The previous article wrote about the dangers to our spines, when mopping the kitchen floor. It may seem similar movements could be used to vacuum the carpets.

However vacuuming requires greater strength, when pushing a mechanical piece of equipment compared to a mop. This is because the mop is much lighter and less cumbersome to handle, but also the action of pushing the appliance across carpet takes greater muscle strength, due to the resistance of the carpet.

Where does the strength come from to push the vacuum cleaner? It should not come from your spine. Many people mistakenly believe is the source of strength, through flexing the spine. This results in strain to the small spinal muscles and tendons.

Part of the strength for moving the vacuum cleaner comes in the physical force of extending the elbow in the right arm; along with pushing the arm forwards and backwards when flexing and extending the shoulder. Alternatively, the powerful force can be doubled with a 2-handed hold with both hands on the vacuum cleaner and extending the elbows in both arms to move the vacuum cleaner.

The rest of the strength will come in the weight transfer through the legs that pushes the vacuum cleaner forwards and backwards. This is where the similarity comes between vacuum cleaning and mopping the floor; through the weight transfer motion of using your leg muscles, which are the largest and strongest muscles in your body.

By using the powerful force in the leg muscles, we are able to protect our spine from attempting to generate the wrong movements that will lead to stresses and strains in the spine. This is what may be contributing to your low back pain, if you are using the wrong muscles for creating additional power to do household chores.

It should therefore be remembered that power for using your body in any productive activity, should never originate from the spine. Your spine is designed for the purpose of maintaining our upright position for sitting or standing upright, when performing daily activities. The spine also protects the spinal canal inside of the vertebrae, which distributes the nerves and blood supply throughout your whole body.

Our body is a wonderfully mechanized machine for moving our body parts, so that we have control over purposeful movements in productive activities of daily living. Our movement is usually spontaneous, so that they allow us to continue to move smoothly and efficiently, without thinking about our actions.

Sometimes spontaneous movement can have negative drawbacks, if you do not realize that some movements are not correct for the action being taken. At this point, you need to try and modify the spontaneous movement pattern into the correct movement pattern needed, so that normal movements are accepted into your lifestyle for safety and comfort.

Author's Bio: 

The author Gail McGonigal is a trained Occupational Therapist, with an M.Sc. In Health (Promotion, Research & Policy Change). Gail is developing a niche market in comfortable daily living products for baby boomers with aches and pains in their joints: The niche market moves away from the negative connotations of disability products; to a more empowering, positive position of ergonomic products, designed for comfort. The aim is to encourage baby boomers that pain comes from immobility and therefore uses movement and positioning for comfort. Gail is offering a free Therapeutic Active Living Plan with each chair sold, that will teach people how to position themselves and move safely. Gail is offering a free e-book to learn about the options that come with the ergonomic chairs