Simple household tasks can turn into trouble for people with persistent back pain. But following a few general rules can help minimize the risk of injury and keep your back healthy.
Here are 5 tips on how to protect your back when doing household chores:
1) Posture when lifting
-Poor posture when lifting heavy objects or poor lifting technique can cause back pain or back injuries. The natural tendency to round your back when bending over to pick things up is a motion that can put your hips at an awkward angle that places stress on the ligaments around your spine. Keeping your shoulders stable, engaging your pelvis & bending your knees when lifting ensure that you don’t overextend your back, preventing stress & injuries to your back.
2) Change your position
-Being in the same position, be it sitting or standing, for an extended period is tiring and can also cause muscle aches or strains. When standing for long periods of time, such as cooking or cleaning, try widening your stance or alternating your position to avoid repeated stress on the same muscles.
3) Strengthen your core muscles
-Exercises like planks, pelvic tilts and crunches can help to strengthen lower back & abdominal core muscles. These groups of muscles are often engaged when you are doing your chores.
4) Stand proud when vacuuming, sweeping or mopping
-Avoid bending and pushing while vacuuming. Instead, stand upright with your chest pushed out slightly, think military style, and use your legs rather than your back to move forward and backward.
5) Choose the right tools
-Tools are invented to make our lives easier but if they make chores even more frustrating & time-consuming, then they might not be the right tools for you! Select tools that are lightweight, portable, and easy to manoeuvre - Leifheit’s Regulus Aqua PowerVac 2-in-1 is a great example of such a cleaning tool! This cleaning tool is capable of both vacuuming & wiping the floor simultaneously which saves you time & effort especially from the physical work of filling a bucket full of water, lugging it around & throwing away the dirty water after use. It also comes with wheels for easy manoeuvrability and is fully battery operated which allows you to cover greater spaces without having to find an alternative power source as compared to a vacuum that comes with a cable.
Investing in the right tools for the right chores would make a whole world of difference to how you feel about chores each time you do them!