Can a bag compromise your health?

They range from army green to paisley pink. Some can barely hold a makeup kit while others are designed for a laptop and a pile of books. You can wear them over your shoulder, your back or both. But whether it’s for fashion or function, virtually every college student has a school bag of some kind.

Some of the most popular school bags are the sling bag, the messenger bag and the traditional backpack – but deciding which one suits you best can sometimes be a challenge. So, as always, The Northerner is here to help.

Sling bags

The sling bag is the sportiest of the mainstream backpack. This bag, when worn over one shoulder and across the back, hugs very close to the body. The snug fit keeps the bag from smacking against the wearers while they move, which makes it a great bag to wear during physical activities such as running and biking.

Many sling bags also have Velcro that holds the strap together. By opening the Velcro, the bag falls free and does not have to be slung over the head. However, keep in mind that Velcro has a relatively short life span and is notorious for loving lint off the floor.

These sportier bags are also great because they are typically smaller than other types of bags. Having less room to carry unnecessary items keeps students from bogging themselves down with extra weight.

“Most people will recommend that you carry no more than 10 percent of your body weight in a backpack,” said Dr. John Squicciarini of Kentucky Chiropractic in Highland Heights. “But, depending on your weight and personal strength, even that can be a lot.”

The sling is also more stylish than the backpack.

“The traditional backpack is just that – too traditional,” said undeclared freshman Desha Elliott. “I wanted the sling bag because I wanted something more modern.”

If you are looking for a stylish and comfortable sling bag, try the Timberland City Boundary Hampton Falls Sling Backpack. With a retail of $79.99, this bag is pricey, but it’s worth it. The ergonomic, padded and adjustable shoulder strap is comfortable and easy on the back. This bag, although smaller than a traditional backpack, has multiple compartments to keep your valuables separate, safe and snug.

Messenger Bags

While originally sported by the likes of the Pony Express and the paperboy, the messenger bag has become the most alternative and stylish type of bag. They come in an endless variety of colors and designs, and by adding the right buttons and patches, no two are the same.

Unfortunately, although the messenger bag is the most common choice on campus, it’s also the most unhealthy.

“When choosing a backpack you need to be sure that whatever you pick can equally distribute the weight,” Squicciarini said. “A messenger bag, even when worn across the body, doesn’t do that.”

According to Campus Nurse Michele Kay, wearing it across the body is better than carrying it on one side.

“If (any backpack) is thrown over one shoulder, then that shoulder takes all of the weight and that can cause pain,” she said. “A messenger bag should be worn around the body