Did you know that you cover about 21 kilometres a year while vacuuming? Invented in 1901, a pure luxury and reserved exclusively for men at the time, a vacuum cleaner is standard equipment today. And we use it a lot: an average of two hours per week is spent vacuuming in German households. Yet vacuuming is not necessarily among the most popular tasks. No wonder, because vacuuming can cause back pain.
How can back problems be avoided? Sometimes the little things are what makes a normal vacuum cleaner back friendly. Easy adjustment of the vacuum cleaner to various body heights for example. Or the ability to adjust everything directly on the handle. This means nobody has to bend over, everyone can work in an upright posture. That can be crucial because people sometimes suffer from lumbago caused by bending over.
The carrying handle should be ergonomically designed and arranged so you can carry the vacuum cleaner close to the body. A slim vacuum cleaner body helps as well. The closer to your body you carry the weight, the easier it will be on your back. Headlights on the floor nozzle may not be essential, but they certainly are very helpful in dark places – for example when vacuuming under the sofa and glass cabinet.
What else can you do? With upright vacuum cleaners, ensuring that the floor unit follows along easily and with little resistance is recommended. Large ball-bearing wheels ensure precise manoeuvrability and a rotating caster wheel maximises agility. That means you do not have to turn your upper body, avoiding twisting movements that are hard on the back.
Cordless hand-held vacuum cleaners are also recommended. They make the bothersome pulling back and forth of the cord, which is often far too short, a thing of the past. Bending over is greatly reduced as well since you are not constantly connecting the plug to a different outlet.
Just as with upright vacuum cleaners, some hand-held models also have the on/off switch and power level controls on the upper handle of the cordless vacuum. This ensures an upright working posture regardless of the body height, since certified units must either have a large functional angle adjustment or an adjustable telescoping tube for length adjustment. An ergonomic handle with control unit is another plus.
Unlike the classic upright vacuum, cordless vacuum cleaners do not have a suction tube that is separate from the suction unit. The two parts are combined into one. This makes it all the more important for the unit to be as lightweight and manoeuvrable as possible. The suction brush should easily swivel to the left and right, with adequate vertical swivelling. This makes it easy to vacuum under tables.
If the vacuum cleaner also has what is called a parking function, allowing it to be easily set down upright and free-standing, this eliminates the bothersome and often very cumbersome need to lay it down. The parking function lets you pick up and use the cordless vacuum quickly and easily at any time. This also makes it easy to set it into the charging station. A floor nozzle equipped with LED headlights is an especially useful feature. It makes sure that dust and dirt in dark areas will not escape you.
With battery-operated vacuum cleaners, the motor unit is often positioned low down for optimum weight transfer. But this positioning is impractical when vacuuming under beds, cabinets or sofas. With some vacuum cleaner models, the motor unit can be quickly shifted up along the telescoping tube.
When the vacuum cleaner also has a carrying handle on the motor and the end of the shaft, cleaning ceilings is easy as well. Also useful: a unit that can be folded up to a handy size and includes a comprehensive package of accessories. Vacuuming furniture, pictures, stairs or hard to reach areas is then no longer a problem thanks to the good manageability.
A 2-in-1 vacuum is also handy. It also allows everything to be adjusted on the upper handle. You can also take out the suction unit with a click. This gives you a practical hand-held vacuum that can be used anywhere it happens to be needed. For example to clean furniture or in the car. Appropriate accessories make it even more versatile.
Nice to have
Nice to have