Gardening can strain your back or damage your spine. This happens when you:
spend long hours bent over tilling the soil
carry heavy gardening materials
To prevent back problems:
Use a portable garden or kneeling stool –protect your spine, knees and joints when you’re working close to the ground.
Get a wheelbarrow – use this to move heavy things around the garden. Ask for help when loading heavy things. Divide it into smaller, lighter loads. Bend your knees when lifting a load.
Take breaks – don’t work continuously. You will have muscle and back pain later on. Get up and stretch every 30-40 minutes. Drink water, stay in the shade and rest.
Wear proper shoes – wear shoes that have traction. They should be secure on your feet and have cushioning and arch support. Don’t wear sandals or go barefoot. You can slip and fall. This can injure your back.
Sun burn and heat exhaustion
Too much sun exposure is bad for your skin. Cover the back of your neck and your face.
The heat can cause dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Use sunscreen – put this on before gardening. SPF 30+ is recommended. Re-apply every two hours.
Get adequate cover – put on a hat, long sleeved shirt and shades.
Stay in the shade – take a break under the shade. Use an umbrella when the sun is strong.
Stay hydrated – drink lots of water. Don’t drink alcohol, coffee or other drinks with caffeine. These take away water from the body. They can cause dehydration.
Avoid ticks. They can carry infections such as Lyme disease.