Hand therapy activity list

To help you recover from your injury or surgery on your hand, your hand therapist explains what activities you can and cannot do. They give you activities to do based on if they are classed as light, medium or heavy activities.

As you recover and your injury heals, you can gradually increase your amount of activity. Always follow your hand therapist’s advice.

Light activities

  • Using the phone
  • Reading a newspaper or a book
  • Putting on light clothes
  • Playing cards
  • Handling money
  • Typing
  • Writing
  • Using a remote control
  • Using a knife, fork or spoon (but not cutting meat)
  • Picking up a small glass of water
  • Personal care, such as washing
  • Shaving
  • Fastening zips and buttons
  • Tying shoe laces
  • Combing your hair
  • Putting on your socks
  • Using a light switch
  • Dusting

Medium activities

  • Sweeping up
  • Using scissors
  • Unscrewing jars or lids
  • Using a towel
  • Hanging out washing
  • Washing and wiping up
  • Opening or closing door handles
  • Opening a ring pull on a can of drink or food
  • Holding a pint glass of liquid
  • Using a key to open a door

Heavy activities

  • Sport, such as golf, swimming, going to the gym, cycling, running or football
  • Hand washing and wringing out cloths
  • Cooking and lifting saucepans and kettles
  • Carrying shopping
  • Using a knife to cut up meat
  • Ironing
  • Gardening
  • Making a bed
  • Vacuuming
  • Lifting boxes
  • Lifting children
  • Driving
  • Cleaning a car
  • Decorating

Resource number: 1517/VER6
Last reviewed: November 2019
Next review: November 2022

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Hand Therapy Department.

Phone: 020 7188 4172 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

Email: handtherapyappointments@gstt.nhs.uk

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Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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