Common gardening activities such a digging, planting, weeding, mulching, and raking can cause stress and strain on muscles and joints. The following tips can minimize or prevent injuries.
- Warm up before you garden. A 10-minute brisk walk and stretches through the spine and limbs are good ways to warm up.
- Change positions frequently to avoid stiffness or cramping.
- Be aware of how your body feels as you’re working in your garden. If a part of your body starts to ache, take a break and stretch that part of your body in the opposite direction or switch to a different garden activity.
- Make use of a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move heavy planting materials or tools. Keep your back straight while using a wheelbarrow.
- If kneeling on both knees causes discomfort in your back, try kneeling on one and keep the other foot on the ground. Use kneepads or gardening pad when kneeling.
- If kneeling or leaning down to the ground causes significant pain in your back or knees, consider using elevated planters to do your gardening. Hands and knee position can also be used.
- Use good body mechanics when you pick something up or pull something such as a weed. Bend your knees, tighten your abdominals, and keep your back straight as you lift or pull.