Enjoy the Autumn sunshine without putting your back out. At Sarum Physio, we know from years of experience September is when the gardening injuries start to appear.
This is because a huge amount of work is needed to prepare the garden for winter and for next year. From clearing the leaves, deadheading and weeding to harvesting fruit and vegetables. Then there is the pickling, freezing or storing. Not to mention the planting that takes place at this time of the year.
All of the above will require you to bend, kneel, twist and reach … move and lift. You’ll be putting your back, knees and neck to the test and most likely using every muscle in your body.
How to work safely in the garden
- Warm up before you start – just like any sporting activity, you need to warm those muscles up.
- Work in short bursts to avoid repetitive strain, pulled muscles and to prevent being unable to get out of bed the next day.
- Take care of your knees – use a kneeling pad and if necessary take your work to an appropriate height bench.
- Use the right equipment for the job and never be embarrassed to use a wheelbarrow or ask for help.
- Think about posture – yes even in the garden good posture can work wonders to protect those vulnerable areas.
- Listen to your body – regularly change your position and job to prevent injury from occurring.
- Take regular breaks – plan them in and stick to the timings you have set.
Gardening is a fantastic exercise using many, if not all, your muscles in one way or another. Plus you are getting plenty of fresh air. All good for your health and wellbeing and tackling those winter blues, but it can result in injury just like any ‘sporting’ activity.
Top Tips to Remember
- Bend your knees when lifting, hold your abdominals in and don’t twist.
- Keep heavy loads close to your body and don’t twist when lifting or setting down.
- Your legs are strongest when they are only bent halfway so don’t squat too far down.
- Fit in three to four different activities in every hour to avoid strains.