Spring Cleaning: How To Vacuum Safely

Love it or hate it, Spring Cleaning is a way to switch out our winterized home for the summer home. It is a chance to chase away the dirt we missed during our regular cleanings. And nothing sings the praises of our efforts quite like the gentle roar of our vacuum cleaner.

The vacuum cleaner is an unwieldy and heavy object, which can easily throw out your back. As chiropractors, we see it time and again and want to share with you some tips on safe vacuuming.

The most common position people adopt when vacuuming is to swing it forward and backward with one hand, and with the other hand holding the cord and quickly moving items out of its path. By swinging the vacuum to your side, you are creating a twisting motion in your torso that creates a rotational stress on the spine. Ouch!

A better way to vacuum is:

  1. Make sure everything is out of the way before you start that section of the room.
  2. Bend the knees slightly.
  3. Keep the vacuum in front of you. (If you are wearing a belt, the handle will be a few inches from the buckle.)
  4. Push and pull the vacuum using your legs to move your whole body forward and backward. Your arms shouldn't move much at all.

Your legs contain your largest muscles and are best suited for moving the heavy vacuum cleaner. Our shoulders, on the other hand, have some of the finest and most fragile muscles that can tear easily. So use those legs for vacuuming, and you can save your back.

If you would like to fix bad vacuuming form (and your back) and would like a demonstration on safe vacuuming techniques, please schedule an appointment with Gerber Chiropractic at (702) 878-0056.