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Conserving Energy for Adults with Fatigue and Chronic Conditions


Energy Conservation Principles for Adults with Chronic Conditions and Fatigue

Energy conservation means adapting your day-to-day activities to increase the amount of energy that you have throughout the day, ensuring you are able to complete everything you want and need to do. Research has shown that implementing energy conservation principles can improve quality of life for individuals with chronic conditions and fatigue. By following these six principles, you can conserve the energy throughout your day and ensure that you are able to complete all the activities that are meaningful to you.


  1. Plan and Organize: Plan what activities you want to complete each day, starting with the most important activities early in the morning when you have the most energy. Organize your environment so that everything you need for a given activity is close by, preventing you from expending more energy while collecting materials.

  2. Prioritize: Prioritize what activities are meaningful for you and complete those first, particularly in the morning when you have the most energy.

  3. Body Mechanics: When completing activities, use proper body mechanics to prevent unnecessary energy expenditure.

  4. Take Rest Breaks: Schedule breaks between and during activities to rest and restore your energy.

  5. Delegate: Delegate tasks that are not meaningful for you to complete to a family member or spouse. Ask for help with tasks that you find unimportant and consume a lot of your daily energy.

  6. Use tools: Assistive technology, such as reachers, dressing sticks, and built-up materials, are available to help make tasks easier. Using these tools reduces the amount of energy that is expended on one task which allows you to do more with less energy.


Overall, implementing these six principles into your daily routines can help conserve energy increasing your ability to engage in activities that you find meaningful and improve quality of life.

Sources:

Omura, K. M., Augusto de Araujo Costa Folha, O., Moreira, P. S., da Silva Bittencourt, E., Seabra, A. D., & Cardoso, M. M. (2022). Energy conservation, minimum steps, and adaptations when needed: A scoping review. Hong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy, 35(2), 125–136. https://doi.org/10.1177/15691861221137223

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