After I started wearing a fanny pack, I became very aware of just how much stuff women are carrying around with them every day. Purses. Gym bags. Work bags. Little bags within big bags. So many bags!
Doctors are very clear on this issue: Heavy bags and purses are bad for your body.
"Some of my colleagues and I call it 'pretty purse syndrome,'" Dr. Houman Danesh, director of integrative pain management at Mount Sinai Hospital, tells BuzzFeed Life. He says most women position the bag on top of their trapezius and levator scapulae muscles, which, combined with poor posture and muscles that are already tired from leaning forward at a computer all day, leads to pain in the shoulders and neck.
"It starts with tight muscles in their neck region and can progress to arthritis of the cervical spine," he says. That neck pain can lead to a headache at the back of your head and trigger migraines.
One morning, I pulled women aside as they came into the BuzzFeed office in New York City and asked them if we could weigh and photograph their purse(s) and bag(s).
I wanted to find out just how much crap they were schlepping around each day. We weighed the hauls from 31 different women.
- Average weight: 6.09 pounds
- Median weight: 5.5 pounds
- Lightest bag: 1.6 pounds
- Heaviest bag: 15.1 pounds
Here's a look at what some of the women were carrying around...plus their thoughts about the numbers on the scale.