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Posture tips for Christmas chefs

Are you cooking the Christmas lunch this year? Or baking lots of mince pies? Then think about your posture. Standing in the kitchen for long periods can cause lots of discomfort. Your feet, legs, back and neck are all vulnerable if you don’t ensure you are properly prepared for actionChristmas dessert

Wear the right shoes.


Standing for long periods means your feet need to have the right support. Comfortable shoes with the right arch support are a must, and whilst they may not fit with your party outfit they will ensure you are not achy when you sit down to lunch. You can always change afterwards

Maintain a mobile posture

  • Try not to stay in the same position for too long, transfer your weight from one leg to the other, bend your knees, move around your kitchen, and when you can leave the kitchen do so.
  • Giraffe Drinking Water” Stance¬†ust spread your feet wide apart so that your mid section drops down a few inches closer to counter height
  • Stand up straight and try not to bend over the work surface.
    • If you are tall you may find the “giraffe at the watering hole” stance helps. Stand with your feet wide apart, so that you waist is closer to the top of the work surface.
  • Where possible raise up your chopping board,
    • professional chefs will often put a butchers block underneath between it and the chopping board to stop the board slipping.
  • If you are following a recipe then where possible raise it up to encourage you to look up to follow the steps.
  • Keep your equipment close to hand, avoid stretching, twisting or bending over the work top where possible.
  • When washing up in a deep sink, pop an deep baking tray upside down under the washing up bowl to raise it up, although if you are cooking for others, let them wash up.

Food Preparation

  • Use the sharpest knives possible when chopping vegetables etc to minimise the amount of force you need to use.
  • Where possible use an electric mixer to whip cream, or to mix cakes mixes and dough, to reduce the strain on your wrists, elbows & shoulders.
  • If you have willing and able helpers then use them to peel and chop vegetables & share the load.
  • If you are lifting the turkey in and out of the oven – make sure you have another person to help lift and use your knees to bend – especially if you have a low level oven.

Stretch out before and after

Some simple back stretches will help to stop tired muscles developing and will ease those that do. These exercises will help

  • Standing roll down
  • Standing
  • Double knee hug
  • Single knee hug to opposite shoulder
  • Standing back extension
  • Cat Camel stretch
  • Threading the needle.

If you do begin to ache then follow our simple tips here. If it continues for more than a couple of days then book an appointment with your osteopath.