Best Bag for Your Shoulders
March 14, 2014
As much as you might adore that slick designer bag or convenient briefcase, the things that we carry every day can weigh heavily on our shoulders. Many bags are designed with style in mind and actual function can take a back seat. Everything from the size of the bag itself to the thickness and fit of the straps can have an effect on your body. An ill-fitting bag can cause back and shoulder pain, especially if carried every day.
It’s not only the design of your bag itself that might be causing discomfort, but also the way that you use it. Certain types of bags are not meant to be filled so heavily and yet it’s very tempting to cram our entire lives into a single, oversized receptacle. Making sure that you’re using and wearing your bag correctly and not overstuffing it, can go a long way towards relieving back and shoulder pain too.
No matter what kind of bag you carry, make sure that you pack as efficiently as possible. Heavy objects should be placed closer to the bottom of the bag, and the weight should be distributed as evenly as possible. Take regular stock of what you’re carrying with you, so that you don’t take any extra heavy objects unnecessarily.
Keep It Close
The closer a bag is to your body, the easier it will be to carry. When a heavy bag swings away from your core as you walk, it attempts to pull you off balance, something your muscles have to work to constantly correct. Keeping your bag close to your body minimizes this effect. Using shorter straps, adjusting them to fit snugly, and choosing a bag that sits next to your body will all help.
Know What You Can Handle
The general rule is that you should not carry any more than ten percent of your body weight around with you. For someone who weighs 150 lbs that means your bag can be no more than 15 lbs. If you need to carry more, switching to an ergonomic backpack is your best choice.
Say No To The Slouch
Big, loose bags with no structure can be especially bad for your back because the objects inside shift constantly and it’s difficult to keep everything in place. A bag with heavier construction, and many pockets that are well organized, will keep the load evenly distributed.
Don’t Go Too Big
It can be tempting to choose a large, seemingly practical bag, but with all that space available, you will tend to fill it up. Instead, pick a bag that suits your needs but doesn’t have very much extra space.
Carry with Care
If you wear a messenger bag that goes across your body, make sure that you alternate which side you carry it on, so that you don’t pull your posture to the side too much. The same goes for any shoulder bag. If you carry a purse in your hand, switch which side you carry it on, too.
Soften Your Straps
Wider, padded straps will be easier on your shoulders and allow your body to take the weight of your bag more evenly.
With more and more people finding their bags essentially becoming mobile offices, carrying around heavy laptops and documents as well as personal items, choosing the right one is very important. Taking the time to choose a bag that suits your body and your needs can save you a load of pain and soreness. Even if you can’t lighten your daily load, you can make it a lot easier to handle!
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