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As autumn approaches, many of us will soon be heading outside to rake leaves and do other seasonal yardwork. While they may not seem like particularly dangerous activities, there are a number of injuries that can be caused by this kind of physical labor, particularly if you haven’t done it in a while. Here are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind to prevent injury:
When doing this kind of work, it’s important not to overexert yourself. Keep it slow and take breaks if you’re feeling tired. Pop in your headphones and listen to a podcast, e-book, or favorite playlist while enjoying the fall weather.
Make sure you wear shoes that are comfortable and provide proper protection. Sharp sticks and rocks may be hidden under the leaves or in the grass, and if you’re wearing open-toed shoes, they could potentially injure your feet. Also, standing and walking for long periods of time in shoes that are uncomfortable can cause pain and injury.
The safest way to rake is by taking short strokes. That way you will minimize the risk of injuries related to extending your arms.
One of the biggest risks of raking leaves and doing other yardwork is hurting your back. When raking, keep your back straight and twist your whole body from your waist. Use your legs to shift your weight. You’ll also want to use your legs if you’re lifting anything heavy, like large flowerpots.
Make sure you select a rake that’s appropriate for you. Don’t use one that’s too long or too heavy, as it can increase the risk of various types of injuries.
For many of us, autumn is our favorite season. While you’re enjoying the pumpkin spice and the apple cider, be sure to make your safety a priority as well.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law