Here are six safety tips on cutting grass that I encourage my patients to follow — especially those with osteoporosis, osteopenia, low back pain.
- Establish a power position behind the lawnmower.
- Push with your legs with both hands placed shoulder width apart on the mower handle.
- Make sure the height of your lawnmower is adjusted to your height.
- Look back before you start moving backwards.
- Use a double arm pull back technique rather than a single arm.
- Trim low hanging branches before you cut grass to avoid bending under the branches.
Those of you with low bone density, osteopenia or osteoporosis need to pay special attention to how you cut your grass. Those of you who have not followed a regular conditioning program need to be careful not to cause back, shoulder or neck problems.
Lawn Mower Position When Cutting Grass
It is important that you establish a power position behind the lawnmower. This will allow you to push through with your legs and your torso and not rely exclusively on your arms and back while cutting grass.
Mid waist is an ideal power position. Get your elbows in and push the lawn mower from the legs.
In the power position, the handle should be sitting above the height of your hips and below the height of your shoulders. Somewhere mid-waist is a really good power position.
That allows you to keep your elbows tucked in. This is especially important when you’re initiating the push of the mower. For example, if you start from a standstill position or if you’re getting a bit of an uphill where the grass is long, you really need to get more power behind the mower.
Make Sure the Height of Your Lawn Mower is Correct
You need to make sure before you start cutting grass that the lawn mower height is correct for you. Someone may have used the lawnmower before you and the height could be too high or too low.
The correct height should align with your power position.
You want to get your elbows in and really push from the legs. Have the handle in that position is really important.
For a tall individual, you want to move the setting low so that the whole handle gets moved up and allows your hand position to be in a much safer and better position for your height.
Walking Forwards and Backwards When Cutting Grass
If you want to reduce the strain on your back, you should use a double hand pull back instead of a single hand while cutting grass. Also, make a point of looking behind you before moving backwards.
Low Hanging Limbs
Consider trimming low hanging limbs before you cut the grass. Many people have the habit of bending down and going under low hanging tree branches to access parts of the lawn below the branch. You should avoid this as it potentially puts you in flexion.
Instead of continuously ducking underneath the low-hanging limbs, you could save yourself a lot of grief and save stress on your back. Cutting back some of the low-hanging limbs allows clearing underneath them a lot easier for yourself.
Exercise Recommendations for Osteoporosis
It is really important to do activities of daily living with proper form. However, you need to do more than that if you have osteoporosis. Exercise is an essential ingredient to bone health. If you have osteoporosis, therapeutic exercise needs to be part of your osteoporosis treatment program.
But what exercises should you do and which ones should you avoid? What exercises build bone and which ones reduce your chance of a fracture? Is Yoga good for your bones? Who should you trust when it comes to exercises for osteoporosis?
A great resource on exercise and osteoporosis is my free, seven day email course called Exercise Recommendations for Osteoporosis. After you provide your email address, you will receive seven consecutive online educational videos on bone health — one lesson each day. You can look at the videos at anytime and as often as you like.
- Can exercise reverse osteoporosis?
- Stop the stoop — how to avoid kyphosis and rounded shoulders.
- Key components of an osteoporosis exercise program.
- Key principles of bone building.
- Exercises you should avoid if you have osteoporosis.
- Yoga and osteoporosis — should you practice yoga if you have osteoporosis?
- Core strength and osteoporosis — why is core strength important if you have osteoporosis?
Enter your email address and I will start you on this free course. I do not SPAM or share your email address (or any information) with third parties. You can unsubscribe from my mail list at any time.
Hopefully these four safety tips on cutting grass will help you avoid injury such as a compression fracture or experience low back pain.
Activities of Daily Living
Visit my page dedicated to Activities of Daily Living to learn about other activities of daily living.