Especially as we get older, our knees complain when we spend too much time on them. Not good!
As gardeners, one way to prevent problems is to kneel on a padded bench. However, this requires moving the bench from place to place while also trying to handle tools and plants. Another way to achieve comfort but to leave the hands free is to wear knee pads. Home supply and various other stores sell different kinds, intended for workers who refinish floors, lay tiles, or other jobs that require kneeling. I prefer to wear knee pads used by athletes such as basketball players. The elastic backs allow me to stand, move and kneel without the pads slipping down. However, if you are working with roses or other thorny plants, knee pads with hard outer shells are necessary to prevent injury.
So, one way to spare the knees is to wear pads. Remember though, remaining in any one position for very long is not good. To prevent other physical problems, try alternating kneeling with bending from the waist. However, never squat all the way to the ground. At any age, this is destructive to the knees, and should be avoided.
Josephine Coursey, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service