Christmas shopping, “ergonomically”

At this time of year, we are all susceptible to aching feet, legs, backs, and shoulders, as a result of prolonged hours of shoppping. (I do realise that not all of us consider shopping in the same category of “work”, or even “sport”, but I assure you that it does entail musculoskeletal demands!) Here are a few tips to keep you comfortable while you shop:
– All shopping bags are not created equal. String and plastic handles can dig into your hands and shoulders. Some bags are too long for short people; neither of the options available to those of us who are vertically challenged (to carry it with a bent elbow or drag it on the floor) is ergonomically appealing! Find a bag, or better, a backpack, that you can carry comfortably, and slip your purchases into it!
– When you’ve made several purchases, distribute the bags between two hands rather than carrying them all on one side. Or try a comfortable handle that hooks around the handles of your shopping bags. If you are using a backpack, use it properly, with weight on both shoulders, rather than slung over one side.
– Park in the first spot you find. Your chances of getting that perfect spot near the door are pretty slim at this time of year – save yourself the time and head straight to the back! The walk (at least the walk INTO the mall) will do you good!
– Minimise your own weight. If you don’t need your winter coat to get from the car to the mall, leave it in the car. Similarly, if you don’t need to carry your purse, why lug around the extra weight? If your car and the parking lot are “secure”, take extra trips to the car rather than carrying your purchases all day.
– Consider on-line shopping. If you shop on-line, try to do it “ergonomically” – sit in a supportive chair, try to get your monitor at eye level, your keyboard and mouse at elbow level, and support your feet on the floor or a footrest.

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