Issues Gardening Safety Tips
In the International Chiropractors Association's (ICA)
July 5th 2001 issue of the Chiropractic News Service
appears tips and warnings concerning safe gardening
related to spinal health. Because of the emphasis on a
healthy spine relating to a healthy nervous system and
therefore overall good health, the ICA issued the
gardening tips as a preventative measure. The ICA
release starts by saying, "The best preparation for safe
summer gardening is a body properly conditioned and
supported by exercise, good posture, and chiropractic
care all year round.
The ICA went on to recommend a list of 10 ďDoís and
Doníts of GardeningĒ These guidelines are designed to
help you garden safely.
The ICA's Doís and Doníts of Gardening
1. Warm up with light movement or a brisk walk to loosen
your muscles and increase your flexibility. The smooth
coordination of your muscles and ligaments is an
important part of safe exertion in gardening and other
2. Know your strengths and limitations. Do not
overexert, vary your activities, and take regular rest
3. Avoid bending over repeatedly while standing upright
when performing ground-level work like weeding. Get down
closer to the task by kneeling or sitting on the ground
or a gardening bench, rather than bending and twisting
from the waist.
4. Keep your back protected when you stand up from a
sitting or crouched position. Rise up by straightening
your legs at the knees, not by lifting your torso at the
5. Lift dirt and plants by letting your arms, legs and
thighs carry the load: bend and straighten at the knees
instead of the back and hips. Lift the load close to the
bodyís torso and center of gravity, and handle smaller,
more manageable loads at a time.
6. Use long-handled tools to give you leverage and help
you avoid having to stoop while raking, digging, pushing
7. Switch hands frequently when doing prolonged raking,
hoeing or digging actions. Repetitive motion on one side
can bring on progressively serious joint imbalances and
may produce postural misalignments and pain, including
muscle spasms in the neck, shoulder and lower back.
8. Donít work too long in one position, especially one
that is awkward or unusual. This can reduce circulation,
restrict mobility, and promote strain injuries.
9. Carry objects close to your body. Keeping the load
close to your center of gravity reduces the risk of
straining your neck and back.
10. Donít overexpose yourself to long periods in the
sun. Utilize protective measures for your head and skin,
drink plenty of fluids, and take frequent breaks.