We have all seen children carrying colorful backpacks to school and the many businessmen and women carrying their laptops into work. These backpacks not only allow us to carry more, but they are also quite trendy. Yet many of us have to admit that, at the end of the day, we suffer from back pain and shoulder pain. While carrying a bag is a necessity for most of us, we can avoid problems like back pain by choosing the right bag.
Here are few important points to note when purchasing a bag:
First off is the size of the bag. Sometimes people purposely buy large bags so that they can carry more things, making it unnecessarily heavy. I have seen many school children carrying their videogames, comic books, and puzzles in their backpacks despite the fact that they will most likely not use these items on a daily basis. Similarly, women tend to carry makeup kits, umbrellas, sunscreen, nail files, etc. While men have a tendency to keep files, letters, and other documents in their bags for prolonged periods of time, as they forget to take them out. All these items put an unnecessary weight on our shoulders and back. The easiest way to avoid this is to purchase a bag, which only accommodates the things that are absolutely essential.
Second, make note of the way you are carrying your bag. For example, there are many bags that need to be strapped on one shoulder and carried sideways. These bags put pressure on the neck and shoulders when carried for stretches of 3 to 4 hours. In these bags, the entire weight of the bag is borne by one side of the body, whereas with more typical backpacks, the weight is equally borne by both the shoulders and back. So if you happen to have a side bag, try to change it from one side to the other at intervals.
Posture is also important when it comes to the method of carrying a bag. Even if you are carrying a typical backpack, if you are walking funny or leaning backward, it can put undue pressure on your back and shoulders. Moreover, using the wrong posture can affect other parts of the body and induce pain in back, neck, legs, and many joints.
The material or fabric of the bag is made of is also very important. Bags made up of polyester material are light weight, whereas those made up of thick cotton cloth are heavy.
Check your bag for a strap. Many children (especially girls) prefer sleek straps because they “look good”, but these sleek straps cannot properly support the bag if it is too heavy, and as a result the entire weight will be focused onto the back and shoulders. Bags with thick or cushioned straps help us carry our bag more comfortably. Similarly, the strap should not be overly tight, otherwise it can interrupt blood circulation. The majority of bags have adjustment clips that allow you to change the positioning of the straps so that you can carry your bag more comfortably.
In a specific study on this subject, it was observed that children and other young people, who carry 5.5 to 7 kg of weight in their bags every day, develop back pain and headache problems within 3 months of doing so. Thus, as per experts, we should not carry more than 1.5 kg of weight in our bags.