Gardening Without Back Pain: Pay Attention To Your Posture

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:50 pm

With spring comes the start of gardening. Putting out flowers, weeding, raking or planting beds – but many gardening activities put a strain on the back. Dr. Carsten Bochwitz, head physician for back health at the Helios Klinik Jerichower Land, gives tips for a healthy back.

Gardening is fun, relaxing and a wonderful balance to emails, Excel spreadsheets and long meetings. But the fun can quickly fade when digging up and mowing the lawn turns back pain into agony. This doesn’t have to be the case, because gardening is not harmful to the back. On the contrary, it is a physical workout with strengthening exercises.

Gardening is often hard work

Gardening Without Back Pain: Pay Attention To Your Posture

Gardening involves almost all muscle groups of the musculoskeletal system. The back often performs downright heavy labor,” says Dr. med. Carsten Bochwitz, head physician for back health at the Helios Klinik Jerichower Land in Burg. “For example, when digging around alone, immense forces act on the muscles, spine, tendons and intervertebral discs. The result is often fatigue- or other load-related injuries that don’t have to be.” A smart work ethic and proper movement patterns are critical factors of joint- and back-friendly gardening.

It all depends on the attitude

With any physical work, the right posture is the key. Since gardening mostly takes place on the ground, you should never work bent over, but always upright. To support this, gardening tools that have appropriately long handles or are curved help. If you do have to bend down, do not bend over in front, but squat down. When you kneel, put one leg up and rest your forearm on your thigh. This will keep you straight and take the strain off your back. You can distribute heavy loads by carrying two small watering cans instead of one large one, for example. When cutting branches at ground level, it is advisable to squat down to avoid permanently bending your back.

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Gardening Without Back Pain: Pay Attention To Your Posture

Change position frequently

Make your gardening work varied. Monotonous movements that you have to perform over a long period of time are not good for your back. By spreading out the workload, all the muscles are used and not just one muscle group has to do all the work while the others do nothing. The alternation between tension and relaxation promotes blood circulation in the muscles and prevents tension and back pain.

Give yourself a break in between, sit in the deck chair and enjoy the sun. Not everything has to be finished on the first day, there will be enough beautiful days for gardening. So that you don’t always feel totally exhausted after working in the garden, you should keep your body fit by going swimming or running, for example.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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