Weekend Ergonomics: Surviving Fall Chores

Weekend Ergonomics: Surviving Your Fall Chores

Fall is finally here and you know what that means—crisp leaves, Halloween costumes and pumpkin spice everything. But, something else to consider is all those seasonal weekend chores you’ll have to do before winter strikes, especially if you live in a snowy area. There’s raking leaves, taking out AC units, taping up windows… the list goes on and on. 

Even more important is making sure you work your way through your list safely and efficiently. Many times, a good deal of pain and strain you experience can be the result of improper lifting techniques, poor posture, repetitive motions and more. 

Here are a few tips for getting through your fall chores this season.

Your Fall Chore Checklist

A gentle reminder for all of our homeowners out there in need of a helpful list!

  • Bring in plants and patio furniture
  • Drain and store hoses
  • Check your gutters and downspouts
  • Clean out vents and replace furnace filters
  • Check your fireplace, chimney and flue

Raking Leaves

Jumping into a big, old pile of leaves as a kid? Fun! Raking that big, old pile of leaves as an adult? Not so much. 

  • Just like before a workout, it’s important to get your blood flowing and your muscles loosened up. Stretch for at least five minutes before you begin, focusing on moves you can hold like trunk rotations and shoulder circles.
  • As you work, make sure to change your position frequently; repeat motions increase the likelihood of stress and strain. Alternate which food you have forward and reverse your hand positions as you work. 
  • When purchasing a rake, look for one with a slight bend in the handle—these are ergonomic rakes which give you a better angle and prevent you from bending over.
  • Lifting safety is everything! If picking up anything of significant weight from off the ground, keep your feet flat on the ground, knees bent, core engaged and spine straight.

Checking Your Smoke Detectors

More home fires occur during winter than any other season throughout the year. Don’t forget to check those batteries.

  • Use an ergonomic step stool that fits your weight limit. If possible, avoid using a chair or unstable piece of furniture if your smoke alarm is situated on the ceiling.
  • When reaching above your head, avoid twisting around when changing directions and putting unnecessary stress on the spine.
  • Make sure to have a partner close by to ensure you do not fall or injure yourself.