Quarantine overload? How to succeed in housework without breaking your back


As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, millions of people find themselves cornered at home due to the various degrees of lockdown obliged by the deadly illness.

Cooking, cleaning, laundry … and the rest. Did you know that these kinds of chores pose serious health risks?

Incorrect ways of performing household chores, such as by maintaining bad posture, can eventually damage your knees, waist, neck and shoulders. Countless people suffer debilitating injuries characterized by musculoskeletal pain each year from going too heavy on the housework.

In order to avoid damaging your health, you might want to make sure you take some housework tips from physiotherapist Dr. Gamze Şenbursa.

1 – The height of the surfaces upon which you work is always important for a healthy body posture. The surfaces you work on should neither be too high nor too low. Working on low surfaces will cause you to stand in a slumped position, causing neck and back problems in the future.

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2 – High surfaces create problems for your arms and elbows. The height of the counter should be 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) below the elbow. For those working on heavy-duty projects, this level should be between 10-25 cm.

3 – Try to have everything you need within arm’s reach while working on chores. You could end up hurting your spine or straining your back when lifting heavy loads onto high shelves.

4 – Repetitive chores that require a lot of bending of the waist increase the load on that area. While this may lead to lower back pain at first, it can increase your risk of suffering a herniated disc in the future. You should be careful that the distance between you and the place of work should not exceed 30 cm.

5 – You should avoid doing anything that requires standing or sitting for a long time. Avoid staying in the same position for a long period. You can spread out chores that require these kinds of stances throughout the day.

6 – When you clean the toilet bowl or do any tasks requiring you to put uneven weight on one leg, you should use one leg for a short amount of time and then switch your stance to distribute weight to your other leg later.

7 – You should avoid sudden twists of your body while doing chores. It is better to instead approach things slowly.

8 – You should store frequently used items in easy-to-reach places.

9 – Activities such as hanging curtains can cause injuries to your shoulders and neck. To prevent this, use a ladder or stool to help you get up.

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10 – While ironing, you should adjust the height of your table so that you do not stand in a humped position. You can also put your laundry basket on a stool to protect your spine by preventing too much bending over.

11 – You shouldn’t be wiping the floor on your knees. This can cause damage to your joints and their surrounding tissue. To avoid this, make some choice purchases, such as long-handled mops. If not, at least put a cushion under your knees.

12 – When sweeping, you should make sure that the handle of the broom is long enough and adjustable according to your height.

13 – Make sure to let in some fresh air to your house before starting cleaning. This will prevent you from breathing in chemicals from the cleaning products.

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14 – You can benefit from using equipment such as elbow and knee pads during cleaning. These can minimize your risk of injury.

15 – You should always take breaks during cleaning. Taking a 10-minute break every 30 minutes will prevent your body from getting worn out.

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