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    • 20 AUG 15
    Ergonomic Strategies for Using a  Purse

    Tips for Selecting the Right Purse

    • Buy different sizes of purses for different occasions. The size of your purse should reflect specific activities:
    • Short errands—small, compact purse
    • Long errands—small backpack or knapsack worn around the waist
    • Avoid heavily loading tote-style bags, which are worn over the shoulder.
    • Select purses with built-in compartments. This will help to distribute the weight more evenly.
    • Choose a handbag that is proportionate to your body size and no larger than what is needed.
    • Avoid selecting purses made of heavy material such as leather, which adds extra weight. Instead, select handbags made of lighter materials, such as microfiber and fabric.
    • Straps: Avoid thin and long straps; straps should be wide and adjustable. Ensure that pressure caused by the straps does not cause discomfort.


    Tips for Packing a Purse

    • Consider the contents of your purse—can you leave some items at home or in your car?
    • Eliminate unnecessary duplicate contents, such as extra pens and lipsticks.
    • Wallet: Regularly empty your wallet of coins. Reduce the number of cards you carry; many places can access your account without the proof of your card.
    • Toiletries: Look for travel-size options for items such as lotions, make-up, and hand sanitizers.
    • Cell phone: Clip your cell phone to your waist.
    • Keys: Leave keys you do not use on a regular basis at home.
    • Accessories: Limit the number of accessories in your purse.
    • Medication: Request sample-sized medications.


    Tips for Selecting the Right Handles

    • For purses with short handles, switch positions frequently to avoid fatigue from muscle overuse.
    • For Purses with shoulder straps:
    • Place the strap diagonally across the opposite shoulder to help distribute weight evenly across the back.
    • Square your shoulders and avoid lifting your shoulders to keep the straps from slipping.
    • Alternate shoulders by switching the bag from side to side.
    • Consider resting your purse on a counter when standing at a checkout.



    These tips were provided by Brittney Nichols, OTS (brittneynichols@gmail.com);  Priscilla Nova, OTS (priscillanova@gmail.com); and  Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA (kjacobs@bu.edu) of Boston University.