Top tips for gardeners to prevent back pain

large snail sculpture

Now the sunshine has arrived, it’s time to get out in the garden, deal with the slugs and to try to salvage the poor drenched plants and veggies.  But take care not to go all out at the cost of your back. Here are some top tips:

  1. Weeding and sewing seeds can be done sitting or kneeling. A small stool or a kneeling mat save strain on the back. You could even use a small brick if nothing else is to hand;
  2. Digging, raking and hoeing: try not to grip too tightly onto the tools. Keep the neck free and think up through the body as you work;
  3. Sheds. If you’re using the lawnmower a lot, is it in an awkward place in the shed where you need to stretch or twist to get it out? Rearrange the shed to have heavy or awkward tools as easy to access as possible.
  4. Mowing. When pulling the mower backwards, don’t arch the back. Try not to twist your body too much;
  5. Bending. Keeping the legs straight and bending the back is a great strain on the body. Remember to use the knees. If you’ve had Alexander Technique lessons, remember “monkey” – a way of bending in a more body-friendly way;
  6. Have a break. Sit and have a cuppa enjoying the view or lie down. Find something to put under your head to keep the neck in neutral (not arched backwards) and have the legs bent for lower back comfort. This will help towards the backache that so many gardeners suffer from.