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With the shopping bag by-law in place, we are adjusting to using multi-use bags. These bags tend to hold more weight than single-use bags, so our team at Tamarack Physical Therapy came up with a few tips to reduce the risk of injuring your back while shopping:

  • Don’t overfill bags

  • Share the heavy items between bags

  • Be aware which are your heavier bags to avoid ‘surprises’ when you lift

  • Slide the bag close to you for loading and unloading – don’t overreach

  • Keep the bag close for lifting

  • Lift from the bottom rather than the handles for large bags

  • Use two hands to lift

  • Tighten your core – pull your belly button towards your spine

  • Bend your knees to lift and lower the bag

  • Turn your feet to place the bag in your cart – do not twist your back or pivot on your feet

  • Place heaviest bags in your vehicle last so you have the least distance to carry them

  • Apply the same lifting principles when unloading at home

  • Carry in fewer bags at a time

  • You may require more trips, but that is easier than dealing with a sore back

  • Use your head to protect your back – you only have one spine!

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