No doubt if you haven’t started already then you will be out soon enough, along with the crowds, looking for presents for your family and friends. But have you thought about how it might affect your body?

Carrying heaving shopping bags incorrectly can pull and shift your body into positions that can strain and cause pain. Follow my happy shopping tips below to help keep your back healthy:

Distribute weight evenly
Split your shopping evenly on each side of your body. If you’re carrying more weight on one side it can cause strain on your neck and lower back.

Carry straight
Keep bags close by your sides with straight arms when walking. If you carry bags in front of you it can change your centre of gravity and place strain into the lower back.

Check your posture
Christmas shopping can be tiring and when your body is feeling the effects it can quite easily adopt poor posture habits such as locking out knees, standing more on one leg or slouching.

Instead try to stand up tall with your shoulders back, weight evenly placed though your feet and core muscles gently switched on. If you’re standing in a queue at checkout put your bags down and give your arms a break.

Take a break
Have a coffee, stop for lunch or sit down and watch the world rush past. Take the weight of your feet and have regular breaks whilst shopping.

Online shopping
Avoid the crowds completely and do your shopping from home. Just make sure you have your computer set up properly on a table and are sitting up right, feet flat on floor and shoulders back.

If you’re using an iPad, avoid straining your neck but keeping the screen eye level.