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Gardening Safety Tips

Spring is in the air and the flowers are starting to bloom. The garden is getting plowed and vegetables seeds are being planted. The rain comes and brings not only our beautiful crops and flowers but also those pesky weeds, the little green plants that are NOT welcome in our gardens. We spend more time in our gardens keeping up with the soil and the weeds and the roots and the watering than we do eating our veggies that we worked so hard to grow. Therefore, with all the bending over and pulling weeds and digging holes, it is important to remember to take care of your body. The way we garden can be beneficial or detrimental to the rest of your day to day life.

Body Mechanics and Tips to Stay Pain Free

It is crucial to keep proper body mechanics in mind while performing gardening tasks in order to reduce injury.

Here are a few tips to reduce risk of injuries while gardening:

  • Change your body positions frequently
  • Take rest breaks and hydrate
  • Avoid bending and twisting
  • Use knee pads or a pad when kneeling or even a stool if unable to kneel
  • Wear appropriate attire, such as gloves
  • Bring the garden up to you, raised flower beds allow you plant at a higher level
  • May even use flowerpots to plants herbs, tomatoes, etc

When lifting remember:

  • Maintain wide base of support
  • Keep feet shoulder width apart or one foot slightly forward
  • Keep back straight
  • Bend knees/squat down to object
  • Keep elbows/object close to body

Other key points:

  • When raking or sweeping remember to move feet and legs instead of reaching or twisting
  • Tighten abdominals
  • Conserve energy- stop working when tired

Written by Stacy Byrd, PTA