purse while remaining hands free is extremely appealing, it has no benefit on your back. These bags tug you to one side and unevenly distribute the weight of your purse on your body.
  • Wide Purses: A wide bag placed on your shoulder will cause your arm to stick out rather than staying comfortably at your side. Not only does this look awkward it’s also hazardous to your spine.
  • Slouchy Over-sized Bags: Over-sized bags are not born evil; it’s how we treat them that will determine if they are good or bad. However slouchy bags offer no support and for those of us with little self-control an oversized bag is too much of a temptation.

Bag Buying Tips:

  • Purchase small to medium sized over the shoulder bags that you can tuck under your arm.
  • Over the shoulder bags should rest as close to your middle as possible. On average you want it to hit at about your waist, if you are petite however you want the purse to fall more at your chest level.
  • Structure, Structure, Structure! If a purse lacks structure your items will constantly be shifting around causing your balance to be continually thrown off. An over-sized bag can work as long as it has a firm base and shape. Inner compartments are also girls best organizational as well as back tension relieving friend.
  • Look for bags made of soft, lightweight material. You can carry a lot more when you start with an empty purse that weighs 1 pound as opposed to an empty purse that weighs 5 pounds.
  • Try bags with thicker straps that will comfortably lay over your forearm.
  • Carry a stiff smaller purse in your hand.
  • When carrying heavier items such as laptops or large books you should place them in a low riding backpack. Our lower lumbar vertebrae are large bones intended to bear more weight than the neck and upper back.

If carrying a bag weighing less than 10% of your body weight is not an option for you it is advised that you at least regularly switch the side of your body holding the bag. It also helps to distribute the weight more evenly if you can position the bag more towards your center as opposed to placing all the weight on just one side.

Comment below to let us know how these tips worked for you!


photo by wtl photography

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