How to Stop Your Bag From Hurting Your Shoulder/Back

What’s in your bag right now? Most women will have things like keys, a cell phone, tissue, a cosmetics bag, a wallet and maybe a small umbrella. Some of us also have tablets or e-readers, notebooks, a hairbrush and gel, snacks, ballet flats, receipts from a week ago . . .

It can get crazy! And the bigger the bag is, the more we tend to throw in “just in case”.  I totally get being prepared for any eventuality but lugging around all that stuff can hard on our shoulders, neck and back.

You can minimise that stress though, starting with a quick audit of the contents. If there’s anything that you’ve never actually had to use, leave it at home or in your drawer at work.

What's in your bag?

Once you’re down to the necessities, here’s what to do going forward.

1. Switch from one shoulder to the other sometimes. (Yes, I know it can feel almost as weird as writing with your other hand.)

2.Choose wider straps which distribute the weight better.

3. Buy lighter bags. No matter how cute it is, how much it’s discounted by, if it’s heavy when it’s empty, leave it in the store. Look out for chains and other metal embellishments which can add weight.

4. Place the items in different pockets and sections so the weight is evenly distributed throughout the bag.

5. Look for smaller bags with several sections so your things can be organized without you having to go overboard.

Sound off in the comments about what you never leave home without.

*This post was originally published on May 31, 2013 and updated May 12, 2016.*

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