Shop, But Not Until You Drop

04 Jan 2011

It’s 2011 and just as the New Year begins so do the sales! With millions of us hitting the January sales after Christmas – we’ll be rushing to empty what’s left in our purses after the party season. But the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) warns we could get more than we bargained for after a day’s hard shopping.

Tim Hutchful, BCA chiropractor says: “Sales shopping can be like heavy exercise – particularly during the January sales. Stress levels are up, there are far more people rushing around the shops jostling one another, and we put pressure on our backs and muscles as we strain to avoid other people whilst carrying too many bags and purchases.”

“Our bodies have just enjoyed the festive Christmas period and during the aftermath we are likely to feel tired. But there are bargains to be had, and if you have the determination to conquer the sales, it’s worth planning your January sales shopping schedule to ensure you approach it in the healthiest way possible for our bodies and backs.”

The British Chiropractic Association offers the following advice to stay healthy and sane during the sales:

Bag it up

  • Distribute the weight of shopping bags evenly, take bags back to the car on a regular basis and take regular breaks.
  • Carrying large light items can be worse than carrying small heavy items – avoid contorting your body into unaccustomed positions in order to accommodate those larger items.
  • A weight held at arm’s length can have the effect of being up to seven times heavier so always carry heavy loads close to the body.
  • Don’t lift and twist when putting purchases into the car – face the direction of the car.

Warm up, warm down and take breaks

  • Take a break when shopping – go and walk around the park so you can get into a walking rhythm.
  • Make the most of home deliveries – they will come to you and save you the stress and strain!
  • Make sure you stay hydrated too – especially after the festive party season you’ll need to replace potential lost fluids with plenty of water.
  • It’s common for most injuries to take place during the first two hours of your day, as the body isn’t properly loosened up. So if you can avoid it, don’t do the heaviest shopping carrying first thing.
  • Just as you wouldn’t ever take exercise without a warm up and cool down – think about how to ease yourself into the shopping day and wind-down afterwards with a few stretches before and after a hectic day at the sales.

What not to wear

  • It’s harder work walking when shopping – It will take you around the same effort to do one hour round the shops as it will to walk three hours in the park!
  • So don’t wear high heels when shopping – protect your back and knees by wearing comfortable and supportive footwear and clothing.
  • Wear comfortable clothes – tight is only good if it’s stretchy to provide light support but flexibility. Tight fitting clothes can cause your muscles and joints to work overtime leading to discomfort.

Exe Chiropractic Clinic is located in central Exeter. Chiropractic is a safe, non-invasive treatment approach to musculoskeletal problems (lower back pain, neck pain, headaches). To book a consultation with a chiropractor call us on 01392 690200 or email us on We look forward to seeing you soon!

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