top of page

Why gardening makes us feel better and how to be injury free in the process

With the end of winter finally in sight, many people are itching to get back into their gardens to begin mowing, weeding and pruning and that’s a good thing. Right? Growing things in your garden has long been spoken about as a huge benefit to our mental health.

A recent study found that interest in gardening increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. People spent more time at home and turned to their gardens for a connection to nature, stress relief and food provisions.

Here’s how it benefits our mental health

People tend to breathe deeper when outside. This helps to clear out the lungs, improves digestion, improves immune response and increases oxygen levels in the blood.

Spending time outdoors has been shown to reduce heart rate and muscle tension. Sunlight lowers blood pressure and increases vitamin D levels. All of these things will make you feel better.

Reduced stress levels

Gardening can reduce stress. It's been shown to lighten mood and lower levels of stress and anxiety. It's very gratifying to plant, tend, harvest and share your own produce.

Gardening routines, like watering and weeding, can create a soothing rhythm to ease stress.

After a day in the clinic, my routine is to check in with those at home and then spend an hour or so in my garden. I find that pulling weeds can be therapeutic, giving me a sense of purpose yet calming after a long day. It provides the opportunity to slow down, plan or mentally work out a problem.

Social connection

Gardening brings people together and strengthens social connections. The gardening community is rich with people willing to share their expertise, time and plants with each other, even celebrating a success or bemoaning a gardening mishap.

Social connections are important because they help lower stress and improve resilience. A strong sense of belonging lowers your risk of depression and anxiety.

However while your garden may need some help getting back in to shape, don’t forget so do you!

Many gardeners overdo it by throwing themselves straight into gardening without a warm up, forgetting that their bodies need, like the gardens, to be coaxed in gently and limbered up over a period of time.


By doing things the wrong way it’s easy to understand how back pain can arise, but most injuries are preventable if you do things the right way.

Here are some tips for getting your Spring garden beautiful again without injuring yourself:

·    Warm up before starting to garden by gently stretching your muscles. If it’s cold, wait until later in the day when it’s warmer.

·    Never dig when the ground is wet or there is a heavy frost - it is difficult to do, making the soil heavier and also not good for the soil


·    Positioning your body correctly reduces strain on muscles and joints: do not repetitively lift heavy loads - alternate it with lighter loads.

·    Changing Hands and alter hand positions

·    Check Your Position and Change it Often

·    Kneel then stand or simply sit and relax for a while, but don’t maintain any one position over a prolonged period.

·    Kneel to Plant- Use kneepads or a kneeling mat to reduce the strain whilst you plant and weed. Keep your back straight and stop

frequently to take a break.

·    Rake Right- Ease the strain on your back by putting one leg in front, the other behind. Switch legs and hands from time to time, whilst it

might feel strange it’s good to try and even up your movements.


So take the right precautions and your back will thank you for it and you can enjoy your garden all year long whilst boosting your mental health.

Blog by Jane Morris. If you'd like to book an appointment today, please contact us.


bottom of page