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Wrapping Christmas Gifts: Protect Your Back While You Wrap

Updated: Dec 27, 2017

12 tips to avoid getting tired, sore, and stiff muscles while you do holiday gift wrapping. If you've ever been sore after wrapping presents, you're not alone.

Have you ever had back pain or a sore neck after spending hours wrapping Christmas presents? This happens to people more often than you think. This is because many people sit on the floor for long amounts of time, hunched over rolls of wrapping paper. They lean forward to cut the wrapping paper. They reach to crease the paper. They sit for prolonged periods with their legs in an unnatural position, restricting blood flow. They spend too long with their necks angled or bent forward. They use repetitive hand, shoulder, and arm motions to tear tape and to apply the tape. Any combination of these unhealthy activities can result in muscle pain or joint stiffness.

It isn’t fun going through the holiday season with a sore back, especially when such things can easily be avoided. So how do we accomplish all our Christmas wrapping without managing to harm ourselves in the process? Here are some ideas that may allow you to survive holiday gift wrapping unscathed.

  • Sit at the table. If you’re a teenager and your skeleton is still extremely flexible and full of cartilage go ahead and wrap gifts on the floor. Otherwise, clear off the kitchen or dining room table and turn that area into your gift wrapping area. Now you can use a chair, and won’t be overly flexing your back and hips.

  • Stand up from time to time and take breaks. This will stretch your muscles and supply them with fresh oxygen. It will also give your skeleton a break from too many repetitive movements.

  • Spread gift wrapping out over several days. This doesn’t need to be a marathon. If you already have 4 gifts purchased, go ahead and wrap them. Then do some more wrapping a couple days later as you purchase other presents.

  • Purchase an assortment of paper gift bags that can fit different sizes of gifts. Then add tissue paper on top. This can decrease the amount of time spent wrapping presents.

  • Buy some large and giant sized plastic gift bags that work well for wrapping large or odd-shaped presents.

  • Give gift cards and gift certificates to a couple people on your Christmas list, so that you don’t need to wrap as many presents.

  • Start wrapping your gifts early. Don’t wait until the last possible moment so that you feel rushed.

  • Make sure that your scissors are sharpened, and that they fit your hand comfortably. Sharp scissors will cut through the wrapping paper more easily, and won’t tear the paper. This translates into less time spent cutting paper and more time spent on actually wrapping the gift. If you are left-handed, use left-handed scissors that fit your anatomy.

  • If you are watching Christmas shows or other movies while you gift wrap, make sure that the television is directly in front of you. You don’t want to constantly be twisting your head to the side while you wrap gifts.

  • If you choose not to use gift bags, place odd-shaped gifts into a box before wrapping. In addition to making wrapping faster and easier, the present often looks more elegantly wrapped.

  • Invite a friend over, so that you can do some of your gift wrapping together. Then you can take breaks to pour tea, cider, or hot chocolate, and don’t feel as pressured to wrap too many gifts all at once.

  • Take time to stretch your back after wrapping presents.

If you do manage to injure your back over the holidays, schedule an appointment with your chiropractor, especially if your pain worsens or doesn’t go away in a couple days. This will enable you to feel better, move easier and enjoy the Christmas season.

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