What is your favorite thing about Fall? I love the weather, the leaves changing colors, wearing boots and layers, enjoying a meal outside, football, pumpkin spice lattes…I could go on and on. Fall also brings the unwanted chore of raking the leaves, which sounds simple but if done improperly could lead to injuries. Here are some ergonomic tips to help you avoid some of the common injuries that could occur when raking.
- Use an ergonomic rake with cushioned handles and a handle length appropriate for your height.
- Wear shoes that are comfortable and have good traction to avoid slipping on the leaves.
- Stagger your feet with one foot in front of the other to give yourself a longer reach without bending over. Alternate which foot is in front occasionally to help change the way your body is working.
- Bend at your knees and hips, not in your back when you reach to the ground to pick up the leaves. If possible, have someone help you with holding the bag to make it easier.
- Avoid making the piles too large or picking up too many leaves at one time. This will help to decrease strain on your back.
- If you are getting sore or start to hurt while raking or picking up leaves, do not continue through the pain. Take a break and ask a family member or neighbor for help.
Hopefully, our ergonomic tips help, but if you experience an arm or hand injury while raking leaves, our specialized therapists at the Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center can help get you back to your chores with appropriate exercises and recommendations.