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Occupational Therapy Tips for More Comfortable Gardening

OT Gardening tips
Gardening is a favorite past time of so many, yet the bending, pulling, lifting and digging can wreak havoc on our backs and joints. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) offers tips on Healthy Gardening:

To make gardening more manageable, the AOTA recommends the following tips:
• Start with a small garden to keep things more manageable.
• Place your garden close to water sources to reduce the distance needed to haul water.
• Use lightweight water hoses that coil themselves making it easier to manage.
• Divide bags of soil and fertilizer into smaller, manageable containers.
• Sit or kneel using a garden kneeler
• Use tools that are well maintained and have wide handles for easier grip.
• Avoid twisting and reaching by keeping your body close to your work and your arms in at your sides.
• Consider hiring help or swapping tasks with a neighbor who may need help with something you can offer, like signing for packages.
• Lastly, consider using drought-friendly plants for easier maintenance and to conserve water.

Click here for more gardening tips!

Barb Phillips, MS OTD, OTR/L has been practicing Occupational Therapy for nearly 30 years. She currently runs her own ergonomic and corporate wellness business:
Ergo Life Solutions provides on-site ergonomic evaluations and interventions for home and corporate offices, insuring that people are safe while at work. Barb has worked as an adjunct faculty in the occupational therapy departments for the University of Southern California and California State University of Dominguez Hills. She also teaches exercise classes to stroke survivors at Santa Monica College and assists with the brain interface research project at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.

You can reach Barb at:

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