Andy McNab in The Sun

The Sun: ‘SAS legend’s on a fashion mission’

Who dares, slings
By Andy McNab, Sun Security Adviser
Published: 23 Feb 2011

Don’t be worried about your manliness if you carry a manbag – I use them and was in the SAS.
And here I even give you tips on how to shoulder your burden without picking up a nasty injury.

Experts from the British Chiropractic Association say two thirds of manbag owners have suffered back pain because they load them with laptops, iPads and other gear weighing up to a STONE – that’s equivalent to hauling about more than 12 bags of sugar.

I have loads of man bags. The one I use most is a macho black sack with two shoulder straps. I got it in Afghanistan.

I’ve got the satchel type as well, which I use for carrying my laptops around when I need to do work on the move.

I carry my laptop everywhere, and all the wires and everything that comes with it.

Then there’s my phone and wallet too. It all adds up.

In the SAS – where the motto is Who Dares, Wins – you could be carrying loads of 7st 5lbs.

For a person weighing 12st, that means you’re lugging 70 per cent of your own body weight, so I know how to deal with carrying heavy stuff safely.

When you pack a backpack you need to put the heavier stuff at the top so your shoulders are taking the weight, instead of it pulling on your lower back.

You could fasten the waist straps really tight as well, to take some weight on the hips.

I have never had a problem with back pain. I put that down to plenty of time at the gym, especially doing lower back exercises.

But I have a friend who always carries a satchel and he now has one shoulder two inches lower than the other.

That just shows the difference a few sensible precautions can make.

So take my advice and look at the guide [below] before slinging a stone of gear over your shoulder.

Andy’s manbag safety guide

1. If you carry an over-the-shoulder bag, alternate between shoulders so the weight is distributed equally, and keep the strap short. Keep the bag round your back slightly, rather than it banging on your hip. You’ll feel it releases some of the pressure on the shoulder.

2. If you carry a laptop, use a rucksack and carry it on both shoulders, with the bag close to your back to ease the strain. Keep the back straps tight to keep the bag up high on your back – the lower it hangs, the heavier it will feel. Make sure you only tighten the straps when you have the bag on, or you risk a dislocated shoulder.

3. If you get a pain between the shoulder blades, stretch it out. The British Chiropractic Association have developed a three-minute exercise routine called Straighten Up UK – see straightenupuk.org.

4. Don’t carry too many heavy items, just what you need. I know that from the military, where it was a constant battle to our packs’ weight down.

5. The BCA advise regular breaks, by taking the bag off your shoulders. I prefer the SAS method of “just get on with it.”

Source: The Sun