Middle and old age people are now increasingly taking to gardening as a hobby, as newspapers and TV programmes paint a rosy picture of beautiful gardens. Though gardening has been proven to have it's own health benefits, researchers now suggest that enthusiastic new gardeners who start with little or no idea of how to lift properly and do not have adequate preparation, land up having severe back pain.
A recent study of nearly 2000 people showed that nearly 40 per cent of those surveyed complain of back problems. Out of this, nearly 45 per cent admitted that the back pain was a result of gardening. The number was even higher, at 55 per cent, among those in the 35 plus age group. The survey also showed that six out of 10 people claimed that they have stopped enjoying normal leisure activities due to the severity of the back pain.
Doctors say that people became inspired to take up gardening after watching TV and since they did not have a proper plan and adequate knowledge on how to lift weights properly or what types of exercises are required before taking up gardening, they usually land up with back problems. While many believed that lying down and resting was the best way of countering back pain, doctors claim contradictorily, that taking pain relief and remaining active is the best remedy. Doctors also suggest that gardeners who are starting anew should do 30 to 40 sit-ups every day for nearly two weeks before starting and should also do stretching exercises to help strengthen the stomach muscles and stabilise the back.
Gardening however, is still good for flexibility, strength and stamina provided you plan what to do and pace yourself properly without attempting to do too much at one time.