Working in the garden can be both physically and mentally therapeutic. For the average 150 lb. person, you can burn anywhere between 204-340 calories per hour while at the same time mentally unwinding. It is important to keep proper body mechanics in mind while perform gardening tasks, such as raking, pulling weeds, lifting heavy bags of soil, etc. Having good body mechanics will decrease the risk of injury.
Here are some tips to help limit that risk.
• Take 5-10 minutes before and after you garden to warm up the muscles and stretch. Stretch the major muscle groups such as hamstrings, quadriceps, back and shoulders.
• Change your body positions frequently and take breaks.
• Avoid repetitive bending and twisting which could increase strain on your muscles and joints. Pivot your feet or set up your workspace to limit such motions.
• Get close to your task and use a pad if kneeling.
• When lifting, bend at the knees leading back with your hips and pull your belly button to your spine to decrease overuse of back muscles. In other words, keep your back straight and use your legs to lift and squat.
• Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Kerra Pietsch, LPTA
Physical Therapist Assistant
Andover Physical Therapy
PTC_therapy June 26th, 2019
Posted In: General