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Abstract

Purpose: To investigate whether there is a way to wear a unilateral strap shoulder bag that will allow more symmetrical postural alignment, preventing potentially harmful musculoskeletal effects. Subjects: Sixty-five college student volunteers.Methods: Each participant donned a unilateral strap shoulder bag two different ways on the dominant and non-dominant shoulder while standing on a Postural Scale Analyzer to measure lower extremity weight distribution. Results: A significant improvement (p < 0.05) in lower extremity weight distribution was found in right hand dominant subjects (n = 63) when wearing a shoulder bag draped across the left shoulder to right hip. Discussion: When individuals who are right hand dominant wear a shoulder bag draped across the left shoulder (non-dominant shoulder), the weight distribution through the person’s lower extremities becomes more equal indicating improved postural symmetry in static standing.Conclusion: It is possible that individual prescription of a unilateral bag on the non-dominant shoulder draped across the body can be utilized to create a reduction in postural asymmetry demonstrated by more evenly distributed lower extremity loading. Recommendations: Health care providers, parents, students, and educators should be educated to carry an across-the-body unilateral strap shoulder bag that reduces postural asymmetry and the risk of future development of biomechanical problems and back pain in adulthood.

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