Summer time is here and, for most people, a time to tackle home projects. Whether it’s landscaping or planting flowers, working in the yard can potential cause serious injuries if you’re not careful. It is important to keep yourself protected from injury at all times by enforcing safety measures for you and your family. So before you slip on your gloves, check out our tips to avoid injury while working in the yard.
Using Proper Body Mechanics
Always be aware of your body positioning when you are doing jobs such as picking up debris, bending over to collect items and raking in the backyard. Bending properly can make you stronger. Every time you bend or pick something up from the floor, you are doing a little exercise that can add up over time. Proper bending strengthens you appropriately. Improper bending is uncomfortable and can cause injury.
Some things to consider when bending over:
- Keep your feet fully on the floor throughout the whole movement. Do not lift your heels.
- Send your knees directly over your feet.
- Bend forward at the hips and see the floor.
Tools such as a wheelbarrow or rake may benefit you in keep the alignment of your body proper and secure.
Taking Regular Breaks
Another great way to avoid injury is to pace yourself while you are working in the yard. Working in the heat can cause serious injuries from heat exhaustion to dehydration! These injuries can be prevented by using these guidelines:
- Take frequent breaks. You can set an alarm on your phone every 20-30 minutes or when your body acts otherwise to give you adequate rest and energy.
- Drinking your suggested 8-10 glasses per day is essential in proper hydration during the summer days. Many also suggest drinking a glass of water the night before you work in the yard, and that morning to ensure you’re fully hydrated.
- Wearing the proper clothing for protection against the sun. You should also apply waterproof sunscreen SPF 15 or higher and bug repellent when you are out working in the yard. Avoid performing the most strenuous tasks during the hottest parts of the day.
It is best to work in the yard during the early mornings and in the evenings when it is cooler and you can even take help from your friends and family members in order to reduce your workload in the yard.
When you are working in the yard, repetitive motions and staying in one position can make your body and muscles tight, which can lead to injury. Therefore, it is advised to change your body position from time to time, and you should switch tasks as well to keep your muscles busy. For instance, if you are bending down to pull out weeds, you should stand up straight after 10 minutes to perform some stretches and then change your position. Break up your tasks into little 10 to 15 minute breaks and not only will you be able to accomplish the task a lot faster, but will avoid the risk of injury as well.
Be Safe and Use Ergonomic Tools
When it comes to your safety in the yard, any tool won’t work. Your tools need several key factors to ensure that YOU are taken care of. Some factors include:
- Larger padded tools with curved shaped handles. These are since less strenuous over a prolonged time period.
- Also wear protective gloves, which have a nonslip surface in order to avoid getting blisters on your hand and to get extra protection from thorns and sticks in the backyard.
- Always practice safety precautions while you are operative heavy machinery and keep an eye out for electrical wires.
Are You Ready to Tackle the Yard?
After reading our tips and suggestions, tackling the yard and remaining safe will be a breeze. Proper tools, pacing and preparation can have your green thumb ready to go in no time.