Garden Gear - Garden Tools

Injury-preventing garden gear

Dayna Boyer

Save your back, knees and hands with special tools and tips to make gardening pain-free

Gardening can be one of the most therapeutic and meditative activities, but can quickly turn into a chore when painful joints and sore muscles flare up. So, in order to have the most enjoyable gardening experience, try taking some precautions ahead of time and invest in the right injury-preventing gardening gear to suit your body.

Nancy Roper, director of regional development for The Arthritis Society (BC & Yukon Division), has a few easy pointers for minimizing the risk of injury while gardening. First, warm up your muscles by doing a few stretches while you plan your day, being sure to pay attention to your body's warning signs. It's easy to lose track of time in the garden, so Roper recommends bringing an egg timer so you remember to take breaks at certain intervals throughout the day.

Lastly, when choosing gardening tools, look for anything that improves your grip and that will help minimize bending and carrying.

You might want to consider modifying your current tools. Roper recommends lengthening handles with ABS plumbing pipe and duct tape, and enlarging grips with pipe insulation and duct tape. “These are inexpensive ways to alter what you already have," she says.

Knee-Pads.jpgHere are 10 injury-preventing gardening tools that will help to minimize pain and injuries in the garden:

1. Knee pads

These knee pads help distribute your body weight to take pressure off your knees and shins.
Price: $69.00
Available at: Lee Valley Tools

watering-can.jpg2. Ergonomic watering can

This watering can is especially helpful for those with arthritic wrists or with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Price: $19.99
Available at: Fiskars

weeder.jpg3. Stand-up weeder

Gardeners have been raving about this tool that leaves no weed unplucked. Look for long-handled tools that will help to avoid bending, says Roper. “You may find working from standing is awkward at first, but with a bit of practice, your hips and back will feel much better."
Price: $29.99
Available at: Fiskars

Ergronomic-Hand-Tools.jpg4. Ergonomic hand tools

"Light tools with padded grips are great ways to conserve energy and minimize stress on your joints," says Roper. Plus these hand tools have hand-contoured handles, so joints are in their natural position when performing gardening tasks.
Price: $14.50 each
Available at: Lee Valley Tools

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