Have you ever felt sore after doing seasonal yard work? Have you ever pulled a muscle dragging those fallen leaves to the curb?
Unfortunately, spring cleaning injuries are pretty common. In fact, every year more than 21 million people end up in the emergency room.
Sprains, tendonitis, serious cuts and even fractures are common during seasonal cleanups. So, what’s a homeowner to do? Well, you can certainly hire out seasonal yard work and inside cleaning jobs. But if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, there are a few ways you can protect yourself so that you don’t end up in pain or in the emergency room.
Here’s The Number One Way to Prevent Spring Cleaning Injuries
Take it small bits at a time rather than embarking on a mammoth clean up all at once. Anyone who spends 5-8 hours on a weekend day raking, scrubbing and doing all the other tasks that go along with seasonal cleaning is risking injury – unless you’re already a highly active person.
Think about it, if you’re like most Americans, you drive to work, you sit at a computer and you drive home and sit some more in front of the TV or on your tablet. Even if you get the daily recommended 30 minutes a day of exercise, that’s still a lot of sitting.
So to go from a sedentary life to a day of active cleaning is kind of like lacing up your shoes to run a 10K the first time you take up running.
It’s far better to do break up your spring cleaning into 30-60 minutes stretches over several days if you can.
And of course, before you get started make sure you do a few warm up stretches. Bend over and touch your toes. Reach your hands to the sky and do a few bends from side to side. Put your hands on your waist and twist a few times. Spend 10-15 minutes warming up gently and you’ll be at less risk for spring cleaning injuries.
It’s also critical to enlist help for bigger projects. Whether you need to move heavy items or climb ladders a helper can reduce the strain on your body and help prevent falls. It turns out that falls are a serious source of spring cleaning injuries.
So, enlist help, do less in smaller bits and warm up before attempting active clean ups.
If you do feel sore or have tweaked your back a good massage or your chiropractor may be able to help you feel better again.
What will you do to prevent spring cleanup injuries this season?