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January 22, 2018

Latest:

British greenhouse designs attract overseas buyers -

Monday, January 22, 2018

RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair returns for 2018 -

Monday, January 22, 2018

efig changes its name to plants@work to reflect main aim -

Monday, January 22, 2018

Viking Cruises unveils its Wellness Garden for RHS Chelsea 2018 -

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Green wall panels transform view in West London -

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Speakers announced for SGD Spring Conference  -

Saturday, January 20, 2018

UK not-for-profit spearheads movement to green refugee camps in Northern Iraq -

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Double A confirmed as new Pellenc Dealer -

Saturday, January 20, 2018

New body launched to support Business Improvement Districts -

Friday, January 19, 2018

Cardiff announces plans for £180m investment project -

Friday, January 19, 2018

Banks swoop in to aid workers after Carillion shutdown -

Friday, January 19, 2018

Mayor delivers £1.1m grants to help transform & create green spaces -

Friday, January 19, 2018

Johnsons supplies plants to ‘Best Large Park in Britain’ -

Friday, January 19, 2018

idverde adopts chemical-free weed control solution -

Friday, January 19, 2018

HortAid 2018 gets under way at the Party for Perennial -

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Shortlists announced for the Pro Landscaper Business Awards -

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hillier set to inspire at RHS Chelsea 2018 -

Thursday, January 18, 2018

APL announces spring seminar Faking It -

Thursday, January 18, 2018

2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show champions the immense power of plants -

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Young Gardeners of the Year 2018 competition launches -

Thursday, January 18, 2018

New research reveals how gardeners can dig for health, not injury

research

New research from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Coventry University reveals that a bad digging technique can as much as double the load on the joints in the body, leaving people susceptible to chronic injuries.

The results, published in the journal HortTechnology, reveal the risks that the nation’s 27 million gardeners might be running if using a bad digging technique and comes at a time when more people are recognising the health benefits of gardening.

The RHS and Coventry University employed equipment usually used in the production of animated Hollywood films and advanced hospital laboratories to map the movement of gardeners while digging and measured the loads imposed on the body’s joints, bones and muscles.

The 3D optical tracking equipment involved attaching reflective “ping pong” sized balls at key anatomical locations on the gardeners and then surrounding them with high-resolution, high-speed infra-red cameras. This equipment, known as motion capture, allows the movement of the body to be captured digitally enabling the data to then be analysed by BoB – a computer programme developed at Coventry University. BoB contains a model of the human skeleton, major joints and over 600 of the body’s muscles associated with movement, enabling the researchers to calculate the internal loads for each participant.

The researchers found that loads in the lumbar region of the back – where many gardeners complain of aches and pains – could be increased by half as much again for a bad posture.  The shoulders were even more sensitive, where more than double the load was generated if a bad posture was used.  Large loads at joints are associated with increased risk of osteoarthritis, the most common form of joint disease.

It was also found that good gardening practice involves using a regular, repetitive technique rather than erratic movements. A good technique was found to have minimal back bend and large knee bend whereas a bad posture was characterised by large forward bending, stretching limbs and uncontrolled motion.

Dr Paul Alexander, Head of Horticultural and Environmental Science at the RHS, said: “Digging is one of the more common gardening practices – whether it be for planting trees, shovelling soil or turning compost – yet we tend to rely upon common sense which can lead to gardeners complaining of aches and pains. Our findings will help us ensure that both amateurs and professionals stay digging for longer; avoiding injury, and improving efficiency.”

Dr James Shippen, an expert in biomechanics at Coventry University’s Institute for Future Transport and Cities, said: “This project moves biomechanical analysis into another field.  Many of our findings agree with received wisdom on good digging techniques which has been accumulated over many years but now we can provide quantitative evidence to support that opinion on what makes a good digging style.”

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