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.
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 the 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. 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 a tree.
This is not good for your posture and should be avoided.
Safer Activities of Daily Living
Follow these guidelines and one of your most frequent summer activities of daily living – your lawn mowing – will be a safer experience.
For a comprehensive guide on Activities of Daily Living, consider the MelioGuide Exercise for Better Bones program. I include a complete manual with photos illustrating everyday activities that should be modified.
Health Professionals: Building Better Bones Online Course
Learn the Prevention, Treatment and Management of Osteoporosis.
MelioGuide Building Better Bone Online Course for Health Professionals
Women and Men: Exercise for Better Bones Program
Osteoporosis exercise program that strengthens bone, reduces fracture risk, improves balance and builds confidence.
MelioGuide Exercise for Better Bones Program for Women and Men
Video and Transcript
Transcript – Scroll Bar is on the Right Hand Side
Hi. Welcome to MelioGuide. I’m Margaret Martin and today on the daily activities series, what I’d like to cover is lawn mowing, and lawn mowing is going to continue for several months here in the Ottawa region, so hopefully, this is a helpful hint for you.
When lawn mowing, you want to set the arm of the lawn mower in a position that allows you to be in a power position. 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 putting your hand position 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.
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.
So, that’s going to cover lawn mowing for today. Thanks for tuning in. I will see you next time on MelioGuide.
Margaret Martin is a Physical Therapist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Yoga Teacher with over 27 years experience helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals.
She treats clients with low bone density at her clinic and teaches fellow Health Professionals how to treat osteoporosis.
Margaret is the recipient of the 2011 Award of Distinction from the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario for her significant contributions and achievements as a Physiotherapist.