Energy for Everyday Living
In today's high pressure work and home environment, energy conservation is as important as time management.
With the following energy saving techniques, you'll find that you not only have more energy to do each task but that your energy lasts throughout the day.
It is important to determine and carry out an appropriate balance between work and rest. A well-balanced diet and a good night's sleep will provide you with the energy for your day.
Try just a few of these strategies to add energy to your day…
Use good posture
- Avoid excessive bending, reaching, carrying and lifting. Avoid extra trips by using a cart or trolley to carry items. A small basket keeps cleaning supplies handy. A carpenter's apron works well for small home repairs.
- Consider your own body proportions to determine comfortable work heights. Elbows should form a 90 degree angle, shoulders relaxed and spine straight for a proper work height.
- When carrying, divide the load; e.g. carry two smaller bags of groceries in each arm instead of one large heavy bag.
- Prevent bending and stooping by using long or adjustable handles on dustpans, brushes, shower mops - even paint rollers.
- Consider how you can do some jobs sitting rather than standing such as chopping vegetables, ironing and woodworking. Sitting reduces energy use by 25%.
- Alternate postures and take frequent stretch breaks throughout the day.
- Incorporate a system of work and rest into activities. Short rest breaks of five minutes during daily activities can help increase overall endurance.
- Air-dry dishes and use freezer-to-microwave dishes.
- Use a lightweight steam iron.
- If your laundry room is located downstairs toss dirty linen down in a pillowcase, rather than making an extra trip.
- To lift items out of the oven, kneel alongside the oven, rather than bending over.
- To reduce the amount of bending in making the bed, use a lightweight duvet rather than several layers of sheets and blankets.
Create a comfortable environment
- If the surrounding conditions are pleasant the job will be less tiring and more enjoyable. Listen to your favourite music when doing chores. Good lighting, comfortable clothing and pleasing colours set the stage for work with less strain.
Practise time management
- Pace yourself; alternate light and heavy tasks.
- Divide activities throughout the week instead of overdoing it in one day. Keep a schedule on the refrigerator to remind you and your family of everyone's responsibilities.
Organize your work
- Plan your activities first to avoid extra trips. Assemble necessary supplies and equipment prior to doing the job. For example, arranging garden supplies and tools prior to planting.
- Group articles that are used together; e.g. cleaning tools and cloths.
- Store heavy articles in the area easiest to reach, light articles in the high and low areas.
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