How to carry a bag

Often we need to move work items to various different places over the course of the day. Because we spend so long carrying objects, it is important to try to do it in the safest way possible and in a way that will reduce the risk of re-injury. One type of bag that is commonly used to transfer light objects is a rucksack.

Don't overload the back

As a general rule, you should not carry more than 10-15 percent of your body weight on your back. All heavier items should be placed in the lower part of the bag.

Putting on a rucksack safely

Whenever you are preparing to put a rucksack on the back, you want to make sure the bag is positioned at the same level as the back. For example, you could rest the bag on the bed behind where you are sitting. Once in this position, all you have to do is put the shoulder straps on (make sure you use both shoulder straps as this will distribute the weight more evenly) and stand up whilst keeping your back flat. Make sure you do not twist your back as you lift it as this places increased stress on your back.

When to take a break

Whenever carrying a bag, try to have regular breaks where you take the bag off and have a stretch. As a rough guide taking a rest every 20 minutes is a good starting point.

When to take the bag off

It is better to remove the bag before your painful symptoms begin. To understand how long your body will tolerate bag carrying, think about how your body has responded to lifting before.

How to take the bag off

Taking the rucksack off should simply be a reversal of what you had to do to put the bag on. Sit on a level surface (ie) the bed. Gently remove the handles from the shoulders and lower the rucksack onto the bed.If you are getting a lot of aching after using the bag, it is important to let your therapist know and to stop using that particular bag whilst your therapist explores the cause of the problem.

Keep your shoulders back

Sometimes the weight of a back pack can make people adopt a slightly flexed posture with the shoulders pulled towards the body. Try to compensate for this by keeping your head up and your shoulders back.