Royce Shook

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Exercise and daily task

 Activities of Daily Living

Starting an exercise program is just one important step in taking charge of your health. Proper nutrition and routine visits to your physician are other vital ingredients to a healthy life. One area of our life is often overlooked. It is what we do each day.

While exercising, we focus on posture and strength. But what about the rest of the day? Do we bend or lift properly? Even people who exercise regularly are susceptible to household injuries.

To help prevent needless injuries here are some suggestions for safely performing some daily living activities

Vacuuming, Mopping, Raking

For all daily activities, it is important to avoid bending forward from the waist. Use your hips and knees to bend.

Maintain the arch in your low back during daily activities. Avoid twisting and especially the combination of forward bending and twisting. It is always better to push rather than pull an object if you have the choice.

Technique

·        Use the momentum and power of your legs to perform the motion.

·        If you are moving an object forward and backwards – such as a vacuum – have one leg in front of the other, knees bent, and rock from foot to foot while maintaining your spine in a lengthened position.

·        If you are moving an object – such as a mop – sideways, rock from leg to leg sideways, knees bent, while maintaining your spine in a lengthened position

Sitting with Support

Many years ago, when I was teaching typing, one of the first lessons I taught was not about where to put your fingers, but how to sit properly. Many people in our society sit in a slumped position that rounds the lower back. This posture puts forceful pressure on the lower back, upper back, head and neck regions and can lead to injury over time.

Technique

When sitting, your feet should be flat on the floor. Ideally, you should have a chair that is adjustable for height.

If not, a footrest can be used under your feet.

Your normal lower back curve should be supported by the chair. To do this, the chair's back should curve slightly forward. This support is necessary to avoid slumping. If your chair does not have low back support, you can place a lumbar roll or rolled towel in the small of your lower back for support.

It is very important to get up frequently from sitting — at least once an hour. Remember to sit with your spine lengthened, with your head floating up, and your shoulders wide. Good sitting habits are more important than chair design.

When driving

The same principles hold true when you are driving. Some cars have lumbar support in the seat which you should adjust to support your lower back curve. You can also use a towel roll or a portable lumbar roll if your car seat does not give you adequate back support.

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