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Ireland's Heaviest Handbags

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A new survey by Asda has revealed that the average weight of a woman's handbag has increased by 38% and now tips the scales at 2.37kg. The current trend for oversized bags means there is even more space to fill with personal possessions-the bigger the bag, the more tempting it is to pack it all in. This can have serious consequences for our health.

Attracta Farrell
Attracta Farrell studied chiropractic at the Anglo European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth, doing a four-year degree and then a masters. Dr. Farrell runs her own practice in Athenry, dividing her time between Dublin and Galway.

What is the problem?
Modern fashion trends are hurting us! The trend of the big bag at the moment, which is designed to carry more weight than what we should be carrying is causing women to raise the shoulder on which they are carrying the bag, in turn causing the spine to turn out towards the shoulder blade, neck spasms, headaches, lack of energy, etc. When weight is unevenly distributed on one side of the body, it can affect the neck and work its way to the middle of the back. If it's severe enough, it can cause headaches.

How is this problem caused?
Women and men tend to carry too many items in one bag, or briefcase, and are often not aware of the potential health risks associated with toting an excessive amount of "stuff." Carrying a bag with detectable weight-more than 10 percent of your body weight-can cause improper balance. When hiked over one shoulder, it interferes with the natural movement of the upper and lower body.

What are the medical implications?
. Rounding of shoulders
. Myospasm in muscles between neck & shoulder
. Neck and mid back pain
. Fatigue
. Headaches

Which are the worst type of bags for this?
. -Any big bags with shoulder straps
. -Big bags with short straps that you carry in the crook of your arm

And the best?
. Backpack design-although these aren't in fashion at the moment, they are the best option (prop)
. Smaller bag that you wont be tempted to fill
. A bag that you carry across your body like a satchel,

What advice can you give to women?
. Carry the minimum amount of items in their bags. Do you really need a litre of water/book everywhere you go?
. Minimise the items you do bring-for example
. If possible wear a rucksack-type design. It distributes the weight more evenly across the body.
. Alternate the bag from one shoulder to another, every 10-15 minutes.
. If you've got toned abs and a strong core from exercise like pilates, you're much less likely to hurt yourself
The Bottom Line?
If it feels heavy when you pick it up, then its too heavy to carry round on your shoulder for the day. In general a good rule of thumb is to carry a bag that is less than 3 lbs, in a bag that is properly supported.