Spring is here! For many, spring cleaning preparations are underway or on the list, at least. Spring cleaning may sound simple and a mundane chore, but all the bending, reaching, twisting and lifting big or heavy loads can mean an increase in risk musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries. Here are some tips to help you avoid injury while making your home free of unwanted items and making it sparkle!
Break down your list
Depending on how much you have to get done, ambitiously powering through it may not be the best thing to do. A little becomes a lot when you make a weekly list and break it down to daily goals. Investing as little as 30 minutes every day to your household to accomplish a few tasks can decrease your stress and risk of injury or fatigue. You might be surprised at how much you get done in a small amount of time each day, and have more time on the weekend for fun activities with family and friends.
Create manageable piles
Laundry can feel never ending, and it might be tempting to do it all at once! But, it may be prudent to divide loads in smaller, more manageable piles to minimize the risk of injury. The same applies to carrying groceries from the store or car to the house. If you don’t drive, consider investing in a cart or trundle buggy rather than carrying heavy bags.
Maintain proper posture
With cleaning, there’s usually a lot of bending, reaching and twisting which can increase your likelihood of injury. Rather than stretching out your arms and bending at the waist to do the job, hold the vacuum or mop handle close to your body and walk back and forth with it. Avoid excessive twisting and keep a relaxed, neutral spine while performing these activities.
Wherever possible, use both sides of your body (i.e. hands, arms) to complete your chores to avoid unwanted strain to your shoulders, neck and even back. While we don’t suggest chopping vegetables with your non-dominant hand, you might try cleaning the bathroom tiles or washing dishes by switching hands.