It became an issue for Jay Perry, who in the video above talks about the toll his shoulder bag took on his health:
About five years ago, I was having the worst back pains and the worst headaches … it wasn’t until a friend recommended a pain specialist that she went to that I finally found out what was wrong with me — photography was killing me.
Yeah, that’s a bit extreme. The point is, Perry had been lugging a bag full of camera gear on his right shoulder, which eventually led to the pain he was experiencing. The clip also features a massage therapist who explains the why:
The weight of the bag ins’t essentially the problem. It can be a [light] bag, it can be a [heavy] bag, the [heavy] bag is just going to make you feel the pain much sooner … the truth still stands that if you do something with one side more than the other, you are going to create a muscular imbalance.
The fix for Perry was to go from a satchel to a backpack, evening up the load on the body. Obviously, this isn’t isolated to photographers — if your job or hobby requires you to cart stuff around and you’re having issues with back pain, seriously consider the switch.