by Erika Mesenbourg, PT, DPT
Cleaning can be a vigorous activity and the first step to preventing injury is to warm-up first. This could include taking a brisk walk for 5 minutes.
- Always bend from your knees, when lifting items from the floor. Keep the object as close to your center as you can, to protect your back from undue stress. When lifting mulch or other heavy objects, avoid bending forward from your trunk. If the object is too large or too heavy, be sure to ask someone to help you!
- When cleaning windows or painting, above shoulder height, use a step stool or ladder to prevent excessive reaching with your arms.
- Avoid scrubbing the floors and / or your bathtub on your hands and knees. Instead, use a mop. Keep the mop close to you, maintaining a straight back. Avoid bending forward from the trunk and excessive reaching.
- When gardening, use a pad under your knees and try not bend forward excessively from your trunk. Kneeling on one knee helps you to maintain a straight back. Be sure to alternate between knees. Avoid performing any activity for too long, and be sure to hydrate!