We've all been absorbed by our stitching for hours and ended up with neck or back pain or general stiffness. You may even know someone who ended up with a serious injury as a result of stitching in a poor position. Our May program addressed this issue. Baldy View member Marilyn M. is a physical therapist. She talked about the problem of repetitive injury.
Marilyn came with a variety of props from a tiny hoop to a model of the human spine. Did you know that the bone at the spine that supports your head is about the same size as a finger bone? Or that you are placing ten times your total body weight on the base of your spine when you are sitting down? No wonder we get stiff and sore sometimes!
After going over basic body mechanics, Marilyn began to give us some general guidelines on how to reduce the risk of injury while stitching. Since we want to see Marilyn at our meetings and not in her office, we listened carefully. Sit with your knees parallel to the floor with your feet on a footstool or flat on the ground. Use proper lumbar support. Take frequent breaks by putting a really annoying timer across the room so you have to get up to turn it off. Keep your chart close to your stitching so that you turn your head less and reduce stress on that tiny bone. Use a floor or lap stand to avoid clutching your hoop or frame and to allow both arms to move freely. Have your tools close by so that you don't have to twist or stretch to reach them.
I found this diagram from 1992 online. Check out the old monitor! But really, substitute "television" for "monitor" and "needlework" for "keyboard" and it's any of us on a typical evening of stitching.
Here are some links to useful equipment:
http://thefootbuddie.com/ a low profile footstool
http://www.kscreations.com/ floor and lap stands with available chart holders and a folding footstool
http://www.123stitch.com/item/Handeze-Single-Craft-Glove-Size-2-Beige/123-3586 gloves to help reduce stress leading to carpal tunnel syndrome
armless task chair easily adjustable for knee placement and with back support.
chart holders a few different ways to keep your chart close
This is not an endorsement of these items or vendors, just a start to get you thinking about what's out there. Useful items for stitching can be found in both local and online needlework stores. Office supply and hardware stores are also good places to find useful items. So many of us struggle to get time to stitch as all that it's a shame when we lose more time because we hurt ourselves so let's all stay safe.
Marilyn also had us all stand up and do this exercise.
We will have our next meeting on Wednesday, June 19 at 7:00 at the US Bank, 333 N Euclid Ave, Ontario, CA. Park behind the building and come into the community room just to the right of the bank's door. We are there starting at 6:30 for social time. Phebie of Brazilian Embroidery fame will be presenting a small project for those who signed up in advance. Even if you didn't sign up, come anyway and learn about this fascinating embroidery technique.
We will also be hosting our community stitch gathering on Monday, June 10 from 10:00-4:40 at the Hobby Lobby, 420 S Mountain Ave, Upland, CA. It's just off the 10 freeway at Mountain Avenue. Come all day or for a few minutes. We're in the classroom at the right rear of the store, just right of the framing counter. Lunch is available at one of the many restaurants in the area including the new Honeybaked Ham Cafe. Across the street is Handel's Ice Cream considered to be one of the best ice creams on the planet. And of course, there is stitching! See you all in June.