Household Safety Tips
The house is a dangerous place for your back. Stay safe and follow these everyday tips.
- Working at the counter. Standing over the typical kitchen counter, leaning slightly forward, arms extended, can place a lot of stress on the lower spine. You can greatly improve the situation by resting one leg on a stool. Or open a cabinet and rest your leg on a shelf. Best answer: next time you remodel a kitchen, adjust the countertop height of the working surfaces. Bend your elbows and shrug, and measure to the bottom of your elbows.
- Vacuuming. Most people push and pull an upright vacuum with such violence it exposes the lower back to undue stress. Make friends with your vacuum and walk with the handle at your side. Or get a newer, much lighter weight model.
- Ceiling work. Cleaning the ceiling, painting, or installing something overhead, arms outstretched, arches your back and increases pressure. Use a ladder that’s tall enough to minimize arm raising and arching, and sturdy enough to prevent falling.
- Tooth brushing. Stand to brush your teeth, don’t lean if the bathroom vanity or counter height is too low.
- Lifting. The standard method of squatting moves your center of gravity forward, away from you,with arms outstretched. Instead, kneel straight down to the load, one knee on the floor and one bent at 90 degrees.
- Bathtub cleaning. Get in the tub to clean it instead of leaning over it, and use a non-slip bathmat.
- Laundry baskets. Stop carrying the dirty laundry in a basket down a flight of stairs. Your arms are outstretched, increasing your back pressure, and you can’t see your feet…or the stairs! Put the laundry in a bag and let it roll down the stairs. It’s much more fun than hurting your back, or hurling yourself down the stairs.