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With the Easter long weekend behind us and a warm breeze coming through your newly open windows, you may be ready to tackle your long list of household chores.
Since many of these chores require a great deal of bending, reaching and twisting — all movements that can increase your risk of injury — we’ve pulled together some tips to help you stay safe while checking off your to-do lists:
1. Warm up before you start to clean
As with any type of physical activity, it is very important to warm up the body before engaging in your spring-cleaning routine. You can prepare your body by walking around the house or doing some simple stretches to help prevent injury.
2. Break up heavy loads and make a few more trips
Think back to the last time you did groceries. Did you try to carry all the bags into the house at once, instead of taking multiple trips to the car? We know how tempting it is to make fewer trips, but you may be risking an injury. Take the extra few minutes and only carry a few bags at once. Don’t drive? Consider investing in a cart or buggy rather than carrying heavy bags.
3. Divide and conquer and get it done gradually
Do you save chores for your day off and ambitiously power through your list? You may find that dedicating 30 minutes every day to your household tasks can decrease your stress and risk of injury or fatigue.
Bonus: by getting a little bit done each day, you will have more time on the weekend for fun activities with family and friends.
4. Maintain proper posture while doing your chores
Vacuuming and mopping the floors often require 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 doing these chores. Your back will thank you!
5. Switch it up and use your non-dominant hand
To prevent unwanted strain on your shoulders, neck, and back, use both sides of your body to do your spring cleaning. Every once in a while, consider cleaning the bathroom tiles or washing dishes with your non-dominant hand.
With these tips, you can feel confident in tackling your to-do list safely and effectively. However, if an injury does occur, give our clinic a call at 905-427-3202 and book a consultation with our chiropractic or massage therapy team.
With content from the Canadian Chiropractic AssociationLeave a Comment
As you head out to rake your leaves this month, chances are the last thing you’ll be thinking about is your posture.
It’s hard to believe, but an hour or so spent tidying your lawn can have long-term consequences if your body isn’t accustomed to the activity.
Ajax Chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera and the massage therapists at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage have helped numerous patients overcome injuries, many of which have occurred while working around the home.
“Although raking may seem like an easy task, it’s actually an intensely physical activity,” says Dr. Noble. “To avoid injury, it’s important to make sure you’re performing this task correctly.”
Follow these tips and avoid a backache next time you rake.
Pick the right tool for the job
Is your rake the correct length for your height? Ideally, your rake should be about chin high. If it is too tall or too short, this could lead to improper reaching or bending and potential injury.
Get your body moving before the raking begins
Before you grab the rake, spend five to 10 minutes doing a variety of whole-body stretches. These can include a basic hamstring stretch, shoulder, wrist, and side stretches. For a full list of stretches, click here. Do each of the exercises five times, holding each for 15 seconds. Be sure not to bounce, jerk or strain. It should be a gentle stretch, not a pain.
Ensure proper raking posture
Once you’ve warmed up, keep your back straight while raking and avoid repetitive motions by switching arms and pulling in different directions. This allows you to work out different parts of your body equally.
Remember to bend at the knees when lifting
Whether you’re moving a planter across the deck or lifting a bag of leaves, remember to bend at your knees, not at your waist, and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. As you’re lifting, tighten your abs, straighten your knees and keep your back straight. For turning, you should avoid twisting at the waist by moving your feet instead.
Take frequent breaks
Every 20 minutes or so, pause for a few minutes to catch your breath and stay hydrated. Check your posture and perform a few stretches to ensure that you are maintaining flexibility throughout raking.