Today in Functional Anatomy, we learned the proper way to vacuum, sweep, or mop! This may sound ridiculous, but these are activities that everyone does and usually does incorrectly. Lower back pain may result due to the strain placed on the back while doing these chores.

- The force needed to do these chores should come from the legs (they should push and pull the vacuum).
- The back should act as a stabilizer, not a force generator.
- Movement should be generated from a rocking motion of the legs.
- The arm holding the vacuum handle, broom, or mop should be held close to the body.
- The natural curves of the spine should be maintained.

Anybody contemplating being a donor? Tony recently showed me this comic and I absolutely loved it.

Did anyone read this in the news?

The professor wasn't trying to encourage people to eat junk food to lose weight, but was pointing out how loosing weight is all about math (calories consumed < calories burned = weight loss). The worst part about this diet "experiment" is that we don't know the long term effects (other than those regarding weight) of eating junk. I think that many people will hear about this article and think that loosing weight comes down to the math--and I agree that it does--but weight is not the sole factor in determining HEALTH. The professor may have lost weight, but how has his body suffered from his poor dietary choices? A question to ponder...


  1. Shouldn't at least sweeping using arm (and back) power be fine since brooms are so light? ...and shouldn't small amounts of anything be fine too, since the back should need at least some exercise (besides the isometric kind you mention)?

    Also...any chance you can post a link to a video of proper ergonomic floor-cleaning technique? That might be the best way to get the point across. I find it hard to imagine. What I'm picturing seems incredibly tiring and inefficient. lol

  2. Good idea on the link about the proper technique. I have pictures of the action that I could scan and upload... hmm. I know it may sound silly, but the pictures don't make it look so!

    Yes, small amounts of any "stressful" back activity are fine. But if you sweep daily, during your entire life you may have caused some spinal column damage. These recommendations are also for people who clean in their profession.


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