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Get fit for gardening

16th August 2012 Print

With the thrill of the Olympics now over and the end of the summer fast approaching, many people will be thinking of finally getting all those gardening jobs done that they’ve been neglecting.

However, it would be worthwhile proceeding with care as a recent survey by personal injury specialist, First4lawyers, has shown 40 per cent of Brits injure themselves whilst gardening.

Sprains, strains, cuts, bruises and even broken bones can be caused by the seemingly gentle activity of gardening.

Nottingham has the highest number of gardening accidents overall with 49 per cent of the city’s outdoor summer-related injuries taking place here whilst Liverpool has the safest pruners with 29 per cent of its injuries happening in the garden.

The top 10 cities for gardening injuries are;
1. Nottingham (49%)
2. Bristol (48%)
3. Norwich (44%)
4. Manchester (43%)
5. Leeds (42%)
6. Cardiff (41%)
7. Newcastle (40%)
8. Dublin (40%)
9. Southampton (39%)
10. Birmingham (39%)

But many gardening injuries could potentially be avoided by adopting an approach which is second nature to our Olympic athletes – and that is to warm up before undertaking any form of physical exercise, gardening included.

A First4lawyers spokesperson said: “As Brits we enjoy a lot of gardening but the garden can also inadvertently carry potential risks and like in sport if you don’t warm up properly you may find yourself being stretchered off.”

Gardening uses lots of different muscles and is a work out in itself, if done in the right way it can be an easy and free form of safe exercise. According to fitness experts 30 minutes of digging and shovelling a day can help to tone you up burn up to 300 calories.

Health professionals also suggest taking five simple measures before you grab those secateurs to ensure you’re garden-fit. These are;

1. Stretch and warm up first just like you would if you were playing a sport
2. Don’t rush it, take your time and rest in between jobs as you would at the gym
3. Keep hydrated if you’re working in the heat
4. Make sure you lift heavy items correctly
5. Don’t forget UV sunscreen and a hat to protect your head.

Other simple measures such as putting on gloves could prevent cuts and wearing strong shoes and trousers when mowing the lawn rather than shorts and sandals can also help prevent injury. Chemicals should be stored out of sight and out of reach of children and tools should always be tidied away after use.

First4lawyers continued: “Gardening is a great activity and one that many people enjoy without incident. If you prepare properly, warm up and take your time many injuries can be avoided.”

For further information about First4lawyers, visit