- To limit how much raking you have to do to clear up the left over leaves, rake leaves onto a tarp, when full, pull it to desired location.
- Spend money on a good garden cart or wheelbarrow for moving tools, plants and soil and other garden materials.
- Kneeling is an inevitable part of gardening. Buy long handled tools to perform tasks in standing as much as possible. When kneeling kneel onto a soft pad (do not buy knee pads as the elastic which holds the pads up also impacts circulation at the backs of your knees). Avoid kneeling for long periods of time by breaking up tasks in smaller parts
- Use gloves to provide padding, thin gloves are preferred. Too much padding will reduce grip strength.
- Choose the proper tool for the task.
- Telescopic and pistol grip handles require less energy, a curved handle provides more leverage with less wrist stress.
- Keep tools sharp, a dull blade requires more effort and force.
- Start with the small tasks first…this gives you a warm-up before taking on heavier tasks
- Spread the work out over several days or weeks.
- All work should be done in the comfort zone (neutral postures) as close to the body as possible.
- Alternate tasks and positions, sitting and standing positions at 20 minute intervals, bending over for any length of time can become painful to the lower back and legs.
- Start slowly and take frequent breaks.
- Stay hydrated. Drink more that you think you need.
Stand up and stretch frequently… in the opposite direction to the posture you were just maintaining while gardening.
And the most important tip of all; enjoy the time outside and seeing the fruits (or veg or flowers) of your labour.
Any questions? Give any of our Physiotherapists and Ergonomists a call or email as we can all assist you in keeping healthy and fit.
Info@OptimalPerformance.ca or @OPCPhysio.com