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Carrying bags

Another AKICOLJ question.

If you give a bloke a heavy bag with a handle to carry, he will probably carry it in one hand with his arm straight down by his side.

If you give a woman the same bag, she may carry it in the same way but she may also carry it in the angle of an arm bent at the elbow in a right angle with her forearm held in front of her. I've tried this and find it uncomfortable and tiring after a few minutes. Furthermore, I've never seen blokes carry anything like this.

So my question is 'Are female human arms somehow different from male arms?'


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2010 06:06 am (UTC)
It's a bit more complicated than that. There are two factors involved here:

1. Wrist strength. I know all about this one because I haven't got any, which is why I invariably carry a bag in the way you describe for a woman. (Before my wrists started causing trouble, I normally carried the bag hanging straight down.) The average man has stronger wrists than the average woman, but there seems to be notably less variation in upper arm tensile strength. If you have weak wrists but a reasonably strong upper arm, you hang the heavy bag on your elbow.

2. Overall body shape. Women have hips. Men are more straight up and down. If you have an hour-glass figure, the bag will tend to sit against your hips at an angle and not bump into the top of your leg. Therefore, it's far more comfortable for you to carry it that way than if you're built to a more columnar plan.

These days, of course, I don't carry a bag at all if I can help it. I have a trolley!
Jul. 16th, 2010 06:52 am (UTC)
In my case, it's down to having a mandolin figure: hips and thin shoulders. My shoulders are so narrow that my arms just don't hang straight down by my side anyway so I have to hold them out at an angle If I carry a bag man-style, it usually bangs my legs or gets tangled in my stride - it's a real pain. Therefore I can often be found with a supermarket bag over my shoulder, which has the added bonus of being able to rest some of the weight on my hip.
Jul. 16th, 2010 10:47 am (UTC)
It's the body shape for me. I have very strong wrists and hands (carving wood with a chisel will do that) so I can hold weights pretty well, but if I hold a bag dangling straight down I tend to find my arm catches on my hip and the bag bangs my calves.

I prefer shoulder bags for this reason, as they sit nicely on my fat hips. :-D
Jul. 16th, 2010 07:06 am (UTC)
It may be to do with the strength in the hands.
Jul. 16th, 2010 07:14 am (UTC)
I've always blamed it on my height. Bags tend to bump on the ground if carried with the arm straight down so that I have to slightly bend the arm anyway.

I see this isn't the general problem though...
Jul. 21st, 2010 12:39 pm (UTC)
Any more? I was just getting used to these!
Jul. 21st, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC)
Can't think of any for the moment. Feel free to ask your own questions. I feel it's a concept with potential...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )