Walking Up and Down the Stairs - Climbing Techniques
Unless you were blessed with the physical attributes and balance as demonstrated in one of the most iconic scenes in American movie history: the staircase dance that Shirley Temple performed with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in the 1935 movie The Little Colonel, you probably need to read on.
Walking up and down stairways safely depends on successfully accomplishing a number of physical tasks, some of which are involuntary and done without thinking. Here are a few tips:
- Pay attention to how you place your feet. Hip, knee and ankle joints are not only critical to our physical well-being they are also vulnerable to improper climbing technique.
- When ascending or descending stairs, keep these techniques in mind:
- Place your foot flat on the surface of the stair when stepping up, with the weight on the inner side of your foot and your big toe. Placing your weight on the outer toe can cause the hip and/or knee joint to come out of alignment.
- Bend your knees when climbing stairs. Locking you knees in one position can cut off circulation to your feet.
- Keep your shoulders over your hips. Leaning forward throws your body out of balance and adds extra stress to the hip and knee joints to stabilize the body.
- Whether ascending or descending stairs, hold the railing. That’s what it’s there for.
Lessons learned: Since hip and knee joint damage is mostly a chronic injury, meaning it happens over a period of time, it pays to pay attention to your climbing technique. It may save your knees and hips for your well-deserved retirement.
Remember: Safety Starts With Me and keep your mind on task and eyes on path.