What is the best bag for your back?
In these modern times it is becoming increasingly necessary to carry around more items than are good for the health of our backs. A smartphone (or two), an ipad or laptop, wallets full of change and credit cards, car keys, house keys, documents and a bottle of water add up to more weight than you think. Mothers with young children carry even more, tissues, baby wipes, drinks and healthy snacks, toys, books and often a change of clothing or two. The more we carry the bigger the bag we think we need, and the bigger the bag we have the more we put into it.
Irrelevant of the size of the bag you have, or want, the first thing you need to do to help your back is to take a long, hard look at what you carry around every day and try to decrease it. Don't use the same bag, or the same style of bag, day after day, spread the weight around by carrying it on different parts of your body each day.
A shoulder bag, obviously, puts more weight on one side of the body which will eventually affect the way you walk (your natural gait) which is determimed by the way your arms swing in balance with your stride. Once the balance of your body is thrown out the end result is usually back problems, especially as we all have a tendency to carry the bag on the same shoulder the majority of the time. When you carry a shoulder bag try to take the minimum amount with you and try to change it between both shoulders as often as you can.
A handbag is better than a shoulder bag if you have a bad back, but it is not as easy and convenient to carry. Again, if you take a handbag, change hands every time you think about it.
Messenger bags (which are designed so that the strap goes across you body) are much better but are often not as elegant as other styles of bag. Messenger bags are ideal for men as they are usually a good size, very plain and have a thick, comfortable strap.
Traditional cross-body bags are a good way to carry valuable belongings as they are right across the front of your body and difficult for anyone to get hold of except for you. They are also much better for your back as the bag is in the centre of your body and they tend to small compared to other styles. Obviously all cross-body bags are also able to be used as shoulder bags and some of them even have detachable straps so that they can be used as clutch bags.
and other cross-body bags.
By far the best type of bag for your back is a backpack, although if these are too heavy and the straps are not set correctly then they too can cause damage to your spine by making you lean slightly backwards.
There are some beautiful leather backpacks on the market, some of them small, soft and feminine and some with handles and different straps which enable them to be used also as a handbag or shoulder bag. We have some pretty leather handbags which have very clever, versatile straps which means you are able, without adding or detaching any straps, to carry them in your hand, over your wrist, on your shoulder or as a backpack. As mentioned above, it is better not to use the same style of bag every day so this 3 in 1 style is very useful and an excellent compromise.
If you have back problems and need to carry a larger than average amount of items around with you, either for work, because you have small children or because you are travelling, then a backpack is the answer for you, providing you follow a few simple rules.
With the larger backpacks, particularly if they are full, make sure the heaviest items are packed in the bottom of the bag. Buy a backpack with wide straps and make sure that they are tight enough so that the bag is as close to your body as you can get it.
For travelling, particularly by plane when you are in a situation of having to walk around and carry your hand luggage for a couple of hours, then a larger leather rucksack is the perfect solution. It will be easier to carry, your hands will be free and good leather will last forever and only look better with age.
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