Do you have a large purse? Is it bad when you set your purse on the passenger seat in your vehicle and the "airbag on" sign lights up? OK, maybe it's not THAT heavy buy my purse is heavy. I have learned not to take my purse into my Doctor's office. She always picks it up and says "Your purse is too heavy!"

According to the American Chiropractic Association, half of working Americans admit to having back pain. One of the culprits of this is our heavy purses.  Most Doctors tell you not to carry more than 10% of your body weight but some even suggest not to exceed 5%.

Experts advise that if you carry a heavy purse you are throwing off your natural gait. The gait is the way your arms and legs swing when you walk naturally. When you put a large handbag on one side it means the arm on that side can't swing properly and the other arm has to swing more.

There are lots of other damages you are causing your body by not only carrying a heavy purse but one that is not the proper fit for your body. Here are some suggestions to help you fix the damage:

  • Reduce the weight of your handbag. Remember, no more than 10% of your body weight (5% is even better).
  • Opt for bags with wider straps. This protects the delicate structure in the shoulder where your nerves go from the neck into the arm.
  • Choose bags with alternative strap options. Doctors recommend choosing bags with handles you can hold in your hand (1950's style).
  • Figure out your purse's "sweet spot". If the handbag is too short or high up, it's going to affect the way your arm can swing; too low it will affect your hip swing when you walk.
  • Switch shoulders periodically.
  • Carry a purse with long straps that you can wear cross ways.
  • Consider switching to a smaller purse. (I do this when I am attending an event where all I will need is my cell phone, some business cards and the all important lip gloss.)
  • Most importantly, don't let style cloud your judgement.

I have some very strange things in my purse. My husband David says that things go in there and never come out. Driving home last night I glanced over to the passenger seat and thought to myself "you have some strange stuff in that purse of yours!"

Nancy's Purse