Ladies and Gents I hate to break it to you, but … Carrying a backpack is better for your back than that oh so cute tote that is hanging off the side of one shoulder. Believe me I am all about which bag looks best with the shoes and coat I am wearing on a given day. But, recently I hurt my back when my form went out the window while doing sumos. I was literally hobbling around for a week, so I broke down and got a backpack. I know what you are thinking, not the most fashionable thing, but to be honest it kind of is!
Whether you have back pain or not opting to carry around a comfortable backpack is beneficial to you body. The best thing you can do is to be a minimalist; while that is not the easiest thing for a New Yorker on the go the next best bet would be to throw on the bag with 2 straps or at the very least a bag with thicker straps. The wider strap will help to distribute the weight, helping to protect the nerve that goes from the neck down your arm. Putting weight on one side of your body is a major cause to back pain and can over time cause the spine to curve. If you are totally opposed to the backpack at least switch sides from time to time.
HOW TO WEAR YOUR BACK PACK:
Adjust the straps to carry it as high as possible so the weight is at the center of your body. The base of the backpack should sit just above your butt and as high as the base of your neck.
Keep the weight as clos to the body as you can. The further away it is the more the bag will sway causing more stress to the spine.
Place the heavier objects at the bottom, it will help to keep hour center of gravity and relieve pressure on your neck.
Aim to carry 10% of your body weight or less. More than that can throw off your posture and ultimately lead to back pain.
May sure to use 2 straps that is what they are there for!