Thanksgiving is right around the corner and likely most of you have already begun to plan an epic feast! Turkey is of course, the classic menu as we hunker down to the table.
However, before we slip into our elastic waisted pants and tryptophan coma, let’s consider some safety tips—just for turkey. Safety tips for turkey? Really?
Yes! There are some well documented dangers associated with our beloved bird…
Who could forget infamous Les Nessman and the WKRP turkey drop—“As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly” (watch here). or Joey from Friends getting the turkey stuck on his head (watch here).
Dangers abound with inexperienced chefs trying to deep fry turkeys—so many frightening You Tube videos on this one…
But from an ergonomic viewpoint, there are some musculoskeletal concerns that come with lifting heavy birds in and out of the oven, and to the table.
So in preparation for the big day, here are some lifting tips to avoid injury…
A 14 pound turkey held close to our bodies is 14 pounds of pressure on our spines. BUT did you know if we reach out only 10 inches holding that same 14 pound bird it translates now to 140 pounds of pressure on our backs????
A Backsafe® rule that we teach is Keep the Load Close! When handling hot or wet items when it is impossible to hold it next to your body, you can hold them close by locking your elbows in by your side, to provide stability and to keep the load as close as possible. When setting down or putting in the oven, get as close to the target landing area as possible and then put the front edge onto the table or rack, and then slide in to the desired position. Reverse this motion when lifting from the table or oven.
Remember, the cause of most back and shoulder injuries is insidious “cumulative micro-trauma”. Keeping the Load Close is a wonderful way to help prevent the buildup of micro-trauma that can contribute to making us feel older and less flexible. And who knows, this one little tip may help you to prevent what could be a life altering injury someday!
We all have a lot to be thankful for! Let’s keep it that way!
Happy Thanksgiving from FIT!