Garden Ergonomics

By Athlete's Care on April 12, 2024

Now that spring is upon us, many of us are beginning to work on our gardens. Gardening is a passion for some whereas, for others, it's an opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather. Because gardening is considered a leisure activity, we rarely think about the demands it can place on the body. Gardening can result in sore and aching muscles if we maintain non-neutral (or awkward) postures for long durations.

Garden bed design:

To reduce your risk of injury while gardening, minimize reaches by keeping plants within a comfortable working area:

  • A garden bed should be no wider than two feet if accessible from one side only and no more than four feet if accessible from both sides.
  • The use of raised-bed gardens ~ 36" high will also help minimize back flexion. This is easily achieved by building a 2-3 foot border with wood or bricks around your garden and filling with the appropriate soil for your gardening zone.

Ergonomic gardening tools:

Use ergonomic gardening tools:

  • Ergonomic weeders, trowels and fork tools are now designed with a pistol grip to maintain the wrist in neutral position.
  • Arm-support cuffs can be added to the tool to provide greater leverage and flexibility.

Kneeling mats / stools:

  • Use garden kneeling mats or kneeling pads to protect your knees
  • Use small ergonomic stools to alter your position and prevent bending of the back to reach for plants.
  • Consider a 2-in-1 item (such as the one you see in this photo) which is a kneeling pad and stool in one.

Garden Ergonomics


Farzana is a Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist (CCPE). She provides ergonomics services for Office, Industrial and Service environments including: Ergonomics Risk Assessments (in-person / virtual), Physical Demands Analyses (PDAs), and Ergonomics Training sessions and webinars. To receive more information about the ergonomics services at Athlete's Care or to request an ergonomics assessment of your workstation, please email

**Insurance providers often cover the cost of an ergonomic assessment. Look into your plan and find out if it's covered.**