Back care

Bend at the knees when lifting objects

Avoid doing tasks before stretching

Change tasks frequently when doing heavy lifting

Kneel to do tasks low to the ground

Correctly lift objects

Avoid muscle strain by learning correct techniques

Regular spinal check-ups will keep a healthy back

Ensure you keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids

Do Not:

    • Slump-sit (Your low back should be supported).

    • Lean forward and downward to reach for your work.

    • Sit for long periods of time without getting up.

    • Sit on the floor


    • Sit close to your work.

    • Sit in a chair that is low enough to place both feet on the floor and no lower.

    • Have a chair that supports your lower back in a slightly arched position.

    • Use an arm rest whenever possible to reduce stress to the upper body and neck.

    • Remove your wallet or other bulky material from your back pockets.

    • Organize your workstation to avoid repetitive bending, twisting or reaching while seated.

    • Remember proper posture when talking on the phone. Do not cradle the phone in the crook of your neck.

Whether You:

    • Bend from a seated position

    • Bend form the standing position

    • Crouch on one knee or both knees

    • Crouch with both feet flat on the floor

Keep your back straight; maintain your normal curve, support your weight and bend at the hips and knees!!!

    • When bending or crouching, support your weight with the free hand by leaning on a desk, your thigh or whatever is available. Keeping your feet apart allows for greater stability and balance.

    • When combining crouching or bending with reaching, stabilize yourself and maintain your lumbar curve.

Taking Time out to stretch can reduce accumulated tension and allow our bodies to move with greater ease and comfort.

Regular Stretching will:

    • Reduce muscle tension and allow you to feel more relaxed.

    • Permit easier movement.

    • Increase range of motion in all joints.

    • Prevent injuries.

    • Make activities easier because it prepares the muscles for movement.

    • Develop body awareness.

    • Help reduce stress and its effects.

    • Feel good!

How to Stretch:

    • It is important to stretch in a relaxed manner with sustained movements that focus your attention on the muscles being stretched.

    • Do not bounce, bob, jerk or stretch to the point of pain.

When people think of exercise - they generally don’t think of household chores or yard work. Believe it or not, you could be burning up to 300 calories an hour! Any household chore or yard work that involves bending, reaching,

digging or lifting can be considered exercise.

Muscles and joints in your back may become sore or stiff after doing theseactivities. However by doing some light stretching prior to beginning the chores, soreness and pain may be prevented. When stretching remember these

key points:

o Hold a stretch for 15 seconds

o Repeat each stretch 3 times

o Maintain the position and do not bounce or jerk

o Stretching should be gentle and not painful in any way

Try these great stretches before your next household activity or yard work:



Standing Torso Stretch - Stand with feet outside shoulder width, toes

pointing straight ahead. Place your left hand on your left hip for support

and reach your right arm up over your head, while bending your torso to

the left. Feel a stretch in the torso. Switch sides and repeat 3 times.

Shoulder Stretch - Stand with feet hip width apart slightly bent at

the knees. Cross your left arm over your body so it is near to the right

shoulder and place your right hand on the left arm below or above the

elbow for support. Extend until you feel a slight stretch in your

shoulder. Repeat each side 3 times.

Upper Back Stretch – Stand with legs slightly bent and hip width

apart. With arms straight, clasp your fingers in front of you while

keeping your back firm and you body upright. Gently push your hand

away from you to shoulder height (maximum) until you feel a gentle

stretch across the upper back. Repeat 3 times.

Neck Stretch – Sit tall on step or chair, holding side of chair with

left hand and reach right hand over hand, placing right hand on left

ear. Drop right ear down to right shoulder, stopping when you feel

mild tension. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat each side 3 times.

Lower Back Stretch – Lie on your back with your feet

flat on the floor and your knees bent on a mat or the

floor. Hold the tops of shins with your hands and bring

both knees in close to your chest. Pull your knees

gently into your body until you feel a stretch in the

lower back. Repeat 3 times

Precautions while lifting

Maintaining a Natural Position

You'll notice your lower back curves naturally when standing straight. Do your best to maintain this posture while lifting, lowering or moving. This position assures the greatest spinal and back stability.

Hug That Load

Holding a load close to your belly and body reduces the strain on the muscles of your back and trunk. If required, wear protective clothing to prevent sharp objects form causing injury.

Flex Your Abdominal Muscles

Contracting your abdominal muscles – or bracing – when lifting, lowering or moving improves your spinal stability. Even slight abdominal contractions can largely reduce your likelihood of getting injured.

Don’t Twist:

Twisting decreases the stability of your back and increases your likelihood of injury. Pivot with your feet to turn, rather than twisting your body.