Gardening Benefits and Safety Tips

Kim Cecchi
Injury Elimination Specialist

Have you ever walked outside and taken a breath of fresh air, felt the sun on your face, and felt your stress melt away? If so, you have experienced the rejuvenating power of connecting with nature. Gardening is a great way to connect with nature and has benefits for your mind and body.

Good news - the CDC classifies gardening as exercise! It is a fantastic way to improve flexibility, increase strength, and improve endurance all while burning calories. Activities with weight bearing and load bearing, which are common in gardening, decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Moreover, gardening triggers the production of endorphins, those feel good hormones, that improve your mood, and decrease stress and anxiety.

Exposure to sunlight boosts vitamin D levels in the body which strengthens the immune system, critical for fighting inflammation and contagious diseases. However, don’t forget your sunscreen! While sunlight feels great on your skin, sunscreen won’t prevent you from absorbing Vitamin D.

While the exact relationship is not fully understood, studies have shown that gardening can improve the quality of sleep. It is believed that the physical exercise and exposure to the sunlight help regulate our natural circadian rhythm, leading to better sleep.

Safety Tips for Gardening

While there are many benefits associated with gardening, there are also risks. Here are some tips to help reduce your risk of injury:

  • Stretch First:
    Job coaching provides employees with comprehensive safety training that covers topics such as proper lifting techniques, ergonomics, and hazard recognition.
  • Proper Tools:
    Decrease your risk of injuries, eye injuries, and lacerations by using the proper tools:
    • Use a wagon or garden cart to move materials
    • Choose tools that you can stand with
    • Avoid anything too heavy that may make you lose your footing
    • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes when using power tools or weed whackers
    • Use proper sized tools that fit your hand to ensure a correct grip
  • Garden Smart:
    Follow these suggestions to reduce your risk of injuries:
    • Protect your back by pushing rather than pulling, avoiding bending/twisting, lifting with your legs instead of your back, and reducing reaching by working close to your body
    • Take regular breaks and stay hydrated to prevent overheating and dehydration which can be a serious issue
    • Use a knee pad when kneeling
    • Keep your wrists in a neutral position to avoid strain

Happy gardening!

Enjoy the many benefits of gardening while staying safe and healthy with these simple tips.

OccuCare has helped numerous companies reduce their workers' compensation costs by over 50%. To see how our injury elimination services can help your company reduce costs, please contact us at 833-858-9946 or email us at