Whether you’re doing a little (or a lot of) spring cleaning, getting the house ready for Christmas or the usual weekly chores it is important to always clean with your spine in mind.
In 2015, 3.7 million Australians experienced lower back pain,¹ which can be caused from a number of factors, including simple everyday activities. The average Australian for example can spend up to 30 hours a week on housework, putting enormous pressure on our bodies, especially the spine.²
Activities like vacuuming, mopping, cleaning windows, and even washing dishes can add extra strain on the spine because of our habit of bending at the waist or having poor posture while performing repetitive movements.
Although giving up housework altogether may not be a practical option, here are a few tips to help you maintain a healthy spine while doing some housework:
When performing activities that you would normally do hunched over like vacuuming or mopping, attempt these activities with your legs in a lunge position, while keeping your spine straight which may help prevent aches and improve your posture.
Share the Load
Reduce strain on your neck and back while doing the dishes by opening up the cupboard doors under the sink and placing a foot inside. This should help you squat lower and straighten up your spine.
If lifting heavy objects, keep the object as close to your body as you can. When space permits bend at the knees instead of the waste to lessen the strain on your back, use both hands and slowly stand up.
Taking regular breaks can help avoid constant strain on your spine. Before, during and after cleaning, it might be a good idea to use the exercises in the Straighten Up app to help your muscles warm-up and cool down, while maintaining proper posture.
Visit a Chiropractor
Your local ACA chiropractor can provide advice and assistance on maintaining a healthy spine and recommend appropriate care.
Care options can include specific chiropractic adjustments, targeted stretches and exercises to help strengthen your muscles.
Australian chiropractors see up to 300,000 people each week, so chiropractic care may be a great option for you to help keep your spine moving well too.
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.