How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Last update: 2021-04-15

Injuries might happen even when you’re gardening. Aside from cuts and scratches, muscles on your knees, back, neck, and shoulder are the most vulnerable to be strained, leading to pain and injuries.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent gardening injuries, keep reading:

Stretching Properly

Sounds a bit weird, right?

But thinking twice, each visit to your garden consumes between 30 minutes to 2 hours while during this time, you’ll do lots of tasks, such as carrying or lifting something, shoveling or digging, weeding, and raking.

It’s regarded as a kind of exercise; not to say that each workout session only takes 60 minutes as maximum.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Stretching properly before, during, and after gardening helps your muscles avoid strain, fatigue, and injuries. Here is how:


How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands put below the back.

Gradually lift the chest to create a gentle backbend while keeping both knees straight. Keep it for five seconds and get back up. Repeat this exercise throughout your gardening course.

Toe/Heel Standing

Use your both hands to hold onto a chair, a counter, or a sink.

Stand tall on your toes and keep it for 5-10 seconds. Now, stand on your heels and keep it for 5-10 seconds.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Repeat this exercise 5 times.

Upper Body Rotation

Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Rotate your upper body to one side and keep it for 5 seconds. Back to your neutral position, then switch to the other side.

Repeat this exercise 5 times.

Shoulder Circles

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Hold your arms straight away from the side of your body and parallel to the floor. Start to circle them forward, then make bigger circles for 10 seconds.

Do it backward in a similar circular motion.

Correct Your Gesture While Gardening

Doing gardening tasks in the wrong gesture for a long time will obviously put pressure on your body, which causes certain groups of muscles to feel fatigued and pain.

To avoid that, you need to learn the right techniques due to specific gardening activities.

When You Carry Or Lift Something

Keep in mind two things:

  • Lift it properly
  • Know your limits
  • Never try to lift something too heavy.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Otherwise, your back muscles will be strained beyond their limit, resulting in muscle tears. In the worst case, it leads to pinched nerves or herniated disks.

If the item is too heavy, get help. Ask a person to lift it together with you. If there’s just one in the garden, use a wheelbarrow or a wagon.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

For something within your limits, to carry it, lower your center of gravity by bending knees, not your back, then grab it. While carrying or lifting the item, keep it as close to your body as possible.

Shoveling Or Digging

Bend your knees while holding your back straight.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Insert the tip of your shovel vertically into the soil, then step on its blade. Lift an appropriate amount of soil each time as long as its heft is within your comfort.

Choose a lightweight yet sturdy shovel to reduce weight. Pay attention to its size as well, make sure that you can hold it securely and comfortably.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Avoid twisting your back while shoveling or digging to prevent injuries.

Planting Or Weeding

If you can bend down and get up easily, kneel or squat on a kneeling pad, not bend from your waist.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

If it’s hard for you to get up every time kneeling down, use a tool with long handles so you can plant or weed in a standing gesture.

Hoeing Or Raking

Keep your back straight and avoid twisting while raking while holding your tool as close to you as possible.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

It’s essential to consider the handle length of your tools. Make sure it fits your height.

Gear Up

For extra protection, you should:

Keep your arms covered with thick, suede or leather gloves and long sleeves. This will keep you safe against insect bites, poison ivy, animals (like snakes, spiders, and rodents), fungi and bacteria in the soil, and sharp objects.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Wear garden boots and protective clothing, such as long pants, hats, and sunscreen

Prepare a kneeling pad if you intend to weed or plant something

Frequently Check Your Tools

Make sure that all of your gardening tools are in good condition before use.

Check if their handles are loose, slippery, or too rough that might cause your palm skin to blister. If so, replace it or wrap it with clothes.

Make sure the blades of your tools are sharp and in the right position. If they are blunt or dull, sharpen them properly.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Storing them properly is a way to increase your safety while gardening, too.

Wipe off any dirt or residue left on your tools after you’re done for the day. Clean them periodically and store them in a dry place.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Allocate Your Gardening Workload Reasonably

Don’t tempt to hit it hard, especially when your health conditions aren’t that good, you’re the elderly or a beginner.

How To Prevent Gardening Injuries?

Start from a small workload for a short time to allow yourself to get used to it, then gradually build up the intensity and time. Following strictly to the rule: Always know your limit!


Above are the main things to prevent gardening injuries. In a nutshell, to protect your safety, always check and maintain your tools properly, gear up, and listen to your body.

Once you can handle a high-intensity course of gardening that lasts up to hours, remember to take a break every hour and stretch during rest. Thanks for reading!

Harry Ramos
Harry Ramos

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