Category Archives: Posture

Top 6 ‘Bag’ Do’s and Don’ts

Top 6 ‘Bag’ Do’s and Don’ts




Now we might be talking about ‘Back to School’ here, but all of the advice is just as relevant for finding that bag to take your laptop or your essential presentation to work. So, read on…


Well we’re nearing the end of the Summer holidays (it always comes WAY too quickly!) and minds are turning to what it needed to return the kids to school:

– Uniform

– Shoes

– Books

– Stationery

– Gym kit

And something to put it in…

– A Bag


In my day (a little while ago, now) it was fashionable to have your bag on ONE shoulder.  Especially if it was rucksack.  Nowadays kids (I think) or maybe their parents, are much more aware of what that does to their darlings’ body.  So, I’m probably ‘preaching to the converted’.  But just in case:



How NOT to carry your bag

How many things are you/they guilty of?


[1]  Carrying too much.

Your bag should be no more than 10% of your bodyweight.  15% for a child is likely to damage their spine and is likely to result in disc injuries later in life.


[2]  Never emptying your bag / Carrying EVERYTHING with you ALL the time.

We’ve all been there and been caught out with something we needed but didn’t take.  But carrying everything is harming your spine.  Try to be a little more thoughtful about what you carry each day.


[3]  Putting heavy things at the top.

You’ll find it much easier if you put the heavier items at the bottom of your bag.


[4]  Wearing a bag on one shoulder.

Your body likes to be symmetrical (it’s not, quite, but it likes to be).  By putting weight on one side, your body has to compensate and it uses different muscles on each side.  Keep things as balanced as you can.  You’ll be grateful for the small adaptation as you get older.


[5]  Always carrying on the same side.

Sometimes, things are going to be uneven, I’ll give you that.  But even now you can treat both sides of your body the same.  Simply swap sides half way.   Or one way on the right.  One way on the left.

illustration showing neck pain when carrying all the bags in one hand. But happy when evenly balanced
Always carry evenly by using more than one bag


[6]  Carrying just ONE heavy bag.

This is more for carrier bags.  It’s tempting to put as much as you can into as few bags as possible.  But carrying one heavy bag strains your body as much as wearing a bag on one shoulder.  In this instance evenly split the contents between 2 bags.  And carry one in each hand.



What Kind of Bag Should I use?

The ideal bag is one that carries everything you need close to your body [1].  Keeping the weight distributed symmetrically on both sides of your body [2].  This helps you keep the best posture and keep wear and tear at bay.


A man carries a 'man-bag' across his chest
A long strap ACROSS your body is the second best way to wear your bag

The SECOND Best Bag 

The 2nd best bag to have is one with a long strap.  This way you can put the bag diagonally across you [3].

The weight is still mainly on one shoulder, but it does mean that your spine will remain straighter as the weight is on the opposite side.

I’d still recommend swapping shoulders [4], just to keep you even and symmetrical, though.



The Best Bag

…  would have to be a rucksack, 100% [5].

'Grandad' out walking wearing a rucksack (bag) with a chest strap
A Chest Strap on a rucksack can help your posture

One that comfortably goes over both shoulders with the weight the same on both shoulders.  In my experience this isn’t the easiest thing to get ‘right’.  But when you do, it’s nearly magical!

It shouldn’t sit too high (it’ll make you top heavy and can even push your head forward).  Nor too low (you’ll round your shoulders to keep it in place) [6].

A chest strap is great, as it helps to keep your shoulders back (and ‘square’).  Although, as a female I’ve yet to find one that sits comfortably.



So, how does that make you feel about the bag your using?  Sometimes you just need to use it differently.  Other times you need to buy a better one!


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