Weighed Down By A Man Bag?

According to a recent survey carried out by Vouchercodes.co.uk, men are catching up with women with regards to the amount of stuff they now carry around on a daily basis. It is estimated that on average men now carry around £880 worth of items, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, glasses and digital cameras. The survey found that more than half of the men asked were carrying all of this in a bag.

An Increasing Trend

Back in 2011, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) identified the rise of the man bag and the possible consequences this trend could have on men’s backs and posture. According to their study*, three in five men were carrying some sort of bag, whether that be a traditional over-the-shoulder laptop case or messenger bag or satchel.

The BCA also looked at the average contents, which weighed approximately 6.2kgs** – the equivalent of over 12 bags of sugar. That amount of weight on one shoulder for an extended period of time, for example the commute to and from work, will start to cause discomfort in the majority of people.

As much as they are a functional accessory, these bags, loaded with life’s daily essentials, could be doing harm to men’s backs and shoulders. With technology moving towards digital platforms, men need various ways of accessing the internet world – but this also means carrying more with them.

Students Affected Too

And it’s not just professional men that are at risk, students are also required to carry more with them to lectures or even a trip to the library.

Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association says:

 “Man Bags are now a necessity for many men during their daily lives, but they could cause back and shoulder pain from prolonged stress, this can also impact posture. The bags serve a purpose so we need to become more savvy in how we use them, whilst learning to read our bodies and know when we’re placing too much pressure on certain points.”


How To Help Alleviate The Problem

The British Chiropractic Association has some great advice for men carrying bags:

  • If you carry an over-the-shoulder style bag, alternate between both shoulders so the weight and pressure is distributed equally between them. It is also advisable to keep the strap as short as possible
  • If you carry a laptop use a rucksack designed to carry such an item. Carry it on both shoulders and adjust the straps so that the bag is held close to your back
  • Stand comfortably when carrying your bag. Avoid long periods of being in one position, move around regularly and stretch and exercise your back muscles regularly
  • Ensure you take regular breaks so that you don’t tire yourself out too soon from fatigue
  • Don’t carry so many items in your bag all the time, only pack what you need

The simple most important piece of advice is to take a break from carrying your bag and not to carry it from prolonged periods of time.

Visit your Chiropractor

If you are already suffering from neck, shoulder or back pain, which you think may be related to carrying a heavy bag around on a daily basis, then why not call us at the Bristol Clinic 0117 9298384  and book an appointment. Our Chiropractors will be happy to offer advise on posture and provide treatment to help alleviate the symptoms.

*BCA research carried out in January 2011
**Weight broken down by: 3kg laptop, 2kg gym kit, 0.5kg lunch, 0.5kg book, 100g phone/blackberry and 100g iPod.


From the Team at Archibald Chiropractic Clinics
"Treating the cause, not the symptoms"
Dowry Chiropractic Clinic Established in 1987 – Experienced Bristol Chiropractors