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Is your purse too heavy?

By January 19, 2009 - 11:23am
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What's in your purse?

Today's trendiest purses are so cute -- and so huge! They're big enough to carry all our regular stuff, plus things for the kids, plus notepads, books,

even a laptop in some cases. When we're leaving the house we can just toss extra stuff in, because there's always room. And if you're like me, the more pockets in that handbag, the better!

But CNN Health has done a story on "painful purses" and is weighing in on the trend toward weightier and weightier bags. In the report, Dr. Spero Karas, an orthopedic surgeon at Emory, cautions that carrying an extra-large bag depresses one shoulder. When that happens, the body naturally compensates by hiking that shoulder up; this, in turn, tilts the spine to an angle, which can cause back spasms or even spinal malalignment.

So what to do? Well, carry that cool bag, but don't fill it up. If you feel yourself fighting to distribute the balance of your purse on your shoulder, realize it and do something to adjust.

Here's the video report:


What's in your bag? Are you guilty of lugging around more than you should?

Add a Comment6 Comments

I LOVE large purses. Like Susan, I use my purse as a purse/diaper bag but never actually fill it to the point where it becomes uncomfortable to carry. I think that the minute you have a problem picking up the purse to put it on your shoulder, it's time to empty some stuff out. The only laptop I've carried in my purse is my netbook and it's not heavy at all. My other laptop is HUGE and I don't usually take it out of the house.

I am a tall girl, so there is a slim to none chance of spotting me with a small bag, but even though I love my large, trendy bags-- I do carry responsibly. :)

February 7, 2010 - 1:44pm
EmpowHER Guest

WOW! I was just thinking about this. I carry a heavy laptop and heavy purse. My shoulder hurts constantly!! I gotta take out those extra tubes of lipstick! :-)

February 6, 2010 - 12:14pm

Big bags dwarf me, plus I'm not supposed to wear a shoulder bag. I think the current big bags can be cool looking, but invite carrying too much stuff.

Here's food for thought:

My hubby suffered a torn rotator cuff from the weight of his laptop bag on his shoulder. A woman can carry as much weight, or more, in a large bag. Is it worth injury to yourself?

January 20, 2009 - 6:21pm

Diane P, thank you for sharing this piece of news. I am sooooo guilty of carrying too much weight on my purses (large or small). I think both of my shoulders are already depressed. At night I find myself shrugging them upwards and have had physical therapy to correct posture. It is a constant reminder. I wonder how many women have the habit of carrying so much in their purses. Why do we need so much??? I think in my case most of the weight goes to paper, receipts, and just "stuff" that has little value to my day-to-day needs.

January 19, 2009 - 10:06pm

I am so guilty of putting everything that I could possibly need while on a deserted island into my massive bag. I dread organizing it because that means taking the time to sit down and eliminate stuff. But I actually strained my neck a couple of weeks ago and was in serious pain for a couple of days. I finally got a massage to work it out, which helped, but I've really got to work on this bag situation. So your post is very timely for me -- giving me yet another nudge to fix my weighty issue......

January 19, 2009 - 3:15pm
HERWriter Guide

I do have one of those "huge" cool bags but I use it as both a purse and a diaper bag so I need it. It's never packed to the brim though. My wallet, some makeup, a couple of diapers, wipes and my phone. And a book, in the rare case I get to read. There's hope, right?!

My laptop is the real heavy ticket but I have it in it's own laptop carrier and only carry it a couple of times a week, when working out of a coffee shop.

Other than that, I have small purses with nothing but my phone, a wallet and a small make up bag. I'm low maintenance and have learned that the more kids I have, the more I need to pare down what I carry around, not the other way around.

And when you carry your "world" in your bag - imagine what would happen if you lost it, or it was stolen? Yikes!

January 19, 2009 - 12:11pm
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