What are the essential ergonomic tools you need for gardening to stay healthy, have fun and get the job done? They're not shovels and hoes. They're more basic than that. Put these things first on your gardening equipment list and you'll find your gardening to be more enjoyable and more productive.
The most essential and ergonomic gardening tool is a hat. Never under estimate a good hat. It helps keep the sun from cooking your brain. It reduces heat stress and eye strain and makes gardening more enjoyable overall.
Even if it is cloudy you should where a hat. One that shades both your face and the back of your neck. Venting at the top is a good feature to have as well.
Gloves are the next most essential ergonomic gardening tool. And for those of us that don't mind getting are hands dirty they are the most often overlooked. Gloves protect your hands from minor injuries and abrasions. They also Protect your skin from wear and tear and blistering when using hand tools. A good pair of gloves that are form fittingcan actually reduce fatigue and cramping in the hands as well.
Gloves should be durable and as thick as the task requires. If you are working with rose bushes get them thick to stop the thorns. If you are digging holes find some that let you feel through them easier. Gloves should be comfortably snug without being tight. Tight gloves can reduce your circulation and that's not good.
3. Kneeling Pad
A kneeling pad brings you comfort and reduces strain on your knees, back and shoulders. You can find them in a wide price range depending on size, style and complexity. But the most important part is that you actually use it. Any type of cushioning will work. Even the cushion from your lawn furniture.
You may be thinking, "I can tough it out. I don't really need a cushion." If you are you'll change your mind in ten years. So listen to other people's experience. Start using a cushion now and you'll have less problems later.
Another ergonomic wonder and an essential in any gardener's tool shed is a cooling neck wrap. These are simply cloth tubes filled with a water compound. Soak it in water for 10 minutes before you start then wrap it around your neck. It will continously cool your body while you work for hours as the water is slowly released.
TYhe result is you don't get fatigued from heat nearly as fast. It's even more performance sustaining that chugging Gatorade. For a few dollars you'll get more out of your time in the garden, feel better doing it and greatly reduce the risk of heat exposure.
So the most essential ergonomic gardening tools are not what we traditionally think off when we open the tool shed. Yet they are the most importnant. However, we should not foget about the importance of ergonomic gardening tools. A proparly designed tool, one that fits you and the task at hand, is key to staying healthy while enjoying your gardening.