Living with an asbestos-related disease can have a serious impact on a person’s ability to function independently. With extreme shortness of breath and fatigue doing every day tasks can become difficult. There are several energy conservation techniques available to minimize breathing difficulty. Energy conservation involves simplification of work activities, limiting of work activity, time management and organization to decrease the amount of energy used during an activity.
The 4 P’s of Energy
- Evenly distribute harder tasks throughout the week.
- Decide what time of day is YOUR best time of day and do the more strenuous activities including exercise then.
- Use labor saving techniques. Example: soak dishes before washing.
- Perform activities sitting if possible. Examples: folding laundry sitting on couch etc.
- Organize your workspace. Example: Avoid reaching, bending, carrying, and climbing as much as possible.
- Decide what jobs are most important.
- Learn to let go of guilt caused by not finishing a task due to fatigue. There are other days.
- Delegate tasks to other people if possible.
- Alternate easy and difficult tasks.
- Take frequent breaks during a task.ï€ 10-15 minutes every hour.
- Work with gravity assisting, not resisting.
- Get plenty of sleep and rest. Plan on 10-12 hours of rest including naps.
- Rest 45-60 minutes after meals. It requires a lot of energy and oxygen to digest meals.
- Do not rush! Rest before becoming exhausted.
- Doing some activities a certain way may help increase the length of time you can do an activity and make it easier all the way around.
Use correct body mechanics
- Keep the head and neck aligned with the trunk and tuck the chin.
- Keep shoulder and hips in alignment.
- Move your feet when turning around.
- Maintain pelvic tilt by tucking in your buttocks.
- Keep one foot raised on a low stool when standing.
- Bend your knees and keep back straight when lifting a low object.
- Keep objects close to your body while lifting or carrying.
- Inhale when extending arms and exhale as arms come back. Example: sweeping and vacuuming- inhale as the vacuum goes out and exhale as you pull it back toward you.