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(ARA) - After a long winter indoors, chances are you are eager to flex your home improvement muscle and tackle the great outdoors. But according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, each year, more than 400,000 people suffer minor injuries from lawn care and gardening projects. Be sure to minimize aches and pains by easing into spring chores and do-it-yourself projects and by using the latest ergonomic tools to minimize the stress on your body.

"A lawn or garden project is a great way to improve the curb appeal of your home while enjoying spring weather," said Glenn Ubertino, gardening tool expert at The Home Depot. "To get the most out of their efforts, homeowners should look for tools and equipment that are adjustable, and remember not to take on too much in one day."

Walk It Off

If just looking at a lawn mower makes you long for the couch, try one of two new walk-behind mowers from the Lawn-Boy Insight Series, available exclusively at The Home Depot. These mowers were designed from the ground up to fit users through a unique ergonomic engineering process that ensures a comfortable mowing experience regardless of the user's age, height or strength.

Both Lawn-Boy mowers include more than 15 new features such as soft grips on the pull cord to fit the entire human hand and an adjustable handle height that allows a 4 foot 10 inch homeowner to mow equally as comfortably as someone who is 6 feet 2 inches. Removing and replacing the bag requires only one hand, and when the lawn is done, a simple step-on lever allows the handle to fold down 180 degrees for storage. One model is even equipped with Sens-a-Speed self propel technology -- a unique system that actually senses how fast the user walks and adjusts the mower's speed accordingly.

Just Add Sand

A tiller or cultivator can give the back and arms quite a workout. So if a new flower bed or garden is on your honey-do list, you'll want to add one of the new gas or electric Ryobi cultivators featuring the JustAddSand system to your shopping list. The one-of-a-kind JustAddSand system allows the user to add up to 13 pounds of sand to act as ballast. Unlike a bulk weight add-on, the sand is able to move around as needed, digging deep and keeping the unit from skipping or bouncing around while providing greater control to the user.

Raking in the Benefits

Even a seemingly simple job like raking can put stress on the body when the tool size is not appropriate for the user. Look for a rake with a handle that is a comfortable height for you or consider an adjustable one like the True Temper Thatching Rake, which is available at The Home Depot stores and online at It has a 54-inch handle and a head that adjusts up or down to suit the height of the user.

Kneeling Over

You can save your knees from dirt and take the ache out of kneeling when working close to the ground with a generously padded garden kneeler. Metal side handles assist you when standing back up, and they fold down for compact storage.

Wrap It Up

Now that spring is here you'll want to wash away all the dirt and grime that collected during the winter. After a couple of hours spent cleaning, make sure putting your garden hose away is a cinch with the Wizard Self-Retracting Hose Reel from Hydro-Industries. The reel is actually powered by the water within the garden hose so unlike other self-winding hose reels that use batteries, this one never needs to be recharged.

A Place for Everything

The Ames Lawn Buddy cart is the perfect way to easily transport tools and supplies from the garage or storage area to the yard, garden or other work area. It features a handle that adjusts to desired height to minimize bending and stooping, and it folds down for a comfortable, convenient seat when you are ready for a break. In addition, it is designed with four, seven-inch diameter wheels and solid steel axles to carry heavy loads with minimal effort; internally it has molded tool clips to conveniently hold long-handled tools.

Courtesy of ARA Content