Working Around the House

There are hundreds of ways, some subtle and some readily apparent, that we can injure ourselves working (or even relaxing) in and around the house.  By not following some basic safety precautions and appealing to one's common sense, we put our health at risk even doing the simplest of tasks.

Following are some tips for you to use:

*  Avoid cradling the phone between your neck and your shoulder.  Doing so can lock up the spinal joints in the neck and in the upper back.  consider  using a speakerphone, wireless headset or use your arm to hold the phone to your ear.

*  If you need to turn in order to carry something that you've picked up, step in the direction of the turn in order to avoid twisting your body and straining your spine and muscles.

*  Raise one foot slightly when standing to iron, or rest one foot on a small stepstool or box.

*  Standing for long periods of time, during dishwashing for example, can put a great deal of strain on your neck, back, knees and feet.  When standing at the sink, rest one foot on the inside cabinet below the sink and bend the knee on that leg.  This will ease the pressure on your body.

*  Use pillows or some other firm support (behind your back) when sitting in a chair or on the couch watching television.  Also, don't  use the armrest of the chair or couch for a headrest, as it will strain your neck.

*  When lifting, don't bend from the waist.  Squat down by bending both knees, keeping your back straight.  This way you are using your arms and shoulders, and not just your back and legs, in order to help you lift.

*  When vacuuming, use the "fencer's stance" by putting all of your weight on one foot while stepping back and forward with your other.  Use the back foot as a pivot when you need to turn.

*  Do not fall asleep on the couch.  Couches may be appear to be comfortable, but they do not provide the proper support that our body needs.  Make sure you get into bed before getting so tired that you accidentally fall asleep on the couch.