Gardening is a rewarding and relaxing hobby, but it can also be hard on your back. Long hours of bending, lifting, and kneeling can strain your muscles and joints, leading to pain and stiffness. To prevent back problems and enjoy your time in the garden, follow these simple tips: 1. Warm up before you start. Gardening can be a real workout, so warming up your muscles first is a good idea. Try a brisk five-minute walk and some stretching exercises. One relatively gentle stretch is the back-flexion exercise, in which you lie down on your back, then pull both knees to your chest while bringing your head forward. 2. Lift with support Lifting heavy pots, bushes, and full watering cans without proper back support can injure the discs, muscles, and/or ligaments in your back. To lift in an ergonomically supported manner, begin by squatting and not bending at your waist. Use both hands to hold the object, keeping it close to your body, and slowly straighten your legs as you stand. To minimise lifting, use a waggon, dolly, or other lifting aids to carry heavy items from place to place. Fill large watering cans just halfway and consider alternative watering options, such as soaker hoses or automated irrigation systems. 3. Take frequent breaks. It’s easy to lose track of time when you love being out in the yard. Take a water bottle with you as a reminder to take frequent breaks and hydrate yourself. If you’ve been in one position for a while, do some stretches during these breaks. Also, avoid doing the same kind of task, such as pruning, for a long period of time. Switch to another activity and rotate these tasks periodically. 4. Get support from kneelers and chairs. Getting down on the ground—and then standing back upright—can be painful or even impossible, depending on your level of pain and flexibility. Heavy-duty kneelers, especially those with raised, padded handles, can help you get up and down, allowing you to use your arm strength to aid in the process. Kneelers usually include a well-cushioned base to reduce stress and impact on your knees and back. Many kneelers also convert to low chairs. You can also use wearable or moveable knee pads for extra cushioning. 5. Use tools with long handles. Tools with long handles, such as forks and trowels, can help you reach the soil without bending too much. Some tools have extensions or telescopic arms, which reduce your need to stretch. Use pruners and loppers that have a ratchet system. This makes cutting easier and saves pressure on the back and shoulders. Keep the blades sharp to avoid extra strain. Put secateurs in a holster attached to your belt. This avoids having to constantly bend down to pick them up. By following these tips, you can keep your back healthy and enjoy gardening without pain.