by Gerald Craft May 10, 2018 2 min read

A few weeks ago, Twitter user@kamonjomaina posted the image below with the Tweet, “Men, When you sit on your wallet. Regards.”

The effects of sitting on a bulky wallet

The Twitter community erupted with some pretty hilarious comments:

twitter comments about back posture and wallets

Can Sitting on a Wallet Really Cause Back Pain?

All jokes aside, putting a wallet in your back pocket has been proven to put stress on your hip joint and lower back, says Stuart McGill, Ph.D., professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo.

Image of spine altered by back problems

This phenomenon was first described in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1966 and the condition was referred to as "credit-carditis." According to chiropractor Dr. Arnie Angrist, this "creates an asymmetry or imbalance that distorts your pelvis and hips," which can lead to all sorts of issues, like pain, degeneration, and agitation of the nerve in your backside (the sciatic). Over time, burdening these joints can even cause degeneration, leading to more pain.

Stuffing a wallet in your back pocket tilts your pelvis to one side, which puts more stress on your spine. Instead of sitting upright, you actually round your lower back. The bigger the wallet, the more lopsided you sit resulting in more pain.

Use a Slim Wallet in Your Front Pocket

The simple solution is to move your wallet to your front pocket. However, most leather billfolds are too bulky to comfortably fit in a front pocket. So a slim wallet that holds only the essentials is ideal.

According to the Men’s Journal, here’s what you do about it: “Clear all the crap out of your wallet, then throw that wallet away. Get something slim that only lets you hold a few things at a time, like your ID and a couple cards. It’ll force you to cut clutter, which you probably needed anyway. Now, most important part: Stick that thing in your front pocket, and get your body back on track.”

 


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