Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Simple solutions to troubling problems

A lot of us are faced with problems that hamper our everyday lives and daily chores. Some are difficult to handle but many can be settled with simple solutions.
You can stop a fall from fracturing you ... by following the time-tested trick of "hit 'n' roll."

Most of us instinctively stick out an arm when tripping, a move that breaks bones with more serious drops.

For bad spills, curl into a ball as much as possible: Tuck arms to sides and chin to chest to shield your vital organs, spine and head, and keep feet and knees together to protect your legs.

The best way to land is on your feet with knees bent. If you can't land feet first, head for padded body parts -- such as your upper arms, thighs and rear (but not flat on your rump) -- and roll a little.

The hit 'n' roll manoeuvre spreads the fall's force across cushioned areas of your body rather than putting it on one spot.
 
You can rise from your chair more easily if you suffer from arthritis or leg weakness ... by selecting chairs with armrests to hoist yourself.

Pushing off the armrests with your hands and upper-arm strength while leaning slightly forward gives you leverage without putting undue pressure on aching joints.

You can strangle symptoms of mild anxiety before they choke you
... by merely focusing on how you breathe when you're nervous, rather than trying to breathe more "naturally."

It's a stalling tactic that temporarily takes your mind off what's making you anxious.

Most people tend to pace their breaths -- force them into a rhythm -- when they get nervous, which can sometimes backfire by making them only more aware of their anxiety.

Of particular importance is to avoid hyperventilating -- so common when you're anxious -- which often results from overbreathing.

For example, when you're jittery before giving a speech, focus your attention on taking slow, deep breaths so your abdomen and chest both expand.

You can sidestep hip and back problems when getting out of your car ... by lifting and swinging both legs out the door before standing.

This prevents aggravation of existing hip and back pain by locking together your legs and pelvis, allowing you to rotate on your rear and carry your back with you.

The one-foot-at-a-time method pressures your back to twist away from your hips, straining both parts of your body.

Once you've placed both feet on the ground, you can then face out the door and rise with less pain.