Spring Cleaning and Your Back

It is that time of year when people dust the corners and break out the ladder for spring cleaning. But many people are unaware of the potential risk of injury that may occur as the result of spring cleaning. Thousands of injuries occur with the use of gardening tools every year. Many more injuries occur as the result of handling a ladder improperly. Often the key to avoid spring cleaning injuries is to know your limits. It’s easy and tempting to take on more spring cleaning chores than your body can accommodate. So be sure to take breaks throughout. Another important idea is to stretch before spring cleaning. A little stretching can go a long way to prevent pulling a muscle. To learn more, continue reading to avoid spring cleaning injuries.


How to Avoid Spring Cleaning Injuries Inside the Home


Step 1


Prepare an appropriate schedule. Trying to complete too many tasks at once can cause you to hurry and may increase your risk of injury.


Step 2


Reduce the strain on your back and knees when cleaning the floor. Clean the floor with a mop, as opposed to washing the floor on your hands and knees.


Step 3


Use a steady and wide base of support. Use a step stool instead of furniture to dust in high corners.


Step 4


Have someone assist you when moving furniture. Do not try to lift heavy objects by yourself for spring cleaning activities. Remember to squat and lift object with the support of your knees, not your back.


Step 5


Use long strokes to push the vacuum instead of short strokes. Pushing and pulling the vacuum in short, hurried strokes can hurt your back.


How to Avoid Spring Cleaning Injuries Outside the Home


Step 1


Protect your skin from the sun. Apply sunscreen to any visible skin to avoid sunburn.


Step 2


Select appropriate clothing to avoid injury. Wear clothing that is suitable for the task, usually loose fitting garments of breathable fabric. Wear gloves to protect your hands from blisters and bites. Choose appropriate foot gear. Wear durable, rubber-soled shoes that have some traction to avoid slipping on a wet surface.


Step 3


Avoid injury by using the ladder correctly. Set the ladder on a solid and level surface, preferably not in front of unlocked doors. Position the ladder as close to your work area as possible to avoid overreaching. Fully open the ladder and lock the spreaders before climbing. Do not use the top of the ladder or the fold-out shelf as a rung or seat.


Step 4


Pull weeds with the support of your legs. Pulling weeds with your legs will put less strain on your back as will pulling weeds with tightened abdominal muscles. To do this, brace your abdominal muscles as you would if you were about to receive a punch to the midsection.


Step 5


Call your physician in case of injury. Prevent further injury by checking with your doctor if you think you have been injured during spring cleaning.



Written by Renee Vians