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Tips on Carrying Bags

Posted Sep 28 2009 10:01pm
The following post is written by Hope Gillerman, Alexander Technique Teacher and founder of H. Gillerman Organics. For more information, visit her website or .

Here are my tips on how to manage all that you carry without stress and look good doing it!


First, check yourself out in the mirror.
Is one shoulder higher than the other?
Or does one hand hang lower than the other?
Or maybe you see that your head is tilted to one side or your neck looks scrunched.
No worries. You don't need to run off to the chiropractor or put your body in traction. These imbalances could stem from your daily toting habits; the way you carry your shoulder bag or backpack.

All you have to do is adjust and you'll be swinging your satchel with ease.


1. When buying a shoulder bag, make sure the bag rests on your shoulder without holding it in place with your hand.

2. If you carry a shoulder bag, practice putting the bag on your shoulder in front of the mirror. Watch that you don't lean to one side or lift your shoulder. Use your other hand to place the bag so it sits comfortably on the top of your shoulder.

3. As you walk around with the bag (on your right shoulder, for example) hook your right thumb under the straps and push forward, keeping right elbow relaxed by your side.

4. Don't squeeze your elbow to your ribs to hold bag in place - the thumb forward pressure should do it.

5. Most important of all: don't carry your bag on the same side every day. If you have been holding your bag on your right shoulder, switch to the left for a while and eventually alternate daily, same would be true for messenger bags.


Back to school:
Help your kids manage their heavy loads. Its tough, to be sure, to watch their little bodies lugging sometimes as much as 25% of their body weight.

1. Purchase a comfortable, lightweight backpack--a city pack won't work if they have to carry a computer and tons of books and sporting equipment (see above).

2. Teach them to stop leaning forward when they walk, show them how to hold on with their hands.

3. But make it fun. "Head up, shoulders back" is a sure fire way to give your kid bad posture. (This I know from my 30 years experience helping people improve their posture).

4. In Europe, people carry their backpacks on the front of their bodies - kind of like baby carriers. Maybe your kid will opt for this if it feels more comfortable.

5. As an alternative to backpacks, wheelies are great, but they aren't good with stairs.

If you have questions, you can email me or go to my twitter page . And to get ALL my tips and articles check out the Wellness Tips page on my site.

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