Tips for Staying Safe with Outdoor Spring Clean Up
March 21, 2023
The weather is starting to turn and spring has officially hit on the calendar. We have hit the second half of March and April and Easter are right around the corner. Spring sports have started and our high school teams are now playing baseball, soccer, golf, and running track. Our youth teams are beginning to get to practice outdoors and the adults are starting to look at their yards, landscaping beds, and gardens and starting to clean up and plan for this summer. How can we stay safe when working on our yards?
The first thing to remember is to plan. We need to plan what we are going to do and how we are going to do it. There can be a lot of lifting in the spring. Lifting fertilizer bags, bags of potting soil, rocks, tree limbs, etc. It is always important to lift with our legs and avoid excessive bending at the waist. Keep your feet shoulder width apart, squat down keeping your back straight and your hips only slightly flexed. Pick up the load with your arms and hold it close to your body. Push up with your legs and do not change your back position. If you have to move the load do not twist your back, but instead move your feet so that the load always stays between your feet and never moves outside one foot or the other.
Yard work can also include pushing a mower, digging some holes, raking some thatch, or preparing the vegetable garden. When working with these tools we wont’ to avoid fully extending our arms and pulling or digging with the tool too far away from our torso. As we are digging down we want to bend our knees and not our waists to drive and pick up the load. As we are emptying our shovel or rake we want to avoid twisting our torso and putting unneeded strain on our backs.
It is always important to remember to stretch before and after any manual labor. We want to make sure our bodies are prepared for the upcoming work and given time to rest after the work is completed. We also want to make sure our leg and core muscles are strong and being utilized correctly to maximize our power and minimize our stress and risk of injury. Physical therapy can help with all of these things and should be used to prevent injury and to over come an issues or injuries that occur. Witte Physical Therapy has the staff and the training you need to prevent or recover from these injuries. Call us to today for a free consultation!