Body Care Tips for Agricultural Workers

Spending longer days working in the fields is hard on the body and can lead to reoccurring aches and pains. Here are a few simple ways to prepare, maintain, and restore your body when spending a long day in the fields.

Body Alignment

Proper body alignment ensures that one portion of your body is not doing too much of the work. It is important to think of your body as fi ve segments: your knees, thighs, pelvis, rib cage and neck/head. All fi ve segments should be thought of as blocks that should remain stacked on top of one another. Joints are particularly prone to injuries during agriculture work as a result of repetitive movements. When lifting heavy objects, make sure your joints have a slight bend and engage other muscles. For example, to take stress off your lower back, engage your core or thigh muscles by lifting up with bent knees. Protecting your joints can prevent a torn ligament and chronic muscle cramping.

Hydration

Staying hydrated with clear fluids is essential. Keeping your muscles hydrated can help flush out the waste they produce and keep “knots” from forming in the muscles.

Stretching

Stretching is another way to remove waste from the muscles. Stretching helps to rest the central nervous system, break up adhesions, and increase blood flow. Keeping your muscles loose will alleviate minor pain and help the muscles become stronger. Restoration After a long day of working in the fields it is hard not to flop onto the couch or slouch while sitting, but giving your muscles a chance to sett le into a good alignment by sitting or lying down in a supported way will give your body a chance to restore your muscles and other tissues.

When you sit down for dinner, put a pillow behind your lower back to support the natural curve, have both feet flat on the floor and keep your shoulders down and back.

You can also restore your muscles by icing sore areas for 5-10 minutes, followed by a hot shower or bath. The ice will reduce inflammation and a hot shower or bath will bring new blood into the muscles, flushing out any waste and reducing muscle tension.