All your extra visitors at Christmas time can prompt a cleaning blitz in preparation. And none of us seem to escape the weekly cleaning duties! (Maybe we should have been born princesses! 😉). These household duties can impact on your spinal health.
Simple household chores can be a cause of lower back pain. A study in 2015 showed that 3.7 million Australians experienced pain in their low back. (1) Your spine is under a lot of pressure when you do housework and Australians average 30 hours per week of housework. (2)
Bending from the waist or using bad posture can put extra strain on your spine. These tasks can include washing floors, vacuuming, window cleaning, laundry tasks, ironing and washing dishes/loading the dishwasher.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just skip these tasks? Unfortunately, for most of us, this isn’t possible, so here are a few tips to help you:
Stand Up Straight
Try standing in a lunge position and keep your spine straight when mopping, vacuuming or hunching over for a task. This can prevent achy pain and poor posture.
Share The Load
Try putting a small step under one foot or open the cupboard door and put your foot on the cupboard floor/edge when standing for a long time. This can help with washing the dishes, preparing food or doing the ironing.
If you’re lifting heavy items, remember to keep the item close to your body. If there’s room, bend your knees when you’re lifting instead of bending at the waist. This reduces the strain of your low back. Use both hands to hold the object and turn your body to face it when you pick it up. Stand up slowly.
By taking breaks occasionally, you will give your spine a rest.
Use The Straighten Up App
This free app from the Australian Chiropractors’ Association has some exercises you can do before, during and after cleaning. This will help your muscles warm-up, maintain your good posture and cool down after cleaning.
We can give advice, assist you maintain a healthy spine and recommend appropriate care which may include specific chiropractic adjustments, targeted rehabilitation, stretches and exercises to help strengthen your muscles. You can reach us on 3862 2611 or brisbanechiropractor.com.au
¹ Australia’s Health 2018 (AIHW). aihw.gov.au., 2018. Web.
²Mothers still do the lion’s share of housework Fact Sheet, Australian Institute of Family Studies 2016, Web.
Author: Cheyne Thompson
Cheyne graduated from Sydney College of Chiropractic and Osteopathy in 1984. She also has postgraduate qualifications in paediatric chiropractic care. Before joining Clayfield Chiropractic Clinic in 1993, Cheyne enjoyed seven years in a Sydney based practice. Cheyne has three children and 2 grandchildren.