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  • Writer's pictureJulie Manley

Physio tips for gardening

Gardening can be a strenuous activity that has the potential to create muscle strains to the low back, shoulders, knees, and arms. Physiotherapists recommend the following tips and techniques to truly enjoy the ‘fruits of your labor’.

Tip #1: Always stretch before, during, and after activity

Purpose: Keeps your muscles flexible and relaxed. Also, relieving tension and strain in your joints to keep them mobile.


- Movements should be slow and controlled. Stretching should never be painful

- Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. Avoid bounce or jerk movements

- Repeat each stretch 2-3 times

Tip #2: Ensure your body is working in a comfortable posture

Purpose: Optimizing your posture can prevent sprains and strains.

Avoid potential injury by:

- Avoid reaching and twisting by ensuring that your work is in front of and close to your body

Tip #3: Keep up with regular physical activity

Purpose: Regular physical activity and stretching builds your body to perform the tasks associated with gardening.

Tip #4: Use the right tools

Purpose: Gardening tools and equipment are meant to ease work, not cause additional strain. Keep supplies within easy reach by using an apron with pockets and use tools to reduce work.

Canadian Physiotherapy Association. (2014, May 9). Gardening Tips. Retrieved from

*A physiotherapy student, now a physiotherapist for almost a year, who was with us last spring (Sarah Tsang), wrote up a lot of this blog for me. At the time we didn't have a blog to post it on. Anyway, thanks again Sarah!!

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