Here are four 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.
- Make a point of looking 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.
Lawn Mower Position
It is important that you establish a power position behind the lawnmower so that you push through with your legs 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.
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.
Walking Forwards and Backwards
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. 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.
When possible, trim your lower hanging branches to avoid having to push or pull the lawn mower with your spine in a compromised position.
Tips on Cutting Grass Video Demonstration
That power position allows you to use your legs, to push through your torso, into the arms, as opposed to just pushing with the arms and back.
In that power position, the handle itself, 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, especially when you’re initiating the push of the mower, so if it’s from a standstill position or if you’re getting a bit of an uphill where the grass is long and you really need to get more power, more oomph behind the mower.
You want to get your elbows in and really push from the legs, so having the handle in that position is really helpful. For a taller individual, unlike myself, you would actually want to move the setting lower yet, so that the whole handle gets moved up and allow your hand position to be in a much safer and better position for your height.
The other thing to consider when lawn mowing is walking forward, walking backwards, walking backwards double-handed or single-handed, and certainly, if you are looking to reduce any strain on your back, a double-handed step back, as long as you know where you’re going with it, with your stepping and that the path behind you is clear, is going to certainly be safer on your back than doing the single-hand pull back.
Low Hanging Limbs
The other issue I just want to cover is low-hanging limbs, so you might want to consider trimming some of those low-hanging limbs, which I’m certainly going to do after viewing my video. 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.
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
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