Tips & Techniques

Gardening Modifications

April Flood 
May 21, 2024


Do you love gardening but have a hard time doing it comfortably? The great news is that there are many options to modify this activity so you do not have to choose between giving up your hobby or living in pain!

Get some assistive equipment
I will use equipment I have around my home, such as a foam pad, and a collapsing step stool. Your local home improvement store will also have a wide selection of different equipment designed to make your life easier while gardening. You can find equipment such as a rolling stool, a kneeler with handrails to assist with getting up and down from the ground, weed pullers with extended handles so you don’t have to bend over, and so much more!

Check your body positioning and mechanics
If you find yourself bending over like this picture below for long periods of time, your back will probably be cursing at you for a while. This position can put a lot of strain on your back, especially if you are trying to pull some pesky weeds this time of year. Here are some alternative positions you can try which will keep your spine in better alignment:

Half kneeling:
You can use a foam pad under your knee to make this more comfortable. You can also rest an arm on your thigh and concentrate on keeping your spine straight, as if you have a broomstick against your back to prevent your spine from curving.

Again, a foam pad under your knees will make this more comfortable. You can either lean on your heels, or if you have to reach further forward, lean onto your hands to form a tabletop position. This gives you better stability and leverage.

Grab a chair or step stool so you can sit and reach forward. Try to keep your back straight and bend from your waist/hips.

Change positions often, and take breaks
One of the easiest changes you can make is to change positions often. Switch between kneeling, sitting, squatting, etc. If you are starting to notice any pain or discomfort, listen to your body, and take a break! Plan out your space and work in rest breaks, or set a schedule to tackle one area of your garden at a time so you do not get to the point of aggravated symptoms and end up not able to move the next day!

Meet the Author
You were made to move!