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Looking after your lower back while gardening

With the weather heating up many of us are choosing to spend more time in the garden. It’s a great way of getting out of the house and taking in some fresh air. Unfortunately, as some of you have experienced before, spending time in the garden can expose us to injuries. Here are a few important things to remember in order to be safe, prevent injury, and make the most of your gardening experience!

  • Don’t start with the heaviest or most challenging task first. Just like you would never run your quickest time without a warm up, your body needs time to get the blood flowing to the muscles and joints.
  • Monitor sit to stand – no longer than 30mins stuck in the one position.
  • Take regular breaks – Time can get away from us when we focus intently on a task, so be conscious of the time and make sure to take plenty of breaks throughout the day.
  • Use correct lifting technique – Squat using knees or hip hinge, don’t bend your back! (Look out for our video on correct technique!)
  • Don’t bend (forward or backwards) and twist at the same time – Introducing two planes of motion under load is a primary cause for low back injuries.
  • Work within your capabilities – Don’t attempt to lift objects too heavy or bulky for one person. It’s not always that day you will feel the injury occur but the next day waking up.
  • Take the extra time to get your technique right, especially using a shovel turn your whole body including your pelvis so they are facing the same direction as your feet.
  • Ensure you’re working from a stable base – strong stance legs apart. The closer our feet are together the less stable we are (smaller base of support).
  • Stay hydrated – especially getting into the warmer months. We can get very caught up in what we are doing, Check out the weather forecast in advance, if it is going to be a warm day get the work done in the morning.

Be sure to look out for our correct lifting technique video as we run through a step-by-step process to help you not only in the garden, but in life.

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