Cleaning Ergonomics - Tips to prevent low back pain


It is great to see that COVID cases are going down these days, but we still have to keep cleaning and sanitizing our homes! Are you experiencing back pain while cleaning and sanitizing your home? Let’s learn some strategies to minimize your body load while doing housework!


Mopping or Vacuum:

Our body has muscles for lifting, pushing, walking, throwing, or jumping, but there are no specific muscles designed to mop or vacuum. Therefore, we have to recruit all our core muscles to twist and do the job. The twisting motion can put a lot of stress on our body, and hence we may experience pain.


Strategies:

1. Try walking to the area you want to clean instead of leaning forward

2. Use forward and backward motions instead of side to side

3. Keep 2 hands on handle

4. Use a light-weight mop/vacuum

5. Wring out mop before using it to decrease the mass

6. Separate the workload (mop 1 room at a time/ share the workload with someone)

7. Get a robot


Cleaning the bathroom:

Bending, reaching, and scrubbing motions can all increase the load on our shoulders and back.


Strategies:

1. When cleaning the bathtub, get into the tub/ shower

2. Wear gloves and old clothes so that you can get close to where you want to clean instead of reaching forward

3. Sit down on a stool to clean the toilet instead of bending

4. Use pre-soak cleaner

5. Use short handle brush to clean closer area and long handle brush to reach high/low areas

6. Clean the shower after each bath to prevent dirt build up

7. If you really have to reach forward or down, please support yourself with free hand

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