How Heavy Is Your Bag?

Have you weighed the bag you carry to work everyday? In the early morning hurry, we tend to dump all our stuff in the bag—whether we need it or not. Either that, or, we have this unexplained fear we might run out of something and so it’s better to carry it all. Just how heavy is your bag?

How Heavy is Your Bag?

What’s in your bag right now?

If you do take a peek in your bag right now, you might find all sorts of stuff in there that one might need during the span of an entire day.

There will be:

  • Money
  • Credit cards
  • House keys
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • an ipad or a tab
  • A magazine/newspaper/book/Kindle
  • A makeup pouch
  • Toiletries
  • Sanitary pads
  • A scarf/sun glasses/hat/stole
  • Something to munch on
  • A bottle of water
  • And, some bags for shopping

Apart from these, there might be other odds and ends that, you think, you might need…just in case of an emergency, isn’t it?

We women tend to throw in all of these articles, and some more, in our shoulder bags with least regard to our shoulders for all the pain they are subjected to.

How your bag can harm your health:

Not only our shoulders, but our neck, our back and also our posture suffers because of the heavy load.

We usually have a stronger side that tends to carry the load, more than the other one. For me, I prefer carrying my bag on my right shoulder. And, it’s only when I start experiencing a pain, I shift my bag to the other shoulder.

So, carrying a heavy bag also makes us bend to one side. Now, imagine yourself walking with a heavy bag, bending slightly to one side. Can you visualize your posture? Your spine, which needs to be erect always, curves to a side because of the weight on the shoulder.

Our neck, too, suffers from a pain that, often, travels up to our head. So, what do you have there? A pain in the neck and an aching head, that’s what!

Your shoulder muscles, too, feel the burden and suffer from pain and stiffness. Try rotating your shoulders clockwise and anti-clockwise and you will instantly know the spots that feel sore.

Or view here

What’s the solution? How to avoid a heavy bag?

First of all, remove all the things from your bag and lay them on the table, in front of you.

Now, make two sets:

  1. One that consists of things that you really need.
  2. One that consists of things that you can do without.

In short, de-clutter.

Each time you feel like adding an item from the pile B to the pile A, think of your shoulders, neck and back, and then decide whether you, indeed, should add it or subtract it.

Divide the items that you need in two piles and bring out an additional bag to carry the necessary items. This way, you will be carrying two bags on either side and the weight will be evenly distributed. This will, in turn, improve your posture as you won’t be bending on either side and your spine will be erect.

Switch to smaller, lighter bags.

Store your stuff in different pouches:

Stationary, makeup, essentials, currency—place all of these in separate pouches that makes it easy to find the thing you need. This does not change the weight of the bag but only makes your bag well organized.

De-clutter your bags every weekend. You never know the amount of stuff you tend to dump in there, mindlessly!

And, do workout the neck, shoulders and back, regularly. Your tired muscles need it.

Owning huge, stylish totes may be an obsession, but one also needs to take one’s health into consideration, lest one has to pay for it!

Take care!

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Shilpa Gupte is a health and wellness blogger at Metanoia. Through her posts she tries to spread awareness about mental health and the need to speak openly about it, as well as women's health and the importance of self-care. She also writes on food through healthy recipes and her posts on nutrition. She finds comfort in books and art and her pets provide her with endless entertainment and insights on Life.

9 Comments on “How Heavy Is Your Bag?

  1. Just saw this on Twitter via Debbie – this is completely true and I have been worried about all the years I carried a heavy camera bag on my left shoulder – it really did cause me problems. I ended up getting one to strap round my waist but that wasn’t ideal either. I quite often use a backpack now to distribute the weight better. Thanks for this – hopefully it will help people figure out their ‘stuff’ is giving them head, shoulder and neck pain.

    1. A backpack is really the best thing to use when carrying a heavy load.
      And, usually, it’s only after years of torturing ourselves do we realise the way we have been harming our body. I too hope people realise before it’s too late and make changes in their lifestyle.
      Thank you for sharing your experience, Gilly!

  2. I love huge totes, and there was a time when the husband would joke that I could probably find anything I’d ever need in there! I still love huge totes, but I now buy lighter bags and declutter pretty regularly. Which reminds me, another bag declutter is due!

    1. Ha ha..My colleague would always ask me if I had a burger or two in my bag! I’m very much of a ‘just-in-case’ types. Now I follow Shilpa’s advice of having smaller pouches for organization and carry a lighter bag too!

    2. I too love totes, but my big totes has two small pouches that hold my stuff and what a relief that is! I too wonder why we women carry our entire world in our bag! 🙂
      Thanks for reading, Shinjini!

  3. I loved this post. I used to carry a heavy bag but with my back issues, I decluttered and now it’s manageable. I agree that the lighter we move, the better.

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