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Helpful Ideas for Daily Living

  1. Wear good, supportive shoes all the time.
  2. Always ice an injury immediately: 20 minutes on, 1 hour off.
  3. Lift with your legs and keep the object close to your body. Do not bend and twist at your waist.
  4. Men: Take your wallet out of your back pocket when you sit!
  5. Women: Remove as much as possible from your pocketbook and switch shoulders often.
  6. If you use a telephone often you have three ways to prevent neck problems:
    1. Use a speaker phone!
    2. Get a headset!
    3. Don't use the telephone anymore!
  7. Purchase a top quality bed and sleep on your back with your knees bent or on your side in a fetal position.
  8. Use one pillow if you sleep on your back. If you sleep on your side; use as many pillows as you need to keep your spine in line.
  9. When driving, take frequent breaks. Park far away from the rest stop entrance and walk.
  10. If you stand in one place at work, put a pad on the floor on which to stand. Put one foot on a stool and switch feet often.
  11. Warm-up(walk, walk in place, etc.) BEFORE gardening, vacuuming, shoveling snow, mopping, mowing the lawn, etc.


Important things to do:

  1. Adjust the height of your seat so that your thighs are parallel to the floor (very important) and the weight of your body is evenly distributed across the seat by both your buttocks and the back part of your upper thighs.
  2. Sit in your seat with your back flush up against the chair's backrest and your feet flat on the floor.
  3. If you are short (under 5'4"), you must raise the seat height of your chair to work at the desk surface. Use a footrest so that you will be able to sit with your thighs parallel to the floor as described above.
  4. If you are tall (over 6'1") and cannot adjust your work surface to a height comfortable to you, do not adjust your chair down to where your knees are higher than your pelvis. Do whatever is necessary to bring your work surface up. One simple solution is to place wooden blocks under the desk legs.
  5. If your work surface height is adjustable, adjust it to the height most comfortable height for you.
  6. If your chair tilts, use it while talking on the phone and so forth. This will help to occasionally take some body weight off your lower back muscles and spine. Use your armrests for this same purpose.
  7. If you are mobile while sitting, be sure your chair moves easily on its casters. Use a chair mat.
  8. When keying into a computer, be sure your forearms are at a 90-degree angle to your upper arm (no higher than 75 degrees) and keep your wrist level with your forearm.
  9. When keying into a computer, position the VDT so the center of the screen is at the same level as your chin.
  10. Change work posture frequently, every eight to ten minutes.

Important things not to do:

  1. Do not sit continuously for more than one hour at a time. Stand up, stretch, even if only for a minute. Develop the habit of doing some work standing.
  2. Do not sit in any one position too long. Change postures, change positions, every eight or ten minutes.
  3. Do not get into the following bad habits:
    * Arching your back over your work
    * Sitting on the edge of your chair
    * Slumping down into your seat
    * Crossing your legs or feet under your seat
    Note that you can do any of the above as a means of stretching muscles, but there are better ways to do that, so do not allow them to become habits.
  4. Do not sit with a wallet in your back pocket.
  5. Do not sit with one hip or buttock on the seat and the other off.
  6. Do not adjust your body to your chair or work surface. Adjust the chair and work surface to what is comfortable to your body.