With Black Friday and Cyber Monday upon us, there’s no escaping it. Christmas shopping is in about to get into full swing. The chances are you’ve started. An organised few may have finished but, for the rest of us, how do we get through Christmas shopping without more than our wallets and purses hurting
Planning is without doubt, the most important strategy. This will minimise the amount of time spent sitting with a laptop or ipad online shopping and lessen the miles walking up and down the High Stree
Make a list. Who are you buying for? What are you going to get them? Much as you may not like it, a lot of this you’ll be able to get online. Job done. And the rest? Off to the High Street with you but is there an obvious route that’ll minimise the mileage and stress?
Hitting the High Street
Shop in Stages
Make sure you don’t leave all your Christmas shopping until the last minute. Buying all your presents or food in one go will mean carrying lots of heavy bags, which will put extra strain on your back. Stagger your shopping sprees over a few trips to lessen the load on your spine.
And whilst you’re out shopping, why not do this in stages as well. If you find yourself carrying lots of bags and your car is nearby it will only take minutes to make a quick trip back to the car to drop off your bags and continue shopping. You’ll feel much more comfortable too.
Park Close By
Leave your house in plenty of time so that you can find a parking space close to the shops. This will reduce the distance you need to walk with your shopping bags. Remember that shopping in your vicinity will get incredibly busy over the Christmas period, so try to plan your shopping trips for the quietest periods of the day to grab a good parking space!
Dodge the Crowds
It may seem impossible to avoid the crowds during the busiest shopping period of the year, but allowing your body to get nudged and jarred by frenzied Christmas shoppers can wreak havoc with your existing back pain (and can cause new problems to develop!).
Perhaps plan your shopping trips after working hours during the weekdays or visit an outlet instead of the High Street where there are likely to be less crowds. And If you’ve got a bit of annual leave left, why not take a day off for shopping and avoid the madness of weekend shopping?
Use a rucksack
Consider using a rucksack instead of carrier bags while you shop. A small wheelie suitcase is also a good alternative for heavy items. Carrying your belongings on two shoulders will balance the load on your spine and help to reduce pressure in one specific area.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Obvious but wear properly fitting shoes which have strong support and adequate cushioning. Trainers will make your day a lot more comfortable.
Take a break
Regularly take breaks. Grab a coffee and a water somewhere, rest and take stock of what’s left to do for that day. And then go again. Try and avoid the temptation of a mulled wine or beer mid-way through. It’ll only dehydrate you and leave you vulnerable to rash impulse purchases! Save it for a treat when you get home!
Laptops allow us to be able to work more flexibly, but they have been blamed for causing work-related back, neck and shoulder problems.
The features that make laptops very portable, such as a screen attached to the keyboard, are the same features that make it difficult for people to adopt correct posture when using them.
Here are some ways you can make your laptop safer and more comfortable to use:
- Use a separate keyboard and mouse so the laptop can be put on a stand and the screen opened at eye level.
- Use your laptop on a stable base where there is support for your arms, and not on your lap.
- Take regular breaks. If you’re moving, there’s a lot less stress on your muscles and joints.
- Take care of your posture; sit up, have a support like a cushion in the small of your back and ensure other desk equipment is within easy reach.
- After you’ve checked out and the shopping’s done, stand up and have a little stretch of your neck, shoulders and back
- Get into good habits before the aching starts. Neck, shoulder and back problems gradually build up over time.
If you’ve had a long but successful day, and funds allow, treat yourself to an early Christmas present. From you, to you. You’ve earned it. Happy, safe shopping out there!