Could Christmas cause you physical pain??
20th December 2016
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If you are anything like the majority of people, you go shopping for your presents and gifts and find yourself overloaded with carrier bags

According to the Carrier Bag Consortium, a typical shopping bag has a weight limit greater than 20 kilos, that's 2 and a half thousand times its own weight! With an average loading capacity of 3-5 kilos per bag, and the number of people prepared to carry between 4-6 bags,  it's no wonder injuries occur.  So here are my tips for a happy, painfree Christmas time.

Plan ahead
Though this sounds obvious, many people still don't think to plan ahead and decide what jobs need doing until the last minute. The main thing is to anticipate what you need to do, so make up a list. Not only will it help you to get organised, it is a great way to minimise stress.

Stagger your tasks
Whatever shopping you have to do, it is important that you spread it out evenly in the run up to Christmas. Try not to cram everything in to one day. Running around buying for everyone in one go will only make things harder to manage, especially if you have bulky and heavy items to carry.

Enlist a companion!
Avoid carrying heavy items, such as wines and spirits, on your own. Get your partner, a family member or friend to help you with your shopping. That way you minimise the risk of experiencing physical discomfort as the load (such as bottles of wine) can be distributed evenly between you.

Spread the load!!!!!!!!!
Be sure to spread the load of your shopping evenly among carrier bags. Carry your shopping in both hands to avoid putting an asymmetrical (one-sided) strain on your neck, back or shoulders. When shopping at a supermarket, use a trolley as much as possible. If you have a particularly heavy shop to do and are not using a car, use a trolley bag or something on wheels to help move your shopping around with ease.

The right bag
Be sure to use strong bags for carrying items. A rucksack for shopping can also be extremely useful as it can help balance the load you carry. Be sure that it fits snugly and isn't hanging low, pulling on your back.

Separate trips for fragile/difficult/awkward items
When shopping for delicate or awkward items make a separate trip. Your body is more important than the load you carry, so be sensible. When picking up a Christmas turkey, or party cake for instance, don't attempt to carry it in one hand if you are loaded down with heavy bags. It is far safer to get the turkey or cake on another trip so that you can use both hands.

Shop locally
If you plan to do your shopping on foot, aim to shop locally. Unnecessary travel can make heavy loads harder to manage. Or, alternatively, arrange for local delivery. Many supermarkets have this service and I’m sure do local butchers and grocers.

Unloading the shopping
If you need to bend when loading heavy items into a pantry, cupboard or fridge, be sure to bend with your knees not with your back and pull your tummy in. Hold heavy items close to you and not at arms' length. Get your partner or neighbour to help carry and unload with you.

Be comfortable
Christmas shopping can be a bit of a workout, so wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Enjoy yourself
Shopping should be a positive outing. Keep stress to a minimum and reward yourself at the end of the day with a luxurious bath!

If you would like any more information, call us at Atherton Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic on 01942 871709!

About the Author

Angela D

Member since: 19th December 2016

Atherton Physiotherapy is a fantastic therapy centre and sports injury clinic offering a wide range of different therapeutic services for different parts of the body.

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