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Physio Tips

Raking leaves does not have to cause back pain!

 The following recommendations will help to minimize the risk of raking-related injuries:

 

  • Avoid using a rake that is too long or too short. Choose a rake that feels comfortable and allows you to maintain an upright posture while raking.
  • Keep your upper arms close to your body and avoid reaching out.
  • Avoid twisting while raking. Use your legs to shift your weight rather than twisting your spine.
  • Stand with feet positioned one ahead of the other, about shoulder width apart. This will allow you to shift forward and backward more easily as you rake. Avoid the tendency to plant your feet in a fixed position and then rake from several directions without moving your feet.
  • Pace yourself. Raking is an aerobic activity and you may need to take frequent stretch breaks or slow your pace if you are not accustomed to regular aerobic activity.
  • When bagging leaves, do not pile too many leaves in one bag, especially if they are wet. Keep the loads manageable.
  • When lifting the bag of leaves, tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your back straight. Keep the bag close to the body and use your legs to do the lifting.
  • Try to rake leaves when they are dry and not when they are wet and heavy.
  • When you are finished raking, gentle stretching may help decrease stiffness.

 

These tips will hopefully allow you to enjoy injury-free raking!

 

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