Gym bags causing injury to millions, according to new research

New research shows nearly 2 million (36%)* UK gym goers need to lighten the load after suffering from back and neck pains at least once a week as a result of carrying heavy work and gym bags. The Saucony Kinvara 3** poll shows the array of unnecessary items fitness fans lug around on a daily basis is negating the benefits of their exercise routines by putting their postures at risk of long term damage.



A quarter carry around batteries (27%), fruit (53%), hair straighteners (17%) and even children’s toys (11%) in their gym bags. While over half refuse to leave home without a spare pair of pants (54%) or emergency toilet roll (16%).


Vanity and hygiene were also to blame for weighing down bags, with 5 million UK gym goers (97%) carrying 5-10 products just for grooming and beauty. One in ten of those surveyed admitted to leaving clothing in their gym bags for 1-2 months. Meanwhile twice the amount of men (15%) compared to women (8%) confessed to leaving unwashed clothing festering for a fortnight.


“We need to get the Nation back to basics when it comes to running. Forget expensive gym memberships or lugging around heavy bags – lightweight running gear and minimalist trainers are all you need. The Saucony Kinvara 3 is an award-winning training shoe that is so lightweight, just 220g***, you can get rid of all these random items and just run!” said Jonathan Quint, Marketing Manager for Saucony UK and Ireland.

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The UK regions needing to simplify their stride:

       Gym goers in the East Midlands experience neck and back pain most frequently, with 47% suffering at least once a week, compared to just 23% in the East of England

       The pampering products of Londoners are damaging postures the most with 10% of gym goers carrying between 15-25 grooming/beauty products with them

       The East Midlands are the most hair-conscious with 23% weighing bags down with hairdryers, compared to just 4% of those from the North East


Nick Anderson, Saucony Coaching Ambassador and founder of fitness coaching company Running With Us, gives his top tips for getting back to basics when running…


1.     A good posture is your best ally to avoid neck and back pains.  Always stand tall with a very slight forward lean, your chest out, shoulders back and imagine your head is being pulled up towards the sky by a cord

2.     Tension in the shoulder or neck caused by heavy bags will put additional stress on the upper posture leading to headaches, muscular tightness and ultimately, poor performance.  Avoid that trip to the osteopath by keeping your kit to a minimum

3.     If you must carry a small bag, choose a running rucksack that binds in across the body and fits tightly against the middle of the back as you run. Have it strapped on evenly at all times and make sure it doesn’t move while you run

4.     There are lots of great running clubs out there that take your bags for you, such as


* Research conducted from 13-20th September 2012 by Research Now, with a sample size of 1,024 UK adults who are regular gym goers 


UK ‘Gym Goers’ based on UK Mintel research (2010) that 5.2 million adults have membership of a private gym:


** About Saucony, Inc.: Saucony, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc., is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals. Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including ProGrid™, PowerGrid™ ViZiPRO™ and AMP PRO2™ apparel. At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run. A great day is when we inspire someone else to run.


*** About the Kinvara 3:


Winner of the “Best Natural Running Shoe” award from Running Fitness, “Best Update” award from Runner’s World, and the “Minimalist Shoe Gold Award” from Men’s Running, all in 2012.

Other key features of the Kinvara 3 include:

  • Weight of only 220g (based on a men’s size 8, 190g for a ladies size 6) for a lighter and more flexible running experience
  • FlexFilm technology to secure and stabilize the foot throughout the gait cycle
4mm heel-to-toe offset to create a greater range of motion than traditional running shoes, allowing for a more powerful running stride


  • Memory Foam heel pods in the collar to ensure an ultra-secure ride
  • Available in men’s sizes 7-12, 13 and 14, and women’s sizes 4-9
  • Available in white/citron/pink, blue/white and white/pink/blue for women and blue/citron and black/citron/red for men
  • RRP: £95



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