LET'S GET MOVING WITH MARIA

Avoid injuries with these yard work safety tips

Apr 7, 2024, 8:00 AM

a woman does yard work outside...

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SALT LAKE CITY – It’s officially spring, and the weather is starting to warm up. That means all the gardeners are getting ready to get back out in the yard. But before you get started, be mindful of these yard work safety tips.

In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, Maria Shilaos spoke with Gabriela Murza, Professional Practice Extension Assistant Professor at Utah State University, to learn how we can best protect ourselves and avoid injuries.

Avoid injuries with these yard work safety tips…
15 minutes

Think of gardening as an exercise. Just as you would before your workout, the first and most important thing to do before you start any type of yard work is stretching.

“Doing a whole body stretch really helps loosen our muscles, our joints, and everything that maybe we haven’t been using too much,” Murza said.

It’s also important to warm up. These warmups can be anything from doing jumping jacks to running in place. They can even be as simple as getting some steps in.

“Your warmup can include just walking around your yard and assessing what needs to be done,” she said.

The most common form of yard work injury that Murza sees is called repetitive strain injury (RSI). This happens when you’re overusing a certain part of your body for too long. She says the best way to prevent this is by switching things up.

“You want to change what you’re doing every 15 to 20 minutes, which means you’re changing the muscles that you’re using,” Murza said.

For example, if you’re on your knees pulling weeds, switch to a task that requires you to stand up after 15 to 20 minutes.

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Avoid injuries with these yard work safety tips