By: The Canadian Chiropractic Association
Have you ever stared down your list of household chores and wish you had a magic wand? Not very many people seem to like cleaning the house; however, it is one of life’s necessities. The mundane nature of chores aside, some household activities require a great deal of bending, reaching and twisting that may increase the risk of musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries. Here are some tips to help you avoid injury while making your home sparkle.
1. Warm up
As an avid reader of our blog, you are well aware of the importance of warming-up the body before engaging in any type of physical activity. Preparing the body by taking a walk around the house or doing simple stretches can help prevent injury. The Resource section of the CCA website has a number of stretching ideas, or you can simply download Straighten Up Canada for a quick and easy routine.
2. Divide heavy loads
Laundry can feel never ending, and it might be tempting to do it all at once! But, it may be prudent to divide loads in smaller, more manageable piles to minimize the risk of injury. The same applies to carrying groceries from the store or car to the house. If you don’t drive, consider investing in a cart or trundle buggy rather than carrying heavy bags.
3. A little becomes a lot
Do you save chores for your day off and ambitiously power through your list? It may be sensible to make a weekly list and break it down to daily goals. Investing as little as 30 minutes every day to your household to accomplish a few tasks can decrease your stress and risk of injury or fatigue. You might be surprised at how much you get done in a small amount of time each day, and have more time on the weekend for fun activities with family and friends.
4. Maintain proper posture
Certain chores in particular can increase your likelihood of injury. For example, vacuuming and mopping the floors tends to encourage excessive bending, reaching and twisting. Rather than stretching out your arms and bending at the waist to do the job, hold the vacuum or mop handle close to your body and walk back and forth with it. Avoid excessive twisting and keep a relaxed, neutral spine while performing these activities.
5. Switch hands
Wherever possible, use both sides of your body (i.e. hands, arms) to complete your chores to avoid unwanted strain to your shoulders, neck and even back. While we don’t suggest chopping vegetables with your non-dominant hand, you might try cleaning the bathroom tiles or washing dishes by switching hands.
Please click the logo (above) to learn more about our Doctors of Chiropractic!