Bags & Back Health

January 11, 2018

Somehow the bags we carry seem to accumulate items deep within their pockets no matter how frequently we clean them out. As the notebooks, travel umbrellas, and hand sanitizers pile up so do the pounds we’re lugging around. Carrying bags that are too heavy can result in muscle and joint strain and chronic pain.

Whether you are toting a bag full of school books, work files, diapers, or simply to run errands, keep these carrying strategies in mind when selecting a bag. Your spine, neck, and back will thank you!

  • Small – Try to use a small bag to limit the amount of objects you’re carrying. You might be surprised how much your daily bag weighs. Drop it on the scale and find out. Ideally, you should only be carrying about 10% or less of your body weight. If you’re over that mark, do your best to trim down to just the necessities.
  • Symmetrical – When weight is evenly distributed across your body it minimizes the amount of unequal force on your spine which can result in improper curvature, muscle tension, and pain. When possible, opt for a cross-body messenger bag or backpack with thick straps.
  • Switch Sides – When you have to carry a single strap or shoulder bag, make sure you are frequently switching the side you are carrying it on. Also try to rotate between holding in on your shoulder and in your hand. By switching sides you can decrease strain to just one set of muscles.

Learn more about the various programs available to help you maintain your active lifestyle.