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Christmas Shopping - A Pain in the Neck?
29th November 2013
Christmas is not far away, so make sure you look after yourself while carrying all those bags! Whether it be food shopping, presents or even your everyday handbag, chiropractor Dr Fiona Webb has some advice to keep you in top condition during the busy Christmas period.
“The lighter you keep your bags the better,” says Dr Webb, “especially if it’s a bag you have to carry about all day. Check the contents of your bag each day and only carry those items you need for the day ahead – it is surprising how many people carry unnecessary weight in their bags.”
Large handbags can be a fashion must but they can pose a risk to posture and could potentially cause or contribute to back problems. Large bags can weigh up to 3kgs before anything gets put in it and this only gets worse as the user loads it up. Also, a larger bag is more unwieldy and more difficult to deal with. Heavy big bags can cause neck and shoulder strain as well as the long term effects on posture.
Essential advice: Keep it light
• There is no ‘maximum’ weight that a bag should weigh, as it all depends on the size and strength of the person and the style of bag used. Bags that distribute weight more evenly across the back will put less strain on the body, so something like a rucksack is always best.
• If using a single strap bag/briefcase, buy one with a longer strap, so you can wear it close to you with the strap over one shoulder and the bag or case under the other arm. Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed.
• Avoid holding a bag with long straps high up in the crook of your arm or down towards your knees as this will put an uneven load on your body.
• If you use a wheeled mini case, push it instead of pulling as this puts less strain on your back. Make sure the handle extends long enough to prevent you from stooping.
• When it comes to carrier bags it is better to carry two bags, one in each hand to distribute the weight more evenly.