Don’t overdo it this springtime

Easter normally sees the start of the gardening and DIY season. Statistics show that over 300,000 people a year end up in A&E departments as a result of gardening mishaps and DIY accidents account for a further 250,000 injuries.

Movements such as lifting, twisting and bending can pose a threat to muscles and joints, especially if we have been less active during the winter months. Holding one position, such as kneeling, for a long time can also place an excess strain on the body.

Make sure you don’t overdo it. Take plenty of breaks, particularly if you are digging, bending, stretching or carrying.

It’s important that jobs involving heavy lifting are completed with good posture and technique and, if required, with the help of another person.

Try to keep your work in front of you and close to your body. Avoid excessive reaching and twisting. Use tools to assist you where possible – long handled tools can also help avoid stooping.

Position your body at the height of your work. If working on the ground, kneel down; if you’re potting, put your plants on a table. Move with your work and try not to lean, move along as you progress. If you must kneel use a cushion, stool or some knee protectors.

Remember, the body was designed to move, it does not like being in one position for a prolonged time. But it’s important to gently ease into a period of activity such as gardening. Find a happy medium and enjoy preparations for summer inside and out.