It may only be August but with September quickly approaching people are into back-to-school mode. You can’t go into a store without seeing signs that say “Back To School”. People are out buying pens, notebooks, new clothes and backpacks. With all the shopping that is being done it is worth stopping for a moment to think about what you’re buying and if it could hurt you or your child down the line.
While it is worthwhile when shopping for clothing to make sure to get well-fitting, good quality shoes, it is also at least equally important to pay attention to the type of bag you carry. There are a lot of different types of bags with pros and cons for each depending on your needs.
Messenger Bags – messenger bags are usually one large pocket with a long strap that is worn across the body. If there is not a lot of weight in the bag this can be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The problem with messenger bags comes when there is more weight in the bag or it is worn incorrectly on one shoulder. Both of these things tend to make you lean to one side. When holding that position for a length of time it can cause shoulder and neck pain, and even throw off your gait when you walk.
Backpacks – Backpacks are probably the most common book bag and one of the best for your overall posture. The important thing to keep in mind here is to wear it the way it was meant to be worn. It can be very easy to throw the bag over one shoulder but to get the advantage that this type of bag can offer make sure to use both straps.
Tote Bags – Tote bags are used more and more for bringing home groceries and not as much for school. Overall I see this as a good thing. Tote bags can only be worn on one shoulder or held in one hand. This can cause the same problem as messenger bags but often to the extreme as the weight is held entirely on one side of your body.
Whether you are carrying books in a bag or in your arms the best ways to do it is with your entire body. When picking out a bag for you or your child, make sure it is comfortable and that it’s not putting more weight on one side of your body then the other.
If you find you start having pain in your neck and shoulders it is worthwhile taking a look at how you’re holding your bag and what type of bag you carry. To prevent the pain from becoming chronic, schedule an appointment today or check out our library of posture assessment videos!