Ways to make lawn care easier on the body

Tue, 05/02/2006 - 12:40pm
By: The Citizen

(ARA) - Taking care of the yard can be good exercise, but it can also cause uncomfortable pains and strains.

A 2006 national consumer study reveals that mowing the lawn can result in a variety of physical ailments, many of which can be avoided, according to industry experts.

About a third of lawn-mowing consumers reported they have a sore back after they mow, while others reported problems with shoulders, arms, hands, legs or feet. The study of 665 adults was sponsored by mower manufacturer Lawn-Boy as part of its efforts to put a stop to those aches and pains. According to Joe Hager, senior engineer for Lawn-Boy, the mower can make a big difference in how your body feels after mowing.

“The right kind of mower helps people benefit from the aerobic exercise of yard work without unnecessary strains. Equipment should adjust to the individual to avoid sore muscles or joints,” says Hager.

His company uses “experiential” research to study homeowners actually using lawn mowers in their yards. Engineers document how people exert energy and strain their bodies while mowing, and develop new features to avoid muscle or joint injury. The research has resulted in improvements to make mowing easier, such as adjustable handles, ergonomic grips, reduced mower weight and easy-turn wheels.

“People can avoid pain if they use a mower that doesn’t require excessive force to operate and adjusts to their individual needs,” says Lawn-Boy’s Hager.

The back yard can be a satisfying place for exercise and enjoyment:

* In a recent study on people who care for their lawn by research expert Yankelovich, 56 percent said they enjoy yard work.

* The same study found that many people find mowing to be a good form of outdoor exercise.
* You can burn about 100 calories for every 13 minutes you’re walking behind your mower, according to “The Wellness Encyclopedia.”

* Mowing is “light” exercise, a recommended type of aerobic activity that doesn’t cause strain on the body when done properly and with the right equipment. And moderate exercise, including mowing, helps you stimulate your heart rate, an important factor in maintaining a healthier heart.

“People should view mowing and gardening as components of an exercise program,” says Jeff Restuccio, an advocate of “aerobic gardening” and fitness author. “If you look at yard work from a totally different perspective, it’s a great opportunity to get fit.”

Restuccio reminds consumers that if you don’t have a huge yard, use a walk-behind mower instead of a rider to maximize exercise.
Yard work can become healthy yard exercise if you generate aerobic activity that avoids pains and strains by using equipment that works with your body - not against it. Information is available at www.lawn-boy.com.

login to post comments