Christmas shopping is starting in earnest for many. Whether it’s carrying heavy bags or spending hours scouring the internet for that special gift, it can cause extra strains on the back and neck. Jon Sharp at Shrewsbury Chiropractic Clinic offers the following tips:
– Distribute the weight of shopping bags evenly between both sides; try to take bags back to the car periodically or leave at a secure shopping ‘crêche’ (many shopping centres have these at this time of year).
– Take regular breaks and keep hydrated.
– Carrying large light items can be worse than carrying small heavy items – avoid contorting your body into unaccustomed positions in order to accommodate those larger items.
– A weight held at arm’s length can have the effect of being up to seven times heavier so always carry heavy loads close to the body.
Online shopping for some or all of your Christmas gifts and supplies means they can be delivered directly to your door, so avoiding carrying heavy objects and straining your back and neck. However, you can cause stresses and strains hunched over a computer or laptop for hours on end.
– Set up your desk and chair at work to make it as optimal for you and your back as possible.
– Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen.
– You may need to put the screen on a stand or even on a ream of paper to bring it to the right height.
– Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair. Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
– Avoid sitting on the sofa with a laptop, you will be concentrating so hard on the screen, that you may not realise you are getting a stiff back or neck.
If you are suffering from aches and pains during the build up to Christmas and feel the need for a chiropractic ‘MOT’ give us a call on (01743) 231600.