How To Protect Your Back When Working In The Garden

Weeding, hauling watering cans, trimming hedges: The gardening season means full physical effort. And sometimes also tension. Here’s how to avoid a sore back.

When gardening, it’s good to change positions. Because the always same movements in the bed strain the back. On it the action healthy back (AGR) points out.

That is, one should not dig for hours only in the vegetable bed. But regularly between lawn mowing, weed plucking, planting, hedge cutting and even the digging change. In this way, different muscle groups are always being used.

By the way, if you want to protect your muscles, spine, tendons and intervertebral discs, you should not work bent over, but preferably squat. Kneeling is also possible. To keep the back straighter and avoid tension and pain after work, you can also put one leg up and rest the forearm on the thigh.

Various aids also make gardening easier on the back and joints. For example, a comfortable surface to kneel on. Or gardening tools that can be adjusted to the height of the user.

Avoid back pain while gardening

Unfortunately, back pain is not uncommon during gardening. It is best for amateur gardeners to think about how and with what they want to work before they start. Many are not even aware that back pain can be effectively prevented and even avoided with the right equipment, the right clothing or the right posture. These tips and measures show how.

If you overdo it when gardening and put the wrong strain on your body, you put unnecessary strain on your muscles and intervertebral discs – and you get back pain. The pain is particularly common after the winter break. The body is no longer used to the work in the garden, while the passionate gardener himself can hardly wait to finally work in his kingdom again.

Gardening without back pain

Schubkarre fahren
Wheelbarrows relieve the back when transporting heavy weights. The wheelbarrow should be lifted slightly and pushed with a straight back.

The basic rule is: divide up the gardening work. Instead of only tending to the greenery at home on the weekend, it is much better for your back if you spread out the gardening work over the whole week. This is because regeneration phases are extremely important for loosening the muscles and releasing tension. Anyone who doesn’t have the opportunity to do this, but still wants to avoid back pain, should take breaks more often. We recommend doing a few stretching exercises and stretching and stretching. After that, gardening will be much easier again. Also nice: a short break in a reclining chair with a view of the garden.

Gartenwerkzeuge mit langem Stiel
Garden tools with a long handle prevent you from having to bend down to the earth unnecessarily often or twist your torso, for example, when hoeing.

No back pain thanks to the right tools


Ergonomic equipment and garden tools, as well as proper posture and handling, are key to avoiding back pain when gardening. Using long and, in the best case, extendable handles, for example, often eliminates the need to bend over. Watering with a garden hose instead of a watering can saves lugging and time at the same time, since you don’t have to keep refilling the can. Grip a heavy bag of potting soil with both arms when carrying it – the closer objects are held to the body, the less leverage there is on the back. Also, do as much gardening as possible while standing, as this distributes the weight evenly on both feet.

Richtig heben
Heavy objects such as flower pots should only ever be lifted from a squatting position. The knees are bent and in no case pushed through. Also, carry the weight as close to the body as possible.

Aids for the back and joints


If kneeling cannot be avoided, you can use knee pads or a so-called knee mat when gardening. Moving stools or rolling boards are also helpful and can prevent back or joint pain. Also crucial to back-friendly gardening is to change your position frequently. You should change positions after thirty minutes at the latest. Straighten up, stretch your legs a bit, and briefly stretch and loosen your body. This relieves the strain on your back and stimulates the circulation.

Richtig pflanzen
If you want to avoid back pain while gardening, you should use mobile stools when weeding. They make planting or weeding much easier.

Appropriate clothing protects against back pain


What is usually too little thought about: To ensure that gardening does not bring unpleasant back pain, it is not only important to have the right tools, but also appropriate clothing. In fact, you should always dress appropriately for gardening, even if you just want to quickly pluck a little weed. Clothing should always be adapted to the weather: neither too hot nor too cold. Otherwise, you’ll quickly break out in a sweat while working, and your muscles will cool down quickly in windy and cold conditions. Both avoidable mistakes that provoke back pain during gardening.

Gewicht verteilen
If possible, distribute weights evenly across your body. One-sided strain quickly leads to back pain, even when gardening.

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