Gardening is one of the best activities to relax and enjoy nature but what if you are suffering from back pain or any other body pain that could limit your movement?
While planting and other ground activities may bring calmness and relaxation to your body and mind by reducing stress and anxiety, long periods of sitting on your knees or squatting, or standings and sitting every now and then, can take a toll not only on your back but also on your legs and knees. If you have pre-existing back pain conditions, it may get worse and could potentially end your backyard farming.
Having back pain doesn’t mean you rule out gardening forever. There are ways to cope-up and in this article, we are going to discuss and give tips on how you can continue gardening even with conditions that could limit your ability to take care of your backyard farm.
Here are the 8 ways on how to do gardening without stressing your back.
1. Do a warm-up exercise before you start.
Japanese companies from small stores to big manufacturing plants, calisthenics is required before the start of work. Regardless of the type of work, employees are required to warm up to have peace of mind.
The same thing can be done before you start gardening. Although working in your backyard can be low-intensity cardio exercise, without a prior warm-up, your muscles could be forced.
A simple and relatively gentle series of stretches could do. Do the stretching both while standing and laying down. You can search YouTube for some basic body stretches. If you have back pain, consult your physician to find out what type of exercise is the best for you without hurting your back.
2. Lift with Support
Working on the ground requires lifting pots, watering containers, and sometimes rocks. Lift only what you can and make sure to lift properly.
Follow these lifting steps properly to avoid hurting your back
Keep both of your legs away from each other. Your knees should be open wide apart with one foot slightly ahead of the other. This is to ensure good balance.
- Avoid bending your back instead, squat down and bend only your knees without bending your upper body. Lay one of your knees against the floor half kneeled (right angle)
- While sitting in a squat position and one knee on the floor, keep your body straight and hold your shoulder back.
- Slowly lift the object without bending your back. Move only your knees and continue standing while lifting.
- Hold the object as close as possible to your belly. This is also to support the object. If you distance the object from your body, your arms may get hurt making the load heavier.
- When walking with the load, avoid moving your body sidewards.
- When putting the load, lower your body while bending only your knees and don’t bend your back.
- Put the object down slowly while one of your knees is lying on the floor.
3. Use a garden scooter
Many people ask if, “it is possible to use a scooter in the garden?”, absolutely! Garden scooters are designed for a very specific purpose: to help people move without standing-up every now and then.
Garden scooters are not just for people with back pains, it’s for everyone who wants to work efficiently. Especially when you are transplanting eggplants or cabbage where you need to move a couple of feet away every now and then.
You can do this without standing. Yard scooters have wheels that could allow you to move while sitting on top of it. They also have storage where you can put your planting and tilling tools and produce.
Yard scooters come in different designs. There are models having bigger wheels, adjustable sits, under storage, and some combination carts. All of these are designed to make your gardening job easy and efficient. The largest selection of garden scooters on Go2scooter.com
4. Take frequent breaks
Working in the yard is enjoyable and sometimes you lose track of time until you feel tired. It is recommended that you take a break every 30 minutes. If you are sitting, don’t do it for too long.
Stand up like every 15 to 20 minutes, walk around and take a breath. Sitting for too long could make you dizzy especially when under the heat of the sun. Don’t work under extreme sunlight though.
Not only in a sitting position but if you are stuck in any position and not moving or changing positions for 20 minutes, you could be in trouble. Let your blood continue to flow by constantly moving.
5. Add cushions and/or knee pads
Sometimes, it is needed to kneel down especially when taking weeds or planting as sitting in a squat position is extremely tiring giving your knees a lot of stress. Having a cushion for your knees against the ground can ease a lot of stress. Cushions will absorb the weight and could provide your knees total comfort.
6. Try some special tools
If you can really bend your back, try some long tools. You can still do the gardening while standing. There are some special tools designed for people with special needs like having long and specialized handles, etc.
7. Container gardening
Especially in urban areas, this type of growing plants and vegetables is gaining popularity. If you can’t do it directly on the ground then there is no reason why you can’t do it vertically using a hydroponic system. Just plant vegetables in containers and put them on higher platforms so the best time you work with them, you don’t need to bend.
8. Think outside the box
Gardening is for people who love doing it. If you love doing it but having back pain issues, there are still many ways not mentioned above. Do some research online. YouTube videos are of great help. People are even growing plants on their rooftops.
Whether you have back pain or not, using a yard scooter is a big help not only for health reasons but also for efficient working. Yes, gardening is a good way to exercise but if you stay in just one position for too long then it could do more harm than good. By using a yard scooter, you can constantly move.