Wrapping presents for an extended period can cause strains on the upper back and neck if done improperly. Below are some tips to keep your back and neck healthy this holiday season.

Stretching can help in preventing injury especially before doing something repetitive. You should stretch before you begin and around every 30 minutes of wrapping. Also be sure to not sit in the exact same position the entire time you are wrapping as this can cause stiffness and muscle fatigue.

Avoid sitting wrapping presents on the floor. This will cause you to lean forward and put tension/ stress on your back and neck. Use a table and chair to wrap your presents. Also try to keep items you will be picking up or putting down constantly, like scissors or tape, within arm’s length.

Be careful when lifting large or awkward items. When you lift something, the load on your spine increases and your spine can only bear so much before it is injured. When you are lifting, correct body position and lifting technique is crucial to preventing injury.

Here is a step‐by‐step technique for lifting safely and preventing back injury:

  • Stand close to the object you are going to lift
  • Place your feet shoulder‐width apart.
  • Bend your knees and keep your back as straight as possible to squat to the level of the object.
  • Keep the load close to your body.
  • Use the strength of your leg and arm muscles to smoothly and slowly lift the load. Do not to jerk when lifting.
  • Pivot your feet to turn in the direction you want to move toward.
  • Avoid twisting your body while turning and carrying the load.
  • Bend your knees and slowly lower the load to its new location.
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