By Lata Jha:Â
You could be doing it all right. Eating well, sleeping adequately, and getting the correct exercise. And when you wait to indulge yourself once in a while in your own little way, it could just be your undoing.
The indulgence in question is now your own handbag. Recently, celebrity Victoria Beckham, also known as Posh, came under the scanner for inadvertently causing neck and shoulder pain because of the bag style that she had inspired. The painful problem has been termed ‘Poshitis’. It causes sprain or tear in muscles and tendons due to heavy bags.
From school students having pressure marks all over their upper bodies due to straps of backpacks to increasing travel frequencies and changing needs affecting young professionals, the number of people suffering from health problems due to bags is on the rise.
First comes the handbag. Nowadays, women tend to stack them with gadgets such as iPods, cell phones, and digital cameras. Carrying a heavy bag or purse on one side of the body leads to an imbalance in posture. It also presses muscles and nerves in the neck which run down to the shoulder and are severely strained due to the constant load. One could also develop arthritis from increased pressure over a long period. Using a bag with two shoulder straps or a case with wheels is a good bet. It is important not to carry the entire weight of the bag on one shoulder.
Then there is the backpack. People on the move tend to carry heavy laptops and other accessories in their backpack. A disadvantage of using such bags is that one shoulder becomes slightly elevated. It is therefore important to distribute weight evenly across the backs, in order to prevent spinal stress and dysfunction that causes pain. Backpacks are supposed to be no longer than the wearer’s torso, from the base of the neck to the hips. If used correctly, they can prevent injuries.
You might never have thought so, but hand purses can also lead to lopsided walking. They often distort our posture and leave us with aching backs, shoulders, necks and hips. Over time, the natural alignment of the spine itself may be irreparably altered. It is a good idea to avoid long straps and chain handles and of course those slouchy canvas bags. It’s also important to opt for structure in one’s bag purchases because when items shift around and are not distributed well, the balance goes for a toss.
A well structured, balanced and correctly sized bag will not only help you feel lighter but also happier. Healthy living is not just about cutting down on those calories, but a lot about these everyday decisions. Simple things that make a huge difference.