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Safety Tips for this Gardening Season

April 16, 2024

Planning on using your green thumb this spring and summer? Gardening has both physical and mental health benefits, however there can be some risks to be aware of when helping your outdoor flowers and veggies bloom.

Warm Up

Spending long periods of time weeding, planting, digging, and reaching is considered physical labor and can be hard on the body. Take a little time warming up and stretching beforehand to avoid issues like low back and shoulder soreness. Gardening without proper rest and stretching can also lead to more than just pain - injuries including pulled muscles and tendon issues are common. 

Utilize Tools

To reduce the amount of stress on your body during gardening season, select your tools wisely. Choose ergonomic tools that will work with you instead of against you. Tools with thicker, padded handles work to protect the joints in your hands. Arm support cuffs, extension rods, and grabbers are also great tools to reduce pain and strain. 

Focus on Posture

Remember to focus on having good posture. Move slowly to make sure your posture is correct and you are never feeling uncomfortable. Chores in the garden often require a lot of kneeling and bending. We recommend using knee pads instead of bending over when possible. Utilizing a stool or chair can also ease the stress on your knees. If you do need to bend to complete a task, hinge at the hip instead of the waist. 

When it comes to lifting heavy objects like bags of soil and large planters, avoid strain on your back by engaging your legs, knees, and core. Hold items close to your body and avoid lifting, twisting, and throwing heavy or wet materials. To reduce the risk of injury, use equipment or ask another person for help instead of moving forward solo with heavy lifting.

Break it Up

Avoiding prolonged repetitive movements can also help to limit the chances of tendon or nerve irritation. To minimize strain, vary tasks and rotate movements so that the same muscles are not used over and over again without rest. 

Take breaks when you are feeling tired, especially on hotter days. Make sure to drink water to stay hydrated. This will not only help to prevent injury but will also improve your ability to work and your productivity. 

Protect your General Well-being

For your general health, make sure to wear personal protective equipment to protect yourself from the risk of cuts, scrapes, and skin irritants. Apply sunscreen and insect repellent when necessary. Watch the weather conditions and layer appropriately. Use chemicals and harmful materials carefully. Making sure your general well-being is taken care of will also benefit physical aches and pains later.

If an injury does occur when working in the garden, don’t ignore it. Even if it is small, tend to it immediately before it becomes a larger issue. If you are experiencing any issues with your joints or muscles, contact us so we can help make sure your lifestyle (and gardens) continue to bloom!