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Good advice that I wasn't quite expecting

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GarF

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Just landed a used copy of one of James Krenov's books to while away the last of the dark nights and came across this piece of fundamental sound advice in the section on milling your own material.... "Save your back, you'll need it later." Ain't that the truth? There's an element of philosophy in this book that I feel I'm going to enjoy.
 

D_W

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What's that in reference to?

one of the reasons that I try to work almost entirely by hand is to use my back in moderation, as most of us now have jobs that save our back a little too well.
 

Jelly

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One of the reasons that I try to work almost entirely by hand is to use my back in moderation, as most of us now have jobs that save our back a little too well.
I can get behind that logic, having always found extended periods of sitting to be amongst the worse culprits for causing me back pain.

Jacking my desk up on blocks to a more ergonomic height helped some, but ultimately I've had to resort to planning short walks into my day at the insistence of my physio.
 

Record 1984

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What's that in reference to?

one of the reasons that I try to work almost entirely by hand is to use my back in moderation, as most of us now have jobs that save our back a little too well.
Use it or lose it. Strengthen the muscles in your back that keep the vertebrae in place.
 

GarF

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Specifically it's in reference to manhandling (or not) logs, ie ideally to split them where they lie, or else use machinery to move them. It struck me as one of those undeniable truths of life, speaking as a forty-something with the noisiest joints of my whole pilates class despite being youngest by a good bit.
 

D_W

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Completely agree with that comment on logs. My grandparents were mostly farmers. Each of them had something non-functioning by old age (as in, inability to lift an arm above shoulder length, etc). In every case, they could identify the event that led to permanent failure (pushing through something they should've stopped and thought about).

The generation of people who had the ability to use their bodies in a way that would put them in danger is shrinking here, though (at least until you get into the tradesmen). The nice thing about woodworking in general at anything smaller than an architectural level is there's not much that has to be done that would threaten personal injury, and most of the things done entirely by hand don't involve much strain (hand planing and sawing or resawing wood is more like taking a brisk walk perhaps with a little extra resistance).
 

D_W

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I can get behind that logic, having always found extended periods of sitting to be amongst the worse culprits for causing me back pain.

Jacking my desk up on blocks to a more ergonomic height helped some, but ultimately I've had to resort to planning short walks into my day at the insistence of my physio.
I worked on farms while in college, not much, but enough to understand the limits of my back. One of the most physically fit individuals I've ever seen put up hay on one of the farms I worked on (we did it evenings and weekends - small farm with older owners that were relatives of a friend). This guy worked as a laborer for a contractor during the day, as perhaps 75% of my weight and far stronger. I remember him having constant back problems, and he wore duds to support his back.

At some point, he went to a doctor and reported back to us that the doctor said it was "lack of exercise", which was doubly puzzling. He got a schedule of exercises to do for additional back strength and stability and within a few months he was fine. He looked like a mini NFL player with ripples everywhere - if he can have a weak back, I guess any of us can.

Stability exercises aren't much fun (they're awkward and semi-painful/fatiguing), but definitely effective.
 

D_W

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Good advise from my mother many years ago
"Keep your zip up and you won't bring any trouble home"
"pants up, wear locked underwear if that's what it takes, keep your hand on your wallet and don't drink your money" is what my grandmother would say when I was a kid.

Her later advice (she had an estate as a widow and the bottom feeder suitors showed up in numbers looking to secure an inheritance for their own kids) to widows was "stick to men with more money than you and no kids".
 

GarF

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A mate of mine at uni ruptured two discs while picking up a crate of flowers, lilies IIRC. At the time he played prop in one of the university rugby XVs, so pretty fit and very strong. Now whether it was the flowers or the rugby that was ultimately to blame is open to debate, but we are generally advised against reaching/bending/lifting at the same time as twisting. Some of these injuries could be seen coming a mile off, but there are still those odd times when we're caught off guard (and off balance).
 

Darrell_L

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You only have so many bends in you, don't use them up too fast!

That's what my son chided me with when I was learning to throw axes. If I didn't miss, I didn't have to bend over and pick the ones on the ground.
 

D_W

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You only have so many bends in you, don't use them up too fast!

That's what my son chided me with when I was learning to throw axes. If I didn't miss, I didn't have to bend over and pick the ones on the ground.
This reminds me of my college roommates mantra - that the human body has a predefined number of heart beats and that all animals and such start with an average number of heartbeats. Therefore, he would do no exercising, etc, because it would shorten his life.

(he also believed that small animals and animals with shorter lives had higher heart rates and that hearts in general all went around the same mileage before failure. This is a fantastic theory for someone like him to have - he was an absolute genius in course work and picked everything up completely without effort - mostly because looking up the heart rate of cows or elephants was so easy, and so was their life expectancy).

He went far to do as little as possible and after working 8 or 9 years as an engineer, took a buyout around age 31 (!!!!) and is now in academia. If you're looking to work 20 hours a week but call it full time, a small private college in the states is definitely your landing place.
 

doctor Bob

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I work full time as a cabinet maker, I did my back in shockingly 12 years ago, slipped disc, trouble walking for about 2 years.
As a result I started to exercise and keep in shape, this all worked to a degree for about 8-10 years, but still kept getting problems.
About 5 months ago I started to spend time stretching, really focusing on the hamstrings, wow what a difference that has made, I'm like a new man.
 

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