Is Your Bag Weighing You Down?

Along with your everyday necessities, your bag could be carrying a serious potential for injury.

Throw it all in a bag and go – that’s the last minute decision that most people with hectic schedules make on their way out the door. But the granola bars, extra jacket, gym shoes, and second water bottle that you packed – because you always seem to misplace your first water bottle – could result in body aches, headaches, and back and neck pain.

Prevent Bag-Related Injury

The weight of your overstuffed bag can strain your muscles, tendons, and nerves while the shift in posture that you need to make to compensate for the extra load on one side of your body can lead to scoliosis, tension headaches, osteoarthritis, and muscle strain in the upper back and neck. The following tips can help you stay bag-equipped without the injuries.

Switch Sides

Carrying your bag on the same side of your body all the time can lead to muscle fatigue and permanent posture defects. Prevent this by switching sides every few minutes.

Maintain Proper Posture

Your oversized bag may be causing you to hunch forward or back. Maintaining proper posture could prevent back and neck injuries. Keep your weight centered over your feet while engaging your abs. Pull your shoulder blades down and back.

Use Your Shoulder, Not Your Elbow

Many people carry their bags in the crook of their arms, where their elbow meets their forearm. This position strains your elbow and can lead to injuries including tendonitis. To avoid this, carry your bag on your shoulder instead of your elbow.

Organize And Clean

How many expired coupons are lurking in your wallet? Are there any old keys on your keychain that you don’t use anymore? How much change is swimming at the bottom of your bag? Take some time, at least once a week, to organize your bag and remove anything you don’t need that is increasing the weight of your load.

Choose The Right Bag

The design of your bag can actually have a significant effect on your potential for injury. Choose a bag without hefty adornments like buckles, studs, and extra belts. A simpler style will quickly decrease the weight of your bag. Although narrow straps may be trendy, the thinness of the strap concentrates the amount of force placed on your shoulder. Look for a bag with a thicker strap, at least two inches wide, to help disperse weight evenly. Leather can be a heavy material. Go for a bag made from a lightweight material like nylon or cotton. Finally, try a bag with back straps. Backpacks are said to distribute weight more effectively than purses and totes.

Have you ever weighed your bag? How much did it weigh? What item is always in your bag? Tell us in a comment below.