The dangers of carrying a heavy bag

Is it dangerous to carry a heavy bag on one shoulder for long periods of time?

One’s bag should not weigh more than 10% of one’s body weight.

According to the research done by American Chiropractic Association, it is dangerous to carry heavy bags on one shoulder. One’s bag should not weigh more than 10% of one’s body weight. As an alternative, the only solution to this problem is to split the items from one handbag to the other and balance the load by evenly distributing the load on both the shoulders. Due to a sharp rise in technology, the average weight of a handbag has increased from 1.5 kg to 3.5 kg in the past two decades, which is equal to the weight of a newborn baby.

Toting a heavy handbag can lead to serious injury, harming our shoulder muscle and lower back. When we carry an asymmetric load on one side of our shoulder, we tend to impact the trapezius muscle on the dominant side of our shoulder (the side we hang our bag). The trapezius is a muscle which helps in moving, rotating and stabilising the shoulder. The frequent use of heavy bags forces the muscle to become bigger. Due to the asymmetrical load on the dominant shoulder, muscles are forced to compensate for the weight of the bag on the body, thereby causing the spine to go into spasm.

How can we fix the damage?

• Reduce the weight of the handbag.

• It is important to opt for a bag which has a wider strap, as it will protect the delicate nerves which pass from the neck to the shoulders.

• It is important to switch your bag to the opposite shoulder every now and then while walking as it will balance the way your body carries weight and will develop muscles equally on each shoulder.

• It’s essential to do stretching, yoga and frequent exercises from time to time to strengthen the shoulder muscles.

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The dangers of carrying a heavy bag

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