National Gardening Week
As a nation, we love our gardens and spend a
considerable amount of time and money on them. As we rush to get those jobs in
the garden done, there is a risk that gardeners may injure themselves. What
everyone wants is to be fit and healthy enough to actually enjoy sitting in
their garden and enjoy the fruits of their labours come summer time, so here
are some helpful tips from the British Chiropractic Association.
- Don’t wear
clothes that are tight or could constrict your movement.
- Gardening is like any other exercise; you need
to warm up first. Don’t go straight into heavy garden
work; start off with lighter jobs as this will lessen the chance of muscle
Using a ladder
- When using a
ladder or steps, make sure you are always facing them, keeping your shoulders,
hips and knees pointing in the same direction.
- Rather than leaning
or reaching, move the ladder or step regularly to keep up with where you are.
- Any kind of
ladder must be firmly and safely planted in position and, if possible, have
someone else there to keep an eye on things.
- Get as close as
possible to the things you are pruning and avoid overstretching to reach the
area you are dealing with.
- Invest in some
long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach.
Take a break
- Vary your
activity by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and make sure
you take regular breaks.
Be clever with the paving
- If laying a patio,
keep the slab close to your body and bend your knees; it is sometimes better to
bend one knee rather two, as your supporting leg gives you a position of
- If using railway
sleepers, two people will probably be needed.
- If you are
planning a trip to the local DIY store to buy heavy items such as cement or
gravel, buy smaller bags rather than one big bag as they are easier and safer
- If you do buy
heavy items, use a trolley and if on your own, ask an assistant at the store to
- If buying things
like compost, sand or gravel in bulkier amounts, shovel the contents of the large
bags straight into smaller containers or wheelbarrow from the back of the car.
- Don’t lift with
your arms straight out, keep the elbows bent and to your side to minimise the
stress on your back.
- If having items
delivered, have them unloaded as close to where you need them as possible; this
will save the effort of moving them again.
- A specialist
garden trolley might be worth investing in to move these sorts of materials
around, especially if you have lots of patio pots to move around as well.