Divide and Conquer
“It’s easier on your back and neck if you carry two five-pound bags, one in each hand, than one 10-pounder,” says Patrice Winter, a physical therapist and a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. Also, make use of pockets when you can. “If you can put your sunglasses and keys in a coat pocket and clip your cell phone to your belt, you’ve reduced the weight of the bag hanging off your shoulder by as much as a half pound,” says Winter.
Change Things Up
“It’s natural to hang your purse from your nondominant side so your preferred hand is always free,” says Cynthia Vaughn, a spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association and a chiropractor in Austin, Texas. But over time this may create imbalances. “To avoid developing aches and pains, switch your bag from one side to the other every 10 minutes or so,” says Vaughn. “Alternate the purse you carry, too, as changing the style of bag you carry from day to day can prevent pain.”