Carrying a purse may be hazardous to your health


by ABC News

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

(ABC News)  -- That designer bag may look fabulous on your arm, but what is it doing to your back? Carrying bags that weigh more than five pounds can be hazardous to your health, doctors say. That’s why “GMA” decided to launch its very own “Purse Intervention,” weighing women’s purses across the country.

“GMA” ambushed women on the streets of New York and Los Angeles and found women are lugging around tons of extra weight with purses in the range of 5 to 10 pounds, and some even more!

Why do our bags always tip the scales?! asked “GMA’s” Amy Robach and weekend anchor Bianna Golodryga to open up their purses for us.

Inside Bianna’s Purse (7.5 pounds)

  • Make-up bag
  • Keys
  • Pens
  • Extra pair of shoes
  • Kindle
  • Blackberry
  • iPhone
  • iPad (sometimes)
  • iPhone charger

Inside Amy’s Purse

  • Wallet
  • Makeup bag
  • Gum (and lot of mints) – “I’m addicted to gum.”
  • Lots of lips gloss
  • Wet One Wipes and Tissues – “These are because I have kids.”
  • Keys
  • Hair clip
  • Headphones
  • iPod
  • Advil
  • Googly eyes – “Must have fallen off a kid’s art project at some point!”
  • Eye drops
  • Sunglasses

Healthy Purse Advice

But it’s not just what’s in our bags. With heavy buckles and grommets, to belts and more, trendy purses today have accessories of their own, which add to the load.

While it may seem minor, there are some fairly serious injuries heavy bag carrying can cause, including headaches, neck and upper back pain, even arm numbness and tingling if the nerves are being pinched, explained NYC chiropractor Dr. Randi Jaffee.

So what’s a girl to do? Follow these tips from the experts to help lighten the load.

Two bags are better than one. Always carry an extra bag with you. That way if you have more to cart around, you can put it in this little bag and wear it on both shoulders.

Purses with long straps better than short ones. Wear the strap across your heart to better distribute the weight and give your shoulder a little break.

While they may not be the cutest options, the backpack and rolly bags are the best bet for your back. The backpack gives you an equal distribution of weight on both shoulders, and the rolly bag takes the weight off your back altogether.