Gardening is good… for morale. Physically, that’s another story. And for good reason, who hasn’t already had back pain after a gardening session? This activity requires you to bend down often, to lift more or less heavy loads and to handle tools that sometimes require a little strength. And, most of the time, difficult to find the right posture. If you have already had the experience and want to garden with peace of mind, without having to worry about possible pain, adopt these five reflexes!
1. Get down on one knee
In the garden, it is difficult not to squat to work the soil. So, instead of supporting the weight of your body on your two knees when you bend down, prefer to put one knee on the ground. In this way, it willbalance the weight and to relieve your knees but also your back.
Also remember to keep your back as straight as possible and avoid the “hunchback” position. The goal is to round your back as little as possible (also be careful not to arch it).
Likewise, when you have to bend even lower, prefer to put yourself on all fours and put one hand on the ground to support you while working the soil with the other hand.
Good to know : to improve your comfort when you have one knee on the ground or are on all fours, do not hesitate to equip yourself with padded knee pads!
2. Vary your position
It is never good to keep the same position for too long. So, do not hesitate to vary the positions as often as possible. And to change hands to work!
Likewise, avoid twisting your back when working in the garden. Prefer to move your entire body. It may seem a bit difficult to apply said like that, but I promise it’s only a matter of getting used to!
3. Hold tools closer to your body
The way you hold your tools has a big impact on the strain on your lower back. Indeed, the closer you hold your tools to your body, the less it will put unnecessary strain on your back. Conversely, holding your shovel or rake away from you will put more strain on your upper body.
Otherwise, the quality of gardening tools is also important. So, consider investing in quality equipment, designed to be as ergonomic and efficient as possible. Indeed, the more efficient the tools, the less time you take to do the gardening work and therefore the less risk you have of injuring yourself.
4. Limit gardening time
For gardening freaks, this may be hard to fathom, but it’s actually a good way to avoid lower back pain. In fact, make sure do not exceed 30 minutes gardening at each session. This way, you won’t have time to perform enough flexions to generate pain.
It may seem obvious, but stretching is a good way to prevent back pain. Thereby, before AND after each gardening sessionThink of stretch your back. You can also do some stretching while you’re gardening.
To do this, here is a simple exercise : Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Bring your ankles together and gently bend your knees to one side until you touch the floor. Repeat with the other side. Perform this exercise several times in a row to reduce back pain.