It’s officially Fall!
For me it means it’s time to decorate my front door with pumpkins, bales of straw, mums and scarecrows. My children get very excited to see all of it because to them it means Halloween is near. For me, it means looking for the crates and scarecrows, and picking up the rest. All this decorating means there is a lot of lifting, bending and reaching!
At the store, I pick out the mums and bales of straw. Although these are lightweight, I keep my back straight by hinging from my hips to pick them up. Then, I look to buy one of the largest pumpkins where it’s even more important to watch my posture. Again, I use the body mechanics above to lift one out of the bin properly and place it into my cart. Keeping my back straight, abdominals braced, and knees bent, I find the biggest one. But it doesn’t stop there. I must them place them into my trunk and then bring them to my front steps.
My boys like to help with scarecrow placement, so they run around the yard pointing to where my husband will stake into the ground. I supervise, making sure he is not bending at his back. Lastly, a few smaller pumpkins decorate the edge of the stone wall, which is the boys’ favorite part because they get to do it.
At the end of the season I like to recycle, so I plant the mums in the ground, making sure to cover them with enough mulch to survive the winter. The planting, digging, bending, and reaching associated with the season must all be done carefully to avoid aggravating my back, which can be a challenge. It can be quite a little workout, especially if people are not used to lifting. Such a fun, yet simple task, could land you in PT. Be sure to keep your back straight by hinging from your hips, brace your abdominals and use your legs to get objects to, and from, the ground. Follow these tips to keep you safe year-round.
written by Effie Koustas, MSPT