Gardening is full of risks, especially when you are going from being very sedentary during the winter to all the bending, squatting, lifting and walking on uneven ground yard work and gardening require.
I created a short video to provide several tips for transitioning safely into this wonderful activity that is so good for your whole body and soul.
Find the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG9pvygvrBY or search Gardening Tips to Reduce your Risk Factors on YouTube.
Here is a quick summary.
- Stretch your feet, calves and hamstrings before you head outside.
- Practice squatting to prepare your joints. Use a door handle for balance until your legs are ready to support you.
- Regardless of your body position (standing, bending from the hips, squatting, kneeling, sitting), always maintain a good low back curve.
- When bending over build a bridge with your hand or elbow to take some strain off your low back. (see photo)
- Balance your body from front to back from a plumb line that begins at your ankle. Keeping the weight in your heels will help. (see photo)
- Switch hands frequently when weeding.
- Wear well fitting gloves with a non-skid surface on the palms to reduce the grip forces required for grasping.
- Keep your tools in good working order.