Fall can be an exciting time as the weather is still warm, with the glorious colors of the leaves. Yet with the slippery terrain and more colds than usual, the season makes us vulnerable to injuries, particularly when doing yard work. Because yard work and the tools involve a lot of twisting, turning, bending, and reaching movements that we do not normally do, before you dig in, take some safety precautions.
Warm-Up Before Yard Work. Before using any lawn tools, make sure you warm-up and adequately prepare. Failing to warm-up can lead to injury and muscle overuse.
Wear comfortable and supportive shoes. When you’re working outdoors, you need good foot and arch support, which can prevent back strain.
Use correct posture with equipment. Stand as straight as possible, raking or mowing, keeping your head up. When using yard equipment, bend at the knees, not the waist.
Use yard equipment with a strap. Look over your yard equipment, making sure it has a belt and that you use it. Harness the strap over your head on the shoulder opposite the side of your body from the device. This will help normalize your center of gravity.
Try ergonomic devices. They’re designed to provide efficiency and comfort, protecting you when used correctly.
Use mowers wisely. If your mower has a pull cord, don’t twist at the waist or yank the cord. Pull the cord in one smooth motion, making sure you bend your knees.
Take frequent breaks as you work. Muscle fatigue is common with most outdoor work. If your equipment is loud, wear ear protection. Be sure to include a cool-down period that involves stretching to help avoid injury.