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Tips for Preventing Injuries to Gardeners

In an effort to bring awareness to the importance of injury prevention, as well as the benefits of hand therapy for people with medical conditions or who have had accidents, the Hospitalís Department of Rehabilitation is proud to offer these gardening tips from the American Society of Hand Therapists.

  1. Wear gloves at all times: protect hands from thorns, cuts and scrapes
  2. Keep your hands and arms covered: helps prevent skin from being exposed to insects, poison ivy and other irritants
  3. Take a break every hour or switch to another activity: this gives tendons a rest hopefully preventing overuse disorders
  4. Use a tool when digging in unfamiliar soil: sharp objects can cause tendon injury; use the correct tool for the task to avoid accidental injury
  5. Store your tools to prevent accidents
  6. Use wide-handled tools that correctly fit the size of your hand: narrow tools cause the hand to strain to hold a tighter grip.
  7. Avoid sustained / constant gripping and awkward motions: use both hands for heavy activities like lifting a pot.
  8. Plan ahead: use a basket to carry supplies; distribute the work load equally and decreasing stress to the joints of your upper body.
  9. Don't sit back on your knees: use a short gardening stool or bench

Last Updated: 7/24/2009