A University of Iowa health study involving hundreds of Iowa farmers finds plenty of aching backs. Lifting bags of grain, bales of hay, squirming piglets — the life of a farmer can be tough, especially on the back. Dr. Nancy Sprince is a professor of occupational and environmental health at the U-of-I and co-authored the study. She says Iowa farmers had double the rate of low back pain compared to other working Americans, and they were much more likely to change or stop their work because of the pain.Dr. Sprince says education and prevention are key. Old advisories still apply like “lift with your legs, not your back.” She says more farmers should wear lumbar support belts and do stretching exercises before tackling the chores so they don’t get hurt. The study was based on a survey of 287 male Iowa farmers in 18 counties.
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