Raking safety tips from the Farmers’ Almanac

WASHINGTON — Garden rakes may not seem particularly hazardous but sore muscles and aching backs await some people using rakes incorrectly to gather fall leaves.

“Raking is good exercise, you should remember that. But, you should probably think about warming up first,” says Farmers’ Almanac managing editor Sandi Duncan.

To help avoid raking related injuries the Almanac has tips for what it calls “practicing proper body mechanics.”

Some safe raking tips:

  • Switch up hands every so often
  • Rake using forward and backward motions not side to side
  • Don’t twist at the waist. Pivot body to face work area instead of reaching over
  • Don’t stretch or lean forward, keep spine erect
  • Don’t lean over. Instead squat or kneel

A helpful hint Duncan likes is to rake leaves onto a tarp or old blanket that can be pulled away to wherever the leaves are getting dumped.

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