Education Tips


Everyday Tasks


Proper technique and good body mechanics will reduce the wear and tear from everyday tasks.







  • Keep your back straight and knees bent; this allows you to transfer weight through your legs rather than straining your back muscles
  • Avoid over reaching and twisting motions that stress muscles
  • Switch sides to prevent overuse of joints and muscles groups



  • Bend at your knees and not your back
  • Keep the load close to your body
  • Do not attempt to lift items that are too heavy for you; use an alternative method to move the items or ask someone for help
  • Use a ladder when reaching or storing items above head level



  • Choose a shovel with a bent handle and/or plastic blade; the bent handle reduces the amount of bending required, while the plastic blade is lighter than one made of metal
  • Squat with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and back straight
  • Lift small loads at a time and walk to where you want to put the snow; avoid twisting motions
  • Clear snow in layers to avoid trying to lift too much at once




Children and Teenagers


Book Bags

  • Choose a book bag with two straps
  • Wear the book bag properly by using both straps and adjust the straps to keep the bag close to your body; wearing it close will prevent you from leaning forward 
  • Keep shoulders back and chest up to ensure proper posture and limit strain on muscles and discs
  • Pack light; only carry the necessary items
  • Put the heaviest items in the back of your book bag keeping them close to your body






Avoiding Slips and Falls

  • Choose suitable footwear for winter conditions; well-insulated, waterproof, low-wide heel
  • Clear walkways and lay salt on icy paths
  • Use railings and take your time
  • Warn others of potential hazards






Stretching for Flexibility


  • Improving flexibility results in improvements in daily living

  • Living long, happy lives is a goal for many people, this is why we should take steps to improve our functional ability and overall quality of life 



Proper Stretching



  • Before stretching, it is vital to warm up because stretching cold muscles can result in injury

  • After your muscles are warm and you begin stretching, it is important to do so slowly and smoothly, there should be no bouncing or jerking motions

  • While you stretch you should pay attention to your breathing; exhale while you stretch

  • Stretching to the point of pain is not a proper stretching technique

  • When stretching, it is important to listen to your body, it has protective mechanisms to activate or inhibt  muscles when you place too much stress on your joints

  • Your body will let you know when something is wrong, if you feel pain or are unsure about a stretch, try something different 




(All stretching images used are Copyright Visual Health Information Products 1990)



Improper Stretching


  •  It is important to understand that there is a proper and improper way to stretch, stretching the wrong way can result in more harmful effects than benefits.

  • Improper stretching can cause damage or injuries to muscle, ligaments and tendons.






  • Approximately one in three seniors over the age of 65 will fall each year and the risk of falling increases with age.
  • This risk doubles or triples of there is poor mental functioning or if there is a history of falling.
  • As people age, their bodies change. It is inevitable that muscular strength and function will  deteriorate and the nervous system will slow. These physical and neural changes contribute largely to falls in the aging population and these falls can have serious consequences.
  • Falls can result in sprains, fractures, dislocations, psychological problems and economic problems that can have an impact on walking  and ability to live independently.





There are many things that can contribute to a fall:

  • balance issues
  • vision or perception problems
  • being over-medicated
  • weak muscles
  • stiff joints
  • poor flexibility
  • poor posture
  • poor walking patterns
  • environmental obstacles like ice, bumps, weather, lightning and stability.





  • There are many types of injuries caused by a fall

                                     - 35% of people fracture or break bones

                                     - 30% of people get a sprain or strain

                                     - The other 35% comes from dislocations, cuts, bruises, and concussions

  • The most common parts of the busy injured by falls are the shoulder/upper arm, knee and lower leg, wrist, head and chest.
  • The most serious injury that affects the elderly is hip fractures.





  • There are many things that can be done to prevent falls such as lifestyle changes to increase strength, bone density and flexibility.


  • Exercise is a key factor in helping prevent falls. Weight bearing exercises can increase bone density and increase the strength necessary to move, improve cardiac abilities and maintain balance. Weekly stretching of major joints can improve flexibility and range of motion reducing the risk of falling.


  • Safety aides should be used. It is important to wear glasses and hearing aids as necessary. Canes should be fitted to the proper height and grippers on shoes can be added for slippery walking surfaces.


  •  Medications should be used wisely. Don't overmedicate and be sure to follow medication instructions!


  • Calcium and Vitamin D together in a diet can help maintain strong bones and reduce the incidence of fractures.


  • Falls are inevitable. Most people will fall at some point in their lives. If you fall try to land on your behind not directly on your hip. There is still a risk for injury but it can decrease the force placed directly on the hip and reduce the risk of it fracturing.





As our population ages, falling is becoming more of an issue. While some falls are inevitable, many of them are preventable with only minor changes to the environment and lifestyle. People need to know their risks, understand how falls happen, what the consequences of falling are and know how to prevent falls. Take control of your body and environment so you can reduce your risk of falling and maintain a good quality of life!