Kinetic Handling and postural advice

Posture

It is important to maintain the correct posture in all situations and at all times.  This will ensure that you do not place abnormal strain on the muscles, ligaments, nerves, capsules and joints of the body.  Remember it is not always easy in the beginning, but if you persevere you will reap the benefits.

Correct posture:

  • Hold the neck in a neutral position, with the chin pulled in slightly.
  • Shoulders relaxed, slightly pulled back and down towards the lower back.  Maintain an open chest stance.
  • “Brace“:  Tense the stomach muscles (navel) and pelvic muscles (pinch muscles).  Examine if you are doing the action correctly by palpating the muscle tension with your fingers on the front of the hip bones.

Kinetic handling

Rules to follow when handling heavy objects:

  • Brace – tense the stomach and pelvic floor muscles
  • Keep the back straight
  • The whole body must face the object
  • Place the feet firmly and hip width apart
  • Bend the knees – use the leg muscles
  • Hold the weight close to the body
  • Use the leg muscles to stand up

General advice

  • Use the same procedure for lifting a heavy object as for putting a heavy object down
  • Never pick up heavy objects above the head
  • Do not carry unbalanced goods
  • Never pick up something above the head
  • It is better to push a heavy object than to pull the object
  • Move slowly and with control – do not make sudden movements
  • Change position often
  • Avoid getting overtired
  • Wear comfortable, flat heel shoes
  • Avoid getting cold – stay warm
  • Vacuum cleaning:  Keep the back upright and “brace“.  Push the vacuum cleaner only short distances.
  • Kitchen:  Store kitchen appliances at a comfortable level to prevent you from reaching too high or too low.
  • Making up the bed:  Stand on your knees next to the bed.  Avoid bending over the bed.  Do not attempt to turn the mattress by yourself – ask for help.
  • Laundry:  Carry the washing in a small washing basket and keep the weight low.
  • If you have to stand for a prolonged period, keep a small step nearby to rest your one foot on.  This position will take the strain off  the lower back.  Change the leg resting on the support regularly.
  • Computer work:  If you have to spend long time in front of the computer, the following advice is important:

               - The height of the chair must allow 90 degrees flexion at the hip and knee joints
               - Sit with the lower back completely against the back of the chair.
               - The back of the chair must support the lower back.
               - The screen of the computer must be directly in front of you, at a level of 10 degrees lower than eye level.
               - Your forearms must rest on the table with the elbows in 90 degrees flexion.  Work with the computer mouse close to you.

Aim to achieve the following goals:

  • Stay fit
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Strengthen your muscles    
  • Improve and maintain correct body posture
  • Exercise correct kinetic handling of the neck and the back.
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