Persistent pain

Reduce your risk of repetitive stress injury

Changing the way you work can reduce the musculoskeletal stress on your body

Repetitive stress injuries can be avoided by making simple adjustments to your daily routine.

Housewives, for instance, can change the way they carry groceries or wring clothes dry to reduce the musculoskeletal stress on their bodies.

You can also reduce the strain by taking regular breaks, doing some stretching and paying attention to your posture.

"Try to change your posture every hour or so. This can involve just a quick stroll to the office pantry or the restroom," said Associate Professor Denny Lie, a senior consultant at the Singapore General Hospital's (SGH's) department of orthopaedics.

Ms Lin Ying Ying (pictured), a senior occupational therapist at SGH, demonstrates the better way to do common household chores.


CARRYING BAGS OF GROCERIES


Good (left): Distribute the load betweenmore joints, using the larger joints in your shoulders and elbows. Bad (right): Using your hands to carry heavy grocery bags. This puts a lot of pressure on the small joints in the wrists. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

WRINGING A TOWEL


Good: Tie the wet towel to the water tap and twist to wring it dry. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN


Bad: Wringing the towel with your hands puts stress on your wrists. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

POURING WATER FROM A KETTLE


Good: Use a ledge as a lever to tilt the kettle. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN


Bad: Using your hands to grip and lift a kettle. This increases the risk of injury to the wrists. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

HANGING CLOTHES


Good: To dry clothes indoors, use a height-adjustable pole to hang them. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN


Bad: Bending forward to put out a heavy pole of clothes to dry. This puts the back and upper limbs under a lot of stress, especially with heavy loads. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2016, with the headline 'Reduce your risk of repetitive stress injury'. Print Edition | Subscribe