It’s fall! That means those green leaves will soon turn beautiful autumn colors and fall to the ground. That also means leaf raking is right around the corner. With leaf raking comes the risk of a slip and fall. More than 76,000 Americans are injured every year while raking their yards according to The Center for Physical Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine at The Chester County Hospital at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.
Here’s some tips to prevent injuries during this chore.
Warm Up & Cool Down – Just like with exercise, you need to warm up before beginning to rake leaves. After all, it’s some surprising cardio on the body. Do some stretches, especially for your wrists. At the end of raking remember to stretch again.
Clear Debris – Get all of those pesky sticks and other harmful items you could slip on out of the way!
Use Proper Equipment – DO NOT IMPROVISE IF YOU DON’T HAVE A RAKE! You should always use one when raking leaves. They can sometimes be difficult to latch onto and other items may get snagged and cause you to fall. Also remember to wear gloves, long sleeve shirts, pants and safety goggles. Make sure your shoes are skid resistant so you don’t slip on any possibly slippery leaves.
Avoid Twisting Motions – Use your legs to manage your weight while raking. Don’t toss the leaves over your shoulder or lift with your back.
Take Breaks – You can get winded pretty easily while raking leaves. Take your time with this chore and rest when necessary. Chest pain and shortness of breath could be symptoms of a life threatening emergency.