The case of the laptop

14 Oct

Getting a stretched out leather strap shortened can do wonders for your posture and your image.

I love to watch people.  I look to see what they’re doing and what they’re wearing, how they hold their bodies, their expressions, and how they move; I also take notice of people’s posture and weight distribution, and I have noticed that both sexes have a knack for pulling themselves out of alignment with their accessories.

Women do it with shoes: watch for yourself and you will see women stepping strangely and walking at unnatural angles to balance weight distribution when wearing heels too high.

Men do it with laptop bags: I see them crawling up the sidewalks, the burdened shoulder of their jacket yanked out of place, one sleeve hiked up the forearm, and bodies bent forward in an effort to compensate for the unbalanced weight of their often low-slung laptop bag. It doesn’t exactly send a message of competence and it makes me uncomfortable just thinking about it. But fear not, lads, there is hope – below is some information to make your life with laptop transportation easier.

Strap length

Lugging around a laptop that knocks around one’s knees feels very awkward and makes us walk with an unnatural swagger. The weight carried on the shoulder would be better balanced if the strap was shorter to bring the weight closer to the upper body, where a man’s strength lies! Here’s how to do it:

If you have a leather laptop bag, the weight of the laptop can stretch the strap to a clumsy length over time. Take it to a leather or shoe repair shop and have it or shortened. It will look and feel WAY better.

If you have a fabric strap, it’s adjustable:

1. Decide where you think you would like the bag to sit on your body (i.e. around the hip). Approximate the length of strap you’ll need from the shoulder to reach the desired length, or free-form and experiment with different lengths.

2. Set the bag down and give the strap some slack.

3. Take hold of the slider (usually plastic or metal) on the strap – you should be able to slide it up and down the strap but if not, feed the strap going into it and pull on the other side to get the strap to a comfortable length.

HINT: if the slider slides under the weight of the bag, find a large safety pin and use it on the underside of the strap beneath the slider to keep it in place.

4. Adjust as needed for the best balance and enjoy your new-found freedom of movement!

Weight distribution

Carrying a heavy bag can hurt and may even damage your shoulder and back, but taking care to place the bag correctly should help.

1. Make sure the strap is at a comfortable length (above), and if there is a shoulder pad on the strap, move it so it will sit directly on your shoulder.

2. Place – I said place, not throw – the strap to a spot on your shoulder that feels the most comfortable and push the weight behind you as needed. Adjust your jacket below the strap – it may help to stand near a table and put the bag on it while you smooth your clothes beneath. If you find the strap sliding on your shoulder as you walk, straighten up /put your hand under the strap and hold it in place.

Other options

1. Lengthen the strap and wear the bag across your chest. This might feel more secure because it’s attached to your body instead of flopping around at your side, and the chest supports the weight in conjunction with the shoulder. Push the weight behind you as needed and straighten clothing beneath.

2. Have you tried carrying it by the handle? It might be easier to carry this way (plus you can switch hands) but it may be easier to drop or lose this way.

Let me know how you fared, fellas, and share any hints if you have any!

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