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Posted on 07-21-2016

Summertime is here and outdoor gardening enthusiasts are out in full force. Along with enjoying the warm breezes and sun's rays, comes the challenge of lifting heavy bags of mulch, grass seed and dirt. With a little forethought, avid gardeners can safely accomplish all their tasks without adverse effects by learning how to lift properly to prevent back injury.

It is not uncommon for bags of dirt, grass seed, sand and mulch to weigh anywhere from 25 to 50 pounds each, so awareness of proper lifting techniques is important in order to avoid back strain and pulled muscles. Using the proper form to lift and distribute the weight of heavy bags can mean the difference between a productive day in the garden, or a day cut short and spent in bed with painful muscle spasms.

The best way to lift heavy items is to stand near the object you want to move, with feet about shoulder width apart. While keeping your back straight, squat down near the load and test it to see if the weight seems manageable. If in doubt, either ask for help if possible or try to reduce the weight of the object by putting half of the contents into a spare bag. If the load seems manageable, lift by using your leg and arm muscles rather than your back. The closer you keep the object to your body, the more you will be using your legs and arms to execute the lift rather than your back muscles. Once you are fully upright, then turn in the direction you want to move rather than trying to lift and turn at the same time. When you've reached your destination, repeat the process in reverse. Keeping the load close to your body, bend your knees, keep your back straight and use your arms to drop the load.

For more information on how to take good care of your spine during all your summer activities, please contact us.

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