Gardening season is just starting! It is important to be careful throughout summer and be mindful of your posture so that you can keep up with your activities without running into any issue. Gardening and working in the backyard often requires going into positions that are different than the ones you are used to in your daily life.
To make things easier on your body, split up tasks and take breaks. Your body may not initially have the endurance to work all day in the backyard and spend a lot of time crouching or bent. Therefore, to reduce the risk of injury, break down tasks into bouts of 30 minutes to 1h and take a break before continuing. This way, you will be able to do more and it will be easier on your body.
When you are crouching, change your posture frequently. Alternate between kneeling on both knees, kneeling on one knee, sitting using a little stool, etc. Doing this will better distribute the stress on your joints and it will ensure that your muscles don’t get tired too quickly. After 10-15 minutes, change positions!
Sit as close as possible to the task you are doing. When your arms are closer to your body, you reduce the load on your shoulders and elbows. It will allow you to work more while also decreasing your risk of injury. In addition, by being close, it is easier to keep a straight posture. Rounding or twisting your back when you are crouching can be quite demanding on your low back.
If you have to lift a heavy load, use your legs and squat. This will allow you to generate more force and will also protect your back.
Sometimes, you may not feel muscle fatigue or pain while working, but you may still be doing too much. It is better to alternate between tasks and take regular breaks to avoid being too sore the next day and to allow you to take care of your garden and backyard all summer. Happy gardening!