Maintaining good posture is an important step in preventing back pain. When performing everyday tasks such as carrying a bag, there is some simple advice that you can follow to promote a better posture and help reduce the risk of developing back pain.

When out shopping, it is much better to carry two bags, one in each hand. This distributes the weight evenly across the body. If you prefer to use a wheeled trolley-style shopping bag, then push it in front of you instead of pulling it behind you as this puts less strain on your back. Make sure the handle is at the correct height to prevent you from hunching over.

It’s always better to use a smaller bag if possible, they weigh less and you’ll be less tempted to overstuff it. According to the British Chiropractic Association, the average weight of a large bag, before putting anything inside it is 3kg. So as you start to fill it up, it will only get heavier. Larger bags can also be difficult to handle, cause neck and shoulder strain and have a long-term effect on posture.

If you have to carry a large bag about all day, as part of your job or for another reason, then the lighter you can keep it, the better. Check the content of your bag each day and make sure that you will only be carrying the items that you need for that day, anything else is just unnecessary weight. However, the optimal size and weight are all down to the individual and what you are capable of carrying comfortably.

When it comes to the style of bag, one that distributes the weight evenly across the back, like a rucksack, will put less strain on the body. If you are carrying a laptop for instance, then a rucksack is ideal. You should carry it on both shoulders with the straps adjusted so that it is as close to your back as possible. 

If you prefer to use a briefcase-style or single-strap bag, then get one with a long strap that you can wear over one shoulder with the bag under your other arm. Try to keep your shoulders as relaxed as possible. Do not carry the weight of your bag under your arms and do not let your bag swing around the knees. These are both ways of putting an uneven load on your body, which can damage your posture.

The same advice is applicable to children and school bags. There are two types of school bags that are recommended for children to maintain good posture. These are single-strap bags with a wide padded adjustable strap that can be worn over one shoulder and across the body. The second recommendation is a rucksack with two wide padded adjustable straps, worn on both shoulders. Children must also only pack essential items in their school bag, with the weight distributed evenly and heavier items on top, so that the shoulders are not pulled backwards.

Are you suffering from back pain caused by bad posture due to carrying a bag? You can find out about the chiropractic services available at Backworks by calling us now on 01702 342329, we also offer online chiropractic consultations.