Bags, glorious bags. We love them, but it seems that sometimes they don’t love us back quite so much.
From breaking your hair to giving you a headache, here are six common health problems your beloved arm candies can cause. And do not worry, we have also found ways to prevent them.
1. Is it hurting your elbow?
Carrying your bags on the crook of your arm is not a good habit. “Painful injuries like tendinitis or tennis elbow can occur when you overload your arms,” says general practitioner Dr Amita Mishra of Max Healthcare.
Solution: Carry more than one bag if needed and balance the weight across both your arms.
2. Is it giving you a headache?
Did you know that heavy bags can be the cause of those splitting headaches? “Too much pressure on the trapezius muscle in the shoulder, which goes up the back of the neck to the skull can cause severe muscular tension headaches,” says Dr Anju Bhatt, an orthopaedic at Delhi’s Venkateshwara Hospital.
Solution: Lessen the load and, again, keep switching your bag position.
3. Is it breaking your hair?
Ever found yourself yanking your hair out of a tangled shoulder strap? The revelation comes the hard way for women who notice that their hair was much thinner on the side that they wore their satchel on.
Solution: This one’s pretty simple. “Sweep it to the side, wear it up, it doesn’t matter, just keep it out of the way of those straps,” advises Dr Mishra.
4. Is it ruining your posture?
Most of us carry our bag on one side of the body because we think it’s the most comfortable position for us, but physically, this could be dragging us down and altering the way we naturally stand and walk. “A handbag shouldn’t ever weigh more than 10% of your total body weight, otherwise it will start to make you hunch,”says Dr Bhatt.
Solution: Switch sides every day. Monday you’re a lefty, Tuesday it’s on the right.
5. Is it just full of germs?
Fun fact, there is three times more bacteria in the average handbag than on the average toilet seat! Think of all the debris you throw in there – mobile phones, loose cash, make-up – and all the places you might put it down on the floor – public toilets, the office, the Metro – and then onto, say, your kitchen worktop? It’s no wonder it’s a breeding ground for germs...
Solution: Have a thorough clean out with anti-bac wipes at least once a week and keep it off the ground, Dr Mishra suggests.
6. Is it messing your back?
Too much weight on your shoulders can also cause your back to spasm and curvature of the spine or hunchback can occur in women with weaker bones, says Dr Bhatt. No one wants that now, do they?
Solution: Have a handbag detox and carry only the essentials with you. You just don’t need all that heavy stuff as much as you need that posture you worked so hard at the yoga class for.