Protect Your Health

Protect Your Health With These Household Changes

When you experience pain or become injured, you think about the things that may have caused it. In this article, you’re going to learn how you can protect your health with small household changes, and prevent injuries before they happen.

Look For Triggers

Maybe you exacerbated yourself while baking cupcakes for 7 hours the day before. Maybe you babysat your granddaughter. That means you were bending, lifting, and carrying toys (and maybe even your granddaughter!) 

It’s easy to recall new activities or experiences, but you often don’t think about everyday situations that may actually be causing pain. It doesn’t even have to be the things you do, but how you do them.

Assess Your Situations

Take a minute to think about your laundry room. Many people place their laundry basket on the ground, waiting for the dryer to finish. Inevitably, there will be a laundry basket or two full of clothes that end up on the ground. This means at some point, and usually, often, you will have to bend over to pick it up.

Protect Your Health With These Household Changes

It might not seem like much, but continually bending and picking up that laundry basket can strain your back. The same thing can be said for washing the dishes. Depending on the height of your sink, you may have to bend or reach to get to the dishes.

You may find yourself in pain every time you cook a meal in the kitchen. This could mean your countertops are too tall and require you to constantly stretch out and reach.

Make Some Changes

Adding a countertop or shelf above your washer and dryer would help you avoid potentially painful situations. It would mean there is now a safe space to store your laundry basket… at waist/shoulder level! This counter space allows you to reach when your shoulder and back are in a more protected position. It also decreases the likelihood that you will injure yourself over time. There are a wide variety of sizes and materials that can fit any shape or budget. Find something that works best for you and your space. 

What about high shelves or drying racks? Many homes have shelves that hold extra towels or detergent, and some even have a closet rod for hanging wet clothes to air-dry. 

When it comes to shelving, rather than continually reaching up to grab the item, we recommend using a step stool to lessen the distance between you and the shelf. Reaching above your head to grab objects is one of the most dangerous positions for your shoulders and back.

Use Some Gadgets

Choose a sturdy step stool with 2 or 3 wide, deep steps, and preferably even has a handle to help with balance. Be sure to store the step stool in the laundry room so it’s always accessible (most folding step stools can even slide between the laundry machines and a wall!)

If your laundry room has a hanging closet rod, it’s important to take steps to avoid reaching overhead. We recommend investing in a telescopic handle or Shepards Hook to help assist you with placing and grabbing the clothes off the rod. The Shepards Hook acts in place of your arm when reaching overhead, which decreases the amount in which your shoulder has to move and ultimately decreases the stress being placed on the shoulder joint itself.

Taking a look at the things you do in your daily routines, as well as how you do those things, can really be beneficial to your physical health. Making small changes around the house can have a huge impact on preventing potential pain or injuries in your future.

About The Author

Jaime Curl

I've explored many different fields within physical therapy, including acute care and oncology at Troy Beaumont Hospital, elementary through high school levels in the Troy School District, and outpatient physical therapy. As the office manager and marketer, I am able to combine my love for health and exercise science with my people skills, all with a dash of marketing and personal training. My hobbies include spending time with friends and family, baking, crafting, and watching my favorite movies or tv shows.

Leave a Reply