Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hold that thought if you're buying a big bag

Big bags causing back problems ...

"Bags for women have become bigger and heavier as designers combine briefcases with handbags and straps have become longer but the extra leverage has many patients complaining of neck, shoulder and back problems.

"I see so many women with neck pains and headaches and what I usually do is look for their purse and pick it up," said Jane Sadler, a family practice physician on the medical staff at Baylor Medical Center in Garland, Texas.

"We take it over to the scale and weigh it and usually they're anywhere from 3 to 4,5kg... We're really going to see women with more and more problems later on if we continue the big purse craze."

William Case, a physical therapist in private practice in Houston, Texas, said an aggravated neck or shoulder can lead to upper back problems, meaning pain may then be felt while working at a computer or playing sports.

... Professor Alan Hedge, an ergonomics specialist at Cornell University in New York state, said similar health problems arose when laptops were first introduced.

Traditionally women adopted better postures for carrying loads, such as baskets on heads or strapping a papoose across the back, but placing objects on one shoulder was one of the least efficient ways of carrying a load.

"This causes a great imbalance. You only have to see people carrying bags in shopping centres, looking hunched up like Quasimodo," he said."    (Continued via IOL)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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