Could your handbag be wreaking havoc on your health?

Women love their handbag – it’s almost an extension of their bodies! You can find just about anything you need within i’s depths, though it might take a while. In all seriouness, a big handbag full of stuff isn’t just a mess to sort, it could be wreaking havoc on your health.

Have you ever heard of ‘heavy purse syndrome’? It’s not just the strain you feel after a long day at the shops – it can be a very serious issue that can cause damage.

If you’re experiencing back, shoulder pain, arm pain or a tingling in your hands, it’s possible your bag’s adding trauma to your spine.

According to Dr Ayla Azad, a chiropractor and VP of the Ontario Chiropractic Association, lugging a full bag on a daily basis can cause stress and injury to your body.

“Females don’t realise that it’s their bag [causing the discomfort],” she says. “They think it’s the way they’re sitting at their computer, or how they lift something, when it’s actually the repetitive action of carrying their purse every day”.

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Your handbag could be contributing to poor posture, muscle pain, sciatica, tendinitis and tension headaches, so it could be worthwhile to consider these things:

1. Buy a smaller bag

It can be tempting to buy a bigger bag but that can mean you’re more tempted to fill it with all sorts of things you don’t need. Opt for a small purse that stores just the essentials.

2. Empty some stuff out

Sounds easy but you might feel attachment to some things you feel you have to carry. A purse, keys, phone, lipstick, a small bottle of perfume and a comb is adequate.

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3. Avoid thin straps

The thinner the straps, the harder your shoulders and bag will strain. Look for comfortable thick straps that don’t dig in.

4. Consider a backpack

If you do need to carry a lot of stuff, consider a backpack with comfy straps and back support. It will even out the load!

5. Carry carefully

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Don’t balance your bag on your wrist or elbow – place it firmly on the shoulder and switch sides often.


Tell us, has this information surprised you? Will you be more careful with your bag?