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Dr. Corey Laber of Howell offers this advice for avoiding back strain from wrapping gifts.

In order to avoid holiday backaches, try to be aware of your posture during prolonged activities like wrapping gifts. When you spend excessive time leaning over a table it increases the pressure on your spine, and causes fatigue in the back muscles leading to injury. Proper posture during these types of activities will eliminate many of the aches and pains from which you may suffer. Sitting upright (like we see in the movies where they have books on their heads) in a comfortable chair eases some of the stress on the spine. Working on the floor, while probably the most common place to wrap gifts, is probably the worst place to do it. It requires you to be constantly bent over. The best place to work is at the kitchen counter. Working at any standing level work space prevents you from having to bend over, but you will still need to be conscious of your posture and make sure you stand with your shoulders back and head up. Wearing a pair of comfortable shoes and having all of your supplies nearby will also help. If you feel a burning pain, or any fatigue in the back, you should take a break from the activities for a few moments. Practicing these simple things will allow you to spend more time with less pain during the holidays.

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