9 Types of Handbags That May Harm Your Back, and How to Carry Them Safely

The handbag market can easily move around $47 billion each year. Totes, clutches, and satchel bags are some of the most popular types, and we all have our favorite ones. But being in style can lead to severe health issues. 54.5% of adults say they suffer from back pain or other related conditions, and the way we carry our bags can significantly aggravate this problem.

We at Bright Side value our well-being, so today we gathered some tips on how to wear your bag so it won’t hurt your back and shoulders.

1. A top handle bag

The top handle bag is usually made of sturdy materials and is typically carried on the forearm. This means that, when carried like this, this bag can often stay too far from the body, putting pressure on the neck and shoulders.

How to wear it: To ease neck and shoulder pain, the top handle bag can periodically be carried under the armpit like a clutch.

2. A cross-body bag

Although this bag was designed to be carried across the body, most women carry it on one shoulder. And because the cross-body bag usually has a longer strap, it sits too low. This situation can lead to upper back and neck pain.

How to wear it: Wear it as high as possible and across your body. Switch shoulders from time to time to make the pressure even.

3. The holdall bag

Holdall bags are often used to carry our sports clothes and equipment or as travel weekend luggage. This makes this type of bag extremely heavy and dangerous for your spine. Luckily for us, most holdall bags come with a strap, and using it is essential — but it’s important not to carry it under one shoulder. When you do this, it can pull your spine out of line, as you will sit all the weight on one side of your body.

How to wear it: Ideally, it would be better to choose a holdall bag that comes with wheels. But if you already have one without them, wear it across the body as high as possible, and frequently change the shoulder it hangs on.

4. The backpack

A backpack is the best type of bag to use in order to avoid back pain, but it also comes with a “best practice” guide. Choosing a backpack with straps that are too thin, carrying it under only one shoulder, or hanging it too low can lead to injuries and long-term back problems.

How to wear it: Backpacks with wider straps are the best to distribute the weight better. Also, remember to always carry it under both shoulders and place it as high and as close to your back as possible.

5. The satchel bag

Satchel bags became popular as a way to carry your laptop and work materials in a fashionable way. But all this stuff can make this bag heavier than ever. Because of that, carrying it by the handle can strain your arm, neck, and back.

How to wear it: Choose satchel bags that come with a strap. With it, you can carry your bag across your body to distribute the weight more evenly. Also, when you’re on your commute to work, put it down to rest your shoulders.

6. The clutch bag

Because the clutch is small and can only carry a few objects, this type of bag is perfect for people that suffer from back pain. However, carrying it in your hands could force your shoulder down on only one side.

How to wear it: Free your hands and carry the clutch under your armpit. To avoid building up tension in one shoulder, switch sides occasionally.

7. The tote bag

The bigger the tote bag, the worse it is for your health. Its heaviness and the fact that you can only carry it on one side can cause an imbalance and something called dropped shoulder syndrome. This happens after long-term weight exposure on your shoulder damages a nerve, and it ends up lower than the other.

How to wear it: It’s better to fight the urge to fill your tote bag to its fullest. A light bag and swapping sides can help you to avoid strained muscles and nerves.

8. The handheld mini bag

The handheld mini bag is a trend from the ’90s that recently made a comeback. As you can only carry it by holding it in your hand, it can increase elbow, wrist, and hand tension. It can also change your walking manner.

How to wear it: If you’re looking for a small bag, try to switch out your handheld mini bag for a fanny pack. You can carry this type of bag closer to your body and free your arms, shoulders, and hands from any tension.

9. The chain-strap bag

Although chain-strap bags could bring a fashionable twist to your look, it’s not the best for your body. The metallic material can be pretty painful for your shoulders, as it can start digging into them over time.

How to wear it: To smoothen your shoulder pain, try to carry it across your body and switch sides from time to time.

What type of bag is your favorite? How do you like to wear it?

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