The last thing you want to happen whenever you leave your home, for anything from work to a much-anticipated faraway vacation, is an injury. Whether you’re going near or far, take the time to consider the weight you are carrying. Here are some valuable tips from the Ontario Chiropractic Association on avoiding injuries from carrying heavy items:
- Choose the right size: Use bags appropriate to your body size with wide, adjustable and padded straps that evenly distribute the load. It’s also important to select a bag made of light-weight material, such as canvas or vinyl. For luggage, choose a bag with wheels that is not heavy when empty.
- Pack it light: Reducing the weight you carry in your everyday bag is key to avoiding injury. Make time to check your bag before you use it to ensure you are only carrying essential items. Remember to pack the heaviest items on the bottom and distribute items in side pockets as well.
- Wear it right: For bags with two straps, use both and tighten them to minimize movement and jarring. For bags with one strap, cross the strap over your body to distribute the weight more evenly and switch sides often to reduce strain.
- Lift it right: When lifting can’t be avoided, do it in increments. Make sure to hold the load close to your body, bend your knees and avoid twisting your back.
- Change it up: Try changing your purse or wallet for work versus social outings. If you’re popping out to lunch during work, just carry your essentials in your pocket, rather than carrying your entire bag with you.
- Exercise: Regular exercise such as walking, swimming or bicycling will help your body stay conditioned and can help prevent injury.
Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only.