HEALTH BEAT: Heavy purses straining women

(WEAU) - Did you know that carrying a heavy purse could affect your posture? Its a problem that one local chiropractor says is affecting many women in our area.

Dr. Jodi Swartz of the Stucky Chiropractic Center says women should only carry about 2% of their body weight.

"I just like to think of it like a mini suitcase I can take with me,” said Megan Pederson, heavy purse user.

More women are carrying bigger purses as a fashion statement every day.

"I carry a lot of stuff; I have everything from a lint roller to an extra toothbrush and toothpaste in my purse,” said Pedersen.

After talking to about 20 other women, almost everyone said they don't use a smaller purse because they can't fit everything they need.

"I’ve tried. I don't like them. I can't carry as much an I guess I kind of feel prepared with a bigger purse,” said Pedersen.

But Dr. Swartz has a few reasons why you should avoid them.

"With that repetitive motion, the spine can start to tip or twist. It will start to adapt to heavy weight of these bags,” said Dr. Jodi Swartz, Chiropractor at Stucky Chiropractic Center.

Dr. Swartz even recommends using purses with short straps and wearing an across the shoulder purse. It helps evenly distributing the weight from your shoulder to your hip, but you should alternate sides.

Meanwhile, I asked one of the Sunrise Producers to empty her purse. She was our first place winner for heaviest purse, weighing in at about 4.7 pounds.

Anchor Judy Clark fell just below at 4.5 pounds.

But, our lightest purse was from our Traffic Manager who fell within the purse weight recommendations hers weighed a little more than a pound.

"If you’re carrying something in there all the time that you need that's one thing, but a lot of times these purses are filled things that we pull out once a week or once every few days,” said Swartz.

She also says alternating shoulders can help relieve the stress from one side of your body. You can even notice these changes in your body at home.

"Look in the mirror and look at your shoulders. Do you notice one side being lower or the other side being a little higher? That's a good sign that your starting to make those posture changes in your spine,” said Swartz.

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