VITAL SIGNS: Warning: Christmas is a health hazard

The pre-Christmas frenzy can seriously damage your health, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. Hours spent trudging around departments stores, with shoppers leaving supermarkets loaded down like pack animals, takes its toll on the back and feet, it points out. On the day itself, wrestling with a 20lb turkey can be dangerous while the traditional post-prandial snooze in front of the television can cause stiff necks and indigestion.

In its Guide to a happy Christmas, the society has given some tips on how to avoid Christmas injuries: Spread the shopping load evenly between your hands and be careful when loading and unloading from trolley to car; Massage and wiggle feet after a serious shopping expedition; When hanging decorations, use a small stepladder rather than wobbling about on a chair - don't stretch too far, move the ladder instead; Bend from the hips and knees when putting the turkey in the oven - and always clear a space first rather than stagger around the kitchen wondering where to put it.