5 Back Saving Gardening Tips
The Ontario Chiropractic Association
Now that summer is weighing down on us, our gardens are in need of special attention. Whether your are an avid or reluctant gardener over doing it can be a pain in the back. Positioning your body correctly reduces the strain on muscles and joints. The Ontario Chiropractic Association offers these tips to help you plant and rake without the ache.
1. Alternate your tasks. Switch between heavy chores such as digging and lighter, less physically demanding tasks such as planting.
2. Do the “scissors” when you rake. Stand with one leg forward and one leg back when you rake. Switch legs and hands every few minutes.
3. Kneel to plant and weed. Constant bending can put strain on your back, neck, leg muscles and joints, so kneeling is recommended. Use kneepads or a kneeling mat (with handles) to minimize the amount of bending required, and to make kneeling more comfortable. Keep your back straight.
4. Change positions frequently. Make a point of changing position every 10 to 15 minutes. Move from kneeling to standing, from planting to digging.
5. Pace Yourself. A minimum of three brief breaks each hour is recommended. Take a few moments to move around, stretch your muscles, have a drink or simply sit and relax. Spread the work over several days - you will still achieve the same great results.
Source: The Ontario Chiropractic Association