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  • Writer's pictureDr Jessica Sammut

13 Tips to Avoid Gardening Injuries

Updated: Nov 1, 2018

Spring is fast approaching, and with that it’s gardening season! Whether you thrive in the garden, or whether it’s just another chore, don’t be one of the many people I see for an emergency treatment after a long day in the garden.

Here are some top tips to help you stay injury free this Spring, in the garden:

1. Avoid gardening at the hottest part of the day and aim to get most jobs done in the morning or late afternoon.

2. Do some gentle stretching before you start gardening to warm up your muscles and joints – It might seem like it’s just pottering in the garden, but it’s actually a huge workout for your body.

3. Be aware of any potential hazard areas, such as loose paving slabs, tools, uneven surfaces. Try to use surfaces that provide a good underfoot grip.

4. Always kneel down when planting by placing both knees on a knee pad or kneeler. If you do not own either, then simply use an old cushion or folded blanket.

5. When digging, use a small spade to avoid picking up too much and therefore reducing strain on your back.

6. When shovelling never twist your body. Instead get up and move from spot to spot and keep the shovel close to your body, your knees slightly bent, and scoop in a forward motion

7. When digging or weeding, get up and stretch every five minutes to avoid cramping

8. Wear safety equipment - such as goggles, hard hats, gloves and steel toe capped boots when using machinery. Tuck in loose items of clothing.

9. Avoid doing hours of repetitive movement by switching tasks

10. When using a lawnmower, face the direction in which you are cutting the grass and push forward. Always avoid swinging the lawnmower from side to side

11. If picking up or putting down items, regardless of its weight or size, always bend your knees and keep your back straight. Always face the direction in which the item is to be carried in order to avoid twisting the spine. You can find some tips on how to safely lift here

12. If you feel any discomfort, always stop what you are doing. Limit yourself to 30-40mins per day initially and then you can work up gradually.

13. If you are unsure about any job, call a professional.

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