Burton, A. Kim (1986) Spinal strain from shopping bags with and without handles. Applied Ergonomics, 17 (1). pp. 19-23. ISSN 0003-6870

Electromyography has been used to study the effects on right and left lumbar and suprascapular muscle activity resulting from carrying groceries in shopping bags with handles (British) and without handles (American). The results showed that the load on these structures is lower and significantly more evenly distributed with the American bag (p < 0·01), but there is a group of carriers whose lumbar muscle activity is not imbalanced by the British bag. It is suggested that the design of the British shopping bag be reconsidered to enable it to be carried clutched to the body.

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