Unfortunately, nowadays fashionable usually does not correlate with comfortable. I see it all the time, especially in women fashion, those crazy outfits, tight jeans, ridiculously high heels and heavy handbags hanging on one shoulder.
By the way, high heels are not the topic of today`s article, but if you are looking for more information on this topic you can read one of our previous articles where we addressed this problem already: “Long-Term Effects Of Wearing High Heels“
Today we will be talking about the effect heavy handbag can have on your neck, back and posture.
I will be the first to tell you that adopting proper posture is not easy. It is quite hard actually, especially in the beginning. Why? Well, mostly because you are changing your behavior, you are adopting a new habit, while attempting to get rid of the old one. We are so used to poor posture that it, should we decide so, it would take us a couple months of hard work to make a noticeable progress.
We will talk more about some exercises you can try in order to improve your posture, for now I just wanted to illustrate how challenging a fight with poor posture can be.
How Wearing A Heavy Handbag Can Affect Your Posture
I`m sure that, to some of you, the very idea of your back causing back pain and affecting your posture might seem ridiculous, but you need to understand that our body is more delicate than you though. In our body, everything is interconnected and interdependent, so even the slightest change (such as wearing a heavy bag or a thick wallet) can cause pain and discomfort.
Though big bags might seem perfect, as they can carry quite a bit of stuff, but the problem comes once you fill them up. A heavy, filled handbag will pull added stress on your shoulder and cause you to lean to the side. Our body will immediately try to compensate for this “pulling” by activating muscles on the opposite side.
What happens then is the muscles are in overdrive, constantly working on maintaining balance and proper posture. This added stress can lead to back and neck pain.
What Can You Do About It?
Obviously, I`m not going to tell you to stop wearing handbags, there are a lot more solutions to this problem!
The first is shifting sides. You probably do this unconsciously yourself once your shoulder starts to feel sore; but, do yourself a favor and don`t wait until your shoulder starts to hurt. There is no specific time frame I can recommend, but try to shift as often as possible.
Another solution is strengthening your back muscles. If you build stronger muscles, they will need to work less and not get tired as fast. Now, I`m not saying you need to go to the gym and get buffed, sometimes just doing a few back exercises can be extremely helpful!
Some of the exercises you can try are:
- Static back contractions – sit on your chair with your back straight, arms by your side. Now try contracting your back muscles so that you pull your shoulders back.
- Lie down – lie down on your back, flex legs in hips and knees (while keeping your feet on the floor). And try to arch your back upwards, hold for up to 5 seconds and release. Repeat the exercise 10-15 times.
- Lie down 2 – the position you assume is just like from the previous exercise but this time, instead of arching your back, lift your pelvis up. This will not only strengthen your back but also your core. Hold for up to 5 seconds and repeat 10-15 times.
- Back flex – lie flat on the floor and tuck your feet under your couch. Contract your back muscles as you try to lift your upper body off the ground. Repeat up to 20 times, and do 4,5 sets.
These are literally some of the most basic exercises for your back, but they will work if you do them constantly (on a daily basis). Here is a video of some more back exercises: