Is Housework a Pain? We might not enjoy and delight in sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning
windows or doing laundry, but it has to get done. Yet, | am not thinking of that kind of
pain. | am thinking of the physical pain and discomfort that one or some of those tasks Welcome to our blog!
may produce while you are cleaning, | can’t change your outlook at how you perceive
those tasks, but maybe I can help with some of the physical pain you may have while
doing those tasks. Renee furs Es
Take a look at your posture while doing any of those household tasks. Are you slouching, Sy eSereS
slumping, or stooping? Are you pushing or pulling a vacuum or broom too far from your x
body? Are you twisting your back as you work?
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When you determine you have one or more of the wrong postures mentioned above, you
need to think about correcting them.
With any cleaning task or laundry task, engage the core muscles first, primarily the lower
So let’s start with laundry. Squat down to pick up the basket, keeping it close to your
body. Our hope is that everyone has “made the basket” and thrown all of their clothes
into the basket, leaving no clothes on the floor. If they haven’t, use the golfer lift
technique to pick up the clothes (see below). Side loader machine? Squat down to reach
into the machine to deal with the clothes. Front loader machine? When reaching into the
machine to get clothes out, don’t bend at your waist, but instead, use that golf lift
Vacuuming is next. Ugh. Too much floor in my house! Hold the vacuum handle with your
hand at your side the whole time. Step forward and backward to move the vacuum. Need
to reach that spot in the corner? Walk to that spot with the vacuum handle at your side;
don’t bend at your hips or waist or push the vacuum very far from your hip. Let your legs
do the work; keep your back in the neutral position. Sweeping is almost the same
concept, but you do have to allow your hands to move away from you as you sweep.
Make sure you maintain a neutral spine as you sweep and still let your legs move you
forward and backward. Avoid twisting and stooping.
Washing windows for a clear view. When washing the low windows, squat or kneel in
front of the surface, keeping your back in a neutral spine. At chest level, keep a wide base
of support through your legs. When washing the high parts of your windows, use a step
ladder or stool to avoid excessive extension of the cervical and lumbar spine. In my
household, the sliding glass door will be smudged within an hour of washing, so | learn to
put up with those kid marks for a while.
So if housework is still a pain after trying these tips, you may want to consider some
physical therapy to help you with your posture and body mechanics with some stretching
and strengthening techniques. Getting housework done may still not be delightful in your
eyes, but if your body can be pain free while doing those tasks, it’s a good thing!
-This was written by a wife & mom, homemaker, and physical therapy assistant who loves
each job she has been blessed with doing for many years-