THE CRAFTER'S BODY


Do not overlook your body's health in the name of crafting!

Many of us get so focused on our projects that we lose track of our posture and our working environment. Working from a sitting position over a long period of time can bring about quite a bit of discomfort and strain to the body, which in time can snowball into painful injuries.  This initial discomfort is something that we often do not feel until we attempt to stand up after working for a long period of time. An antidote to this is to keep a timer close by to remind us to check up on our posture and to take breaks. Timers such as the PomodoroApp, a free timer and task manager, can help you stay on track.

Now, let's start by checking our posture...

Make sure that you are sitting all the way back on your chair with your back straight, shoulders rolled back and relaxed, and your feet flat on the floor. This is a great time to practice engaging your core to keep your "sit up stoic" pose.

Since you may be using the same chair for different work stations (e.g., sewing table, computer desk), make a point of having a chair with adjustable heights. Also, keep a foot rest close in case that you need to support your feet while sitting on a high position. Check out this video by Interweave Craft which has some suggestions on working with good posture...



Stretching is as important as keeping good posture. Crafting while sitting down interferes with the normal flow of blood through your body plus, it puts a lot of strain on the lumbar section of your spine. That is why your hands may get a bit numb after crocheting or knitting for a length of time, or your legs and feet start to feel tingly and your lower back feels tight when you stand up.

Take stretching breaks often and stretch your whole body. Here are two stretching routines from the book "Stretching" by Bob Anderson which you can use as references (click on the images to print full page versions). Remember to breath while stretching and do not over do it! The stretches are not meant to add pain but to release it.


You may also find it helpful to introduce some ergonomic friendly aids to your work space and tool kit. That list could include crochet hooks and knitting needles with large handles, a chair with arm rests (or a pillow to set on your lap while crocheting and knitting), and stress relief gloves (to help with circulation and joint support). Also, as this article [http://www.ergosum.ca/resources/other_important_ergo_topics/sewing_crafting/] by Ergo Sum Consulting suggests, improve the lighting in the room because your eyes may be guiding your body into compromising your good posture.

Keep your crafting fun and safe! Share with us how do you keep your body injury free while working on your projects.

KQ

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