by Apple Therapy

It’s time to start thinking about waking up that garden as we come upon spring! Before you grab that rake, shovel, or pruning shears proper body mechanics are essential to preventing injuries while performing such activities like pulling weeds, cutting flowers or picking veggies. What is proper body mechanics defined as? It is the way you hold your body when you move around. Think of it as a good posture in motion. When bending forward properly to work in the garden, stress is minimized on the tissues. That way muscles can produce force more efficiently. Without postural awareness, long term effects of poor posture can result in fatigue, joint and muscle stiffness, tension and pain especially in the neck and back.

Tips for working in the garden:

  • Warm up before you start to garden, take a walk around the yard a couple of times to get the blood pumping.
  • When weeding or planting try to sit either on the ground or on a garden seat.
  • If you have to bend down, bend your knees and squat down instead of hunching forward from the low back.
  • When using a shovel make sure you are not throwing the dirt by twisting, take a couple of steps so that you are facing where you want the dirt to go.
  • When lifting something heavy from the ground bend your knees and keep the load close to your body.
  • Change your body positions frequently.
  • Take many rest breaks in the shade to stretch and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Spring Has Arrived!