Even weight on both shoulders and both hips. Be sure your bag isn’t dragging lower than your lumbar spine.

A padded area between your back and the pack to take away pressure points.

A baby should be held in a certified baby carrier for a limited time.

Low weight

Less than 5% of your body weight should be carried in a commuter bag and less than 10% of your body weight in a backpackers pack.

For example:

A healthy man weighing 90kg shouldn’t carry more than 4.5kg in his commuter bag for traveling to the office, particularly if they must walk more than 10 minutes during their commute.

An active woman weighing 68kg who decides to hike for 6 hours in the Wicklow mountains shouldn’t carry more than 6.8 kg in her backpack.

If you have known neck or back issues, you must actively avoid carrying anything during walks as this can increase the demands on your posture and can cause you to feel more pain and less refreshed from walking.


Plan your outings. Don’t get caught unexpectedly carrying too many groceries all the way home. Keep more than one cloth shopping bag with you to balance a low weight bag in two hands rather than one heavy bag.

If you can, walk for more time with low loads.  In order to get 60 minutes of moderate daily physical activity (as recommended by World Health Organization), you should carry less and move more. 

If you have your baby in a baby carrier, consider their weight, your strength levels and the time you plan to be walking. A 6 month old baby on average weighs: 7-8 kg.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you might prevent repetitive strain injury to your spine and improve your stamina and endurance for daily life.

Here in Southside Physiotherapy clinic, we can help you attain your goals. Click here to make an appointment or contact us by phone 289-7171 or email info@southsidephysio.com.


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