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Gardening Tips

The Guildford Chiropractic Centre has compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help you reduce the risk of injury during this gardening season.


  1. Choose a lightweight and long handed tool.

  2. Wear loose, comfortable clothing

  3. Keep your back straight while lifting the soil and exert any force through the knees and thighs, using arms and shoulders as a secondary force.

  4. Dig a little at a time.

  5. Weeding and planting can be dangerous tasks when the back is bent and stretched too far and for too long

  6. Choose a long-handled hoe – stainless steel for less friction.

  7. Plant from a kneeling position. Use a ‘kneeler seat’ with handles or mats, not a low stool.

  8. Mowing and pruning require the right tools for the job.  Beware when using hover mowers.  Always work behind them.  Never attempt to move them sideways to swinging from the waist with the mower at arm’s length.

  9. Choose the machine to match grass and size of garden

  10. Where possible, choose an electric start mower or an all electric mower.

  11. Mow a little at a time, keeping as upright as possible.

  12. Start up a petrol mower by bracing a foot against the machine for balance and then pull the cord.

  13. Use long-handled shear to trim edges.

  14. When pruning, use secateurs which have cut and hold action.


  1. Get too cold or too hot. This can increase body stress/strain or twist.

  2. Take a huge fork or spade full.

  3. Dig continuously.

  4. Overload wheelbarrows. These can go out of control when emptied and twist the spine

  5. Work too far in front of you. Avoid bending your back

  6. Bend or squat for long periods of time

  7. Bend too far over when starting mowers.

  8. Overstretch or swing lightweight mowers from side to side. This twists the back.

  9. Twist to the side when starting up a petrol mower.


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