Home > Exercise for Back Pain > Housework and Back Pain

Housework and Back Pain

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 2 Apr 2013 |
 
Exercise Back Pain Muscles Fit Housework

Exercise for back pain isn’t just about getting into Lycra shorts and going to the gym – everyday tasks around the house can be turned into exercise that helps to improve back pain, and strengthens muscles to prevent it happening again, as well as burning a few additional calories as an added extra.

Washing the Dirty Linen

Pick up dirty laundry from the floor, one piece at a time, by squatting with a straight back and keeping heels on the floor – this is good for leg, buttock and thigh muscles and will help with balance and stretch the back.

Laundry throwing may be easier with a top-loading machine than a front-loading machine, but either way will improve aim as well as stretching and strengthening stomach, hip and lower back muscles. Stand as far as possible away from the washing machine, next to the dirty washing basket (with the machine on the right and the washing basket in the left at about waist height. Keeping feet still, twist from the hips to the left to pick washing up and twist to the right to throw it into the machine. Once the washing is clean, do this again with the wet washing, picking it from the machine and throwing it to the basket a few metres away.

Rather than having the laundry basket on a table when ironing, put it down on the floor, and bend to get each item, then stretch.

Dishing It Up

Make the most of emptying the dishwasher – twist from the hips when reaching down to take crockery, cutlery and glassware out, and reach up and stretch to put things away on high shelves.

Sweeping It Away

When sweeping the floor, reach out forwards with the broom as far as possible, and then sweep in slow, long smooth strokes towards the body, turning at the hips and sweeping on both the right and the left side. This will also work for mopping and scrubbing the kitchen floor. Do the same with the vacuum cleaner – as this is heavier, it will add more resistance (changing the brush setting can also increase the resistance). This is good for upper back, leg and buttock muscles.

Stretching It Out

Cleaning high windows and tops of doors, dusting high shelves or whisking away cobwebs on the ceiling will stretch out the back, neck and shoulders – reach up as high as possible for the best stretch.

Tightening It Up

When standing to iron, cook or wash up, tighten up stomach muscles, hold for as long as possible and then relax them, and repeat. This will strengthen the core muscles, which support the back.

Lifting It Up

Stand with stomach muscles tightened up, and slowly lift two shopping bags until arms are parallel with the floor, hold, and lower back slowly down. This is good for the stomach muscles, arm muscles, and the upper back.

Digging It Over

Gardening, including mowing and weeding, will stretch and strengthen back and leg muscles – but don’t overdo the digging, as this can cause or worsen back pain. Cleaning out gutters involves lots of reaching and back stretches.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Grumpygran
    Re: Cauda Equina Syndrome
    I have small herniatios of l4 l5 with probable compression of Cauda Equina . This was an unexpected finding as the MRI was done because of…
    29 September 2017
  • Jsisjd
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    I had suicidal back pain and leg pain for 7-8 months after a spinal tap until the pain slowly subsided. Today 1 year later, i…
    1 September 2017
  • BLONDIE
    Re: Who is at Risk of Developmental Back Pain?
    Just want to let you all know that I find the medical info on ligaments and back problems to be very informative…
    12 August 2017
  • Kat
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    My ll yr old girl has bulging disk tear always in pain took her a and e. She now seeing back surgeon in a week not half a year how can this pain…
    25 June 2017
  • eadndel drinkh20
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    Arch your back by pushing off floor with arms straight with hips and legs flat on floor repeat 6 times 3 to 4 time a day. This arch will hurt but…
    8 June 2017
  • Ahmed
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    I also have same problem plz suggest me to which doctor I should refer neurologist or orthopedic I m unable to stand plz suggest me
    6 June 2017
  • RMP
    Re: Back Pain and Hernia
    Dear Dr. I am running 61 and sitting nearly 6 to 8 hrs in front of computer or reading with break at every one hour for few minutes. This is…
    26 May 2017
  • Micky
    Re: Ligament Damage and Back Pain
    I had prolapse of rectum op in 2001.he also said he had repaired a ligament.cane home couldn't bare down to open bowels.lost…
    21 April 2017
  • Vis
    Re: Spinal Dislocation
    i have enjoyed the literature.
    17 April 2017
  • KFreedOM
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    I'm so glad to have read this article about dehydration affecting the disc. It just happened to be something that I was curious about and decided…
    26 December 2016
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the BackPainExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.