Thursday, December 07, 2006
Bag Aches
The New York Times has a pretty interesting article about the increase in back problems caused by the recent trend of carrying oversized handbags - Ouch, My Bag Is Killing Me.

"In the last few years, bags have become ever more voluminous, and as women have fallen sway to their chunky charms, they have filled them up with necessities. These days many women are as burdened as mail carriers."

I think this is especially relevant to college girls, because I feel like many of us have gladly embraced the oversized bag trend -- finally, we can be stylish around campus and still have all our paraphernelia with us! And the fact that the fashion world finally validates large bags means we probably carry around a lot more than we really need to. I certainly can't remember the last time I actually cleared stuff out of any of my handbags!

This can cause back, shoulder and neck aches as well as headaches. So maybe late nights at the library aren't the only cause of your headaches. It's kind of nice to have something else to blame, isn't it?

"A common side effect is that one shoulder becomes slightly higher than the other. A lot of women talk on their cellphones while they’re carrying these bags, which only intensifies the problem, because in addition to balancing too much weight on one side, they’re lifting the shoulder at the same time."

- Clean out your purse once a week.
- Use all the pockets so that the weight is distributed evenly within the bag.
- Keep the bulk of the purse towards the centre of the body.
- Rest the straps close to your neck.
- Instead of always carrying your bag on one shoulder, try alternating between shoulders.
- Many women have a habit of unconsciously lifting the shoulder that has the purse on it to keep the straps from slipping, so make an effort to square your shoulders.
- Or carry the bag in front of you. “It’s not exactly glamorous, but if at the end of a long day you find your shoulders aching, slip the bag off and carry it in front of your body with both arms like it’s an infant.”

And if you can afford the time and money, get a massage every so often.

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