How heavy can your workbag be?

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Despite the fact that most of us are going paperless nowadays, we are still packing a lot of stuff into our work bags. But what is the average weight of our workbag? Is there a difference in weight between what men and women can carry? Time for some hard figures and advice from a chiropractor.

How heavy can your workbag be?


In 2013 and 2014 there was a survey done in Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands on the subject of workbags and in specific the weight of the bag we are carrying around with us daily. The majority of the respondents were highly educated professionals.  The results showed that the average workbags weigh about 3.2 kilos, and in all 3 countries (Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands) surveyed the men generally carry a heavier bag. Dispelling the myth that women lug more around in their bags.

Men in Germany and The Netherlands carry an extra 700 grams of weight while Belgian men are carrying an even larger 900 grams of extra weight,  making their workbags an average of 3.8 kilos while Belgian women’s bags weigh about 2.7 kilos.

Unfortunately, the contents of the bags were not researched, but the researchers think the difference in weight is due to men carrying more electronic equipment around with them. A laptop, tablet, and other electronic gadgets obviously weigh more than a couple of tampons, lipstick, and other items that ladies tend to carry with them.

What should it weigh?

Nice, all those kilos! But what should your bag weigh? According to a chiropractor that varies depending on the type of bag. If you are wearing a shoulder bag it should weigh no more than 10% of your body weight. So, if you weigh 80 kilos your bag should not weigh more than 8 kilos. It is also recommended to choose a shoulder bag with a wide strap. 

Carrying a rucksack? This can weigh up to 20% of your body weight.  But make sure that the bottom of the rucksack falls approximately at waist height. If your bag of choice is an arm bag it is recommended that it weigh no more than 4.5 kilos. 

After reading this research I immediately weighed my workbag. I was shocked to see it weighs 3.7 kilos. Packed in are a laptop, wallet, gloves, chargers, a hard drive, business cards, and way too much make-up! Ahhh so much stuff, ok I knew I carried around a lot but this amount I had not expected. Luckily I carry my bag over my shoulder and I definitely weigh more than 37 kilos so I am keeping within the ‘rules’ 🙂

 Curious to hear if you will also weigh your bag to see how heavy it is?




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