While gardening, you may find yourself in odd and uncomfortable positions while reaching that hard to get flower or hidden weed. Being mindful of proper ergonomics when bending, lifting and racking can make the difference between pain-free and painful yard work.
Here are a few quick ergonomic tips:
Try to keep your back straight and aligned with your neck and head as much as possible
Bend at the knees when lifting or dragging things
Find positions that keep your wrist in a neutral position (hands aligned with forearms, thumbs up)
Find the best fitting tool for you. Size of the handle, weight and length can all affect your ergonomics and muscles. Cushioned grips may be a more comfortable option.
Keep extended positions (such as looking up, reaching arms out or bending) to 15 seconds to reduce strain
Engage your core when bending, lifting or squatting. If this statement creates questions, we would love to answer them! *Contact us link*
Check out our blog on Raking Body Mechanics
Lastly, make sure to take breaks! Injury from repetitive motions can seriously impact daily life. Take stretch and water breaks every 20 minutes to loosen up muscles and keep you well hydrated!
There are a plethora of ergonomic tools and devices, such as stools, knee/hand padding and pistol-grip or telescoping tools. Different tools have different purposes, such as creating a more comfortable position, helping you exerting less force or make work more efficient. Some are more effective and helpful than others and prices vary widely. We recommend visiting a gardening-specialty store and speaking with an expert about what tools are actually ergonomically correct for gardening.
As with all physical activities, gardening should be pain-free. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, we urge you to visit an experienced medical professional. At Jade Integrated Health, we specialize in creating collaborative treatment plans that work for you. Our physical therapist and acupuncturist take the time to listen to what’s impacting your life the most and create a plan with you to solve the problem. Get back to doing what you love faster!