- This is no time for mood lighting. This is serious business. Make sure you have sufficient lighting to see what you are doing.
- Using a counter or table to wrap presents is preferable to the floor. This reduces the amount of bending and awkward body postures. Who really wants to kneel or crouch on the floor anyway? That sounds the opposite of fun. This is supposed to be fun. Put on some music, sing at the top of your lungs, and have some fun. OK, so the music and singing is not ergonomics related. But do remember the part about the counter and table.
- If you are wrapping a large or heavy item, first consider whether you could just put a bow on it and call it a day. My mom used to do this hilarious thing where she would put a large present in a garbage bag and tie the top with a bow. It was not exactly Martha Stewart looking, but she was ahead of her time with the ergonomics of gift wrapping. If you really need to wrap this big present, then bribe someone to help you with cookies or chocolate.
- Remember good lifting techniques for heavy presents and use a dolly if necessary.
- Keep your gift wrapping tools within close reaching distance. Your body really likes not having to reach far away over and over again.
- If you are using scissors they should fit your hand well. It’s even better to use a tool designed for gift wrapping like the Scotch 3M paper cutter.
- Tape is easiest to use when it is in a dispenser. A pop up tape dispenser is ideal.
- Regular wrapping paper is easier to work with than foil wrapping paper. If you have ever thought, hey this is awesome shiny foil wrapping paper and I’m going to buy it, then you know what I am talking about. Yes, I have bought it before. I am not perfect. Live and learn.
- If you are planning on wrapping a pile of presents, take breaks for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes to stretch and give your body a break.
- You know, if you want to avoid all this there are stores which wrap presents for you. There are also gift bags. This is not cheating and trust me, nobody will complain about it.
By Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
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