General DIY Tips

If DIY isn't carried out properly, it could lead to muscle strain, sprain, back spasms and other injuries. Take extra care when lifting heavy weights. The golden rule to tackling DIY is preparation.


Plan ahead


Leave enough time for jobs


Wear comfortable clothing


Use comfortable tools




DIY best practice


Warm up




Moving furniture


Add variety and breaks

Where possible, add variety to DIY. Get up and walk around between tasks (every 10-20 minutes). This helps restore blood flow and prevents cramping. Also:




Carry out cool down exercises after DIY tasks.


DIY posture

When carrying out DIY, there are four main positions that need careful consideration in terms of deciding which posture is best to adopt - low lying, kneeling, standing and reaching.


Chartered physiotherapists recommend adopting a comfortable posture in whatever task is being carried out so that unnecessary muscle strain to any particular area of the body can be avoided.


Here are some facts about the main DIY positions we may adopt.


Low lying

Lying on the ground on either side, on your back or front to tackle tasks at floor level, such as fixing leaky pipes, unblocking sinks, working with fuses and wiring, working in low level roofs, etc.




Kneeling on the floor on soft or hard surfaces for tasks at waist level.




Standing up for tasks at chest or head level.




Standing up for tasks that are high up which may require stretching out arm(s) in order to reach.



Treating DIY injuries

If you aware of the onset of a strain or sprain, the first line of treatment in general, for the first 24-36 hours is to apply the RICE principle:



If you injure yourself carrying out a DIY activity, it's best to seek advice from a chartered physiotherapist or your GP.


For further tips on how to carry out DIY safely, chartered physiotherapists can provide valuable advice that can help ensure the experience of making home improvements remains a good one.


Physiotherapy, the professional body representing physiotherapists, circulates guidelines based on research to all its members.


Publication courtesy of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, please see the CSP website for further information.

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