If Candidates Survive the Election, Can They Survive Campaign Handshaking?
Bethesda, MD — On behalf of the 45,000 members, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) offers these tips to politicians this election season:
Positioning is Everything
- Initiate the handshake so you have a firm lock on the other person’s hand.
- Avoid pressure on your knuckles by positioning the “web” space between your thumb and index finger firmly against the corresponding space in the other person’s hand.
- Hold your wrist straight.
- Shake from the arm, not the wrist.
- Break the handshake quickly, and move on to the next.
- When possible, use the two-handed shake.
Take Care of Important Allies
Your back and shoulder are important components of the motion of the handshake. Protect and save them for the heavy burdens of office.
- Keep your elbow at a 90-degree angle.
- Keep your arm close to your body.
- Keep your arms below the level of your shoulders whenever possible.
Declare a Recess
- Take frequent breaks. Try these exercises to rest and relax the areas of your body that have been receiving the most stress.
- With fingers interlaced behind your head, gently stretch your elbows back. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Shrug your shoulders (preferably not in front of cameras). Hold for ten seconds. Repeat 3 times.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
Create strategies for avoiding a handshake without hurting your chances for winning a vote.
- Put your arm around a person’s shoulder before he grabs your hand.
- Hold something that cannot be put down easily.
- Wear a splint or brace on your hand or wrist to warn off aggressive glad-handers.
For other tips like Damage Control and Strengthen Your Hand, go to http://www.aota.org/Practitioners/Advocacy/Tools/Presentations/39726.aspx Please note: The PDF incorrectly lists the number of AOTA members. The correct number is 45,000.
CONTACT: Beth Mullen
(301) 652-6611 x 2963