With spring time upon us, gardening is the perfect activity to get fresh air and light exercise. However, if you aren’t careful, gardening can cost you an injury.
The other day, I was standing in line at White’s Nursery when I found myself listening in on the conversation between the couple in front of me. A woman was telling her husband that she wanted to get a gardening seat ( Sitalong) for when she does the weeding. Her husband wasn’t too thrilled about the price tag and kept asking her if she really needed it.
The wife turned and looked at me with the expression of “What do I do now?” and I just smiled and told the husband: “you know, any back or knee injury can be costly and debilitatating. Let you wife have it, you might regret it if you don’t.” The truth is that the cost of the gardening seat his wife wanted versues the price tag of an injury, is not even comparable. After the husband saw the situation from this new perspective, he was happy to invest in this gadgening tool and the day was saved one more time.
This event and waiting in the long, busy line at the nursery store, sparked the idea for this post because I realized importance of educating people in garding safety tips. Today, I will share how to avoid these common aches and pains from gardening with some tips, tricks, fun gadgets and products.
Warm up before gardening.
Before you jump into the garden, do some basic stretches to warm up. A few stretches you can do to avoid straining any muscles are:
- Controlled leg swings
- Arm circles
- Torso/hip rotations
The best way to prevent muscle fatigue is to frequently change switch up tasks so that you can use different parts of your body. This will prevent one part from getting super sore and strained.
Use proper body mechanics while lifting.
Proper lifting techniques are essential for health and safety. If proper measures aren’t taken, there is a very high risk of back injury. NEVER try lifting by bending forward or twisting/turning while holding a heavy object. You should also never lift a heavy object above shoulder level.
To safely lift and transport gardening materials, follow these safe body mechanics to avoid any injuries.
First, bend your hips and knees down to squat down to the object. Next, keep the object close to your body. And finally, straighten your legs to lift the object. To change directions or move around with the object, take small steps with your feet and lead with your hips. To set down the object, squat with your knees and hips only and place the item down carefully. Make sure you plan out your route so you can avoid any bumps along the way of transporting your items.
Enjoy gardening without bending and twisting in uncomfortable positions with these tools:
Sitalong is gardening tool the couple was discussing buying. It serves as a seat/ bucket and weeding container. Interesting idea for sure!
A great product to garden comfortably with is called the “Garden Rocker”. This gadget is wonderful for reducing strains on your knees or lower back. You can find it through this link: http://amzn.to/2p3wIp0
Another great gardening gadget is the “Rolling Garden Scooter”. This scooter is very convenient for keeping weight off of your knees and bending in uncomfortable positions. It even features a tray for gardening tools, gloves and more. http://thd.co/2oceWvJ
I hope some of these ideas and tools will help prevent any gardening injuries for you. However, if you still experience any pain or injuries from gardening, I invite you to come into Lilly PT for a free consultation for a limited time only. Please call 425-224-2476 for more details. We are also hosting a FREE back pain workshop on April 26th at 6 pm. If you are interested, please register here.