Springtime Safety Health Tips
Spring is finally here! The warm weather is a welcomed change from the chilly winter. It’s time for swimming, hiking, washing cars, and yard work. Physical activity will increase in this season, and now is the time to practice moving safely to avoid injury.
Practice Smart and Safe Lifting
First, learning the Dos and Don’ts of lifting can affect the health of your back. For example, to lift an object safely, do position your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, while bending your knees, keep your feet flat on the floor, place your flat palms against the object, and lift gradually. Next, turn with your feet, not your torso. Don’t lift heavy objects manually or twist at the waist with a heavy load. Don’t reach and lift up or across an area. Don’t carry odd-shaped items or move in uncomfortable positions. Bending with your knees, as opposed to keeping your legs straight, is most important. More than one million workers are injured with back injuries each year. These safety procedures can prevent back injuries when lifting objects at work, home, exercise, or recreation.
Strengthen Your Core
Second, strengthening core muscles through multifaceted exercises geared toward balance and stretching has multiple benefits including preventing back injury. Daily activities, exercise, and sports are safer to perform when neuromuscular control of the lower extremities is gradually trained. Specific exercises focused on the diaphragm, abdominal and oblique muscles, paraspinal and gluteal muscles, pelvic floor, and hip girdle create a stable system of support for the trunk and spine. These core muscles provide complex functions which stabilize the back and prevent injury.
Third, fall prevention programs for people 65 and older are often addressed for specific needs within their residential communities. Stepping On is a program designed for older adults at moderate risk of falling to reduce their fall risk and improve their quality of life. It involves attending two-hour educational workshops once a week for seven weeks led by two trained leaders. The tone is positive for the participants. Stepping On has had a 64% return on investment and the fall rate was 30% lower. Otago, an in-home exercise program, is individually tailored for frail adults over age 80 to work on balance and strength with a physical therapist. Otago has had great success with the return on investment being 127% and the fall rate 36% lower for people who participated in the program!
Promoting safety involves adopting a ‘safety climate’ mentality. Defined as, “shared perceptions of employees about the importance of safety within their organization,” this means everyone stays vigilant and follows safety protocols. Hopefully falls and back injuries can be avoided at home, work, and recreation when we all practice moving safety this spring.
Everett Spine & Rehab: Your Source for Injury Rehab in Snohomish County
In the event you do suffer a fall or injury, please seek immediate medical help! You may also be advised to visit a physical therapist in some cases. Everett Spine and Rehab is a full-service rehabilitation center for anyone suffering a work, auto injury, and more. We offer chiropractic, massage and physical therapy care.