Spring is the time for planting and prepping your garden. All that back breaking work and sweat and you hope to have a bountiful harvest! But will your body pay the price?
Here are some garden ergonomic tips to help your body enjoy the work along the way as well as enjoying the results:
- Take a break and stretch, maybe even stretch a bit before starting. Stretch those shoulders, back, and legs. Bring a nice big water bottle out with you and periodically stop to take a drink and stretch your body.
- Find a good stool or wheeled garden seat to help you from bending too much or kneeling. Or if you are kneeling, grab a foam pad to help protect those knees! Remember to “suck your belly button in toward your backbone” to brace your core and protect your back.
- Exercise proper lifting techniques when lifting heavy bags of soil or fertilizer. Squat! Feet shoulder width apart, squat like you are about to sit down in a chair. Engage your core and have a firm abdomen all the way.
- Pick the proper tools. Shovels or rakes that fit well with your body, so you don’t have to bend your knees too much or arch your back too much. Light weight tools that are durable will help get the work done and minimize the amount of weight you’re are holding.
- Proper shoes. No one wants to get nice shoes dirty, so maybe you end up with whatever old shoes you have becoming your gardening shoes. But if you plan to do this every year, check around for some garden clogs, easy to clean off, and not wearing broken down shoes will help support your feet.