Our previous articles (see list below) covered numerous injuries you can sustain while doing yard work. However, daily physical activity has been proven to be a good stress reliever and brings benefits to your overall well-being and burns calories!
Lifting/picking up/carrying: works the upper body and legs. Whatever you are lifting or carrying, whether it is a bag of leaves, garden equipment, or cleaning out the pool for the season, or anything else for that matter, this activity works your muscles!
Here are some suggestions on how to get ready for autumn and reduce injuries while lifting, picking up or carrying:
- Always bend at the knees, never at the waist. This allows for better spine alignment and greatly reduces back injuries.
- Form a wide base at your feet or a balanced stance with your feet about a shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down to lift the object and use your entire hands (not just fingers) to pick up the load.
- Gradually lift the object using your legs, abdominal and gluteus (buttocks) muscles keeping the load as close to you as possible. Maintain a straight back and neck.
- Never turn or twist your waist while carrying the object. When you are ready to place the object in its place, again, use your legs not your waist to do so. Always bend your knees.
- Keep your back straight and vary your movements to reduce motion repetitiveness and strain.
- Household and yard chores help keep you in shape!
More Tips: Try not to overfill bags with leaves because they may be too heavy to lift. Try dragging the bags or use a wheelbarrow or wagon to help transport bags, garden tools or other equipment. You can also ask someone to help you carry the bags. Try not to do all activities in one day or weekend. Pace yourself and complete yard chores in sections. Also, you may consider composting your leaves or using them as mulch to cover your garden for the winter.
Check out our other garden activity injury-related articles:
The above suggestions are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon as instructions for rendering medical help or advice. They are based solely on illustrative purposes. Morici, Figlioli & Associates (MFA LAW) does not make any warranty, expressed or implied for any products or suggestions mentioned, or any techniques or practices described.