From avoiding a battered back to swarming insects to … we reveal a guide for a healthy gardener

Research has made a connection between green fingers and everything from higher vitamin D values ​​to lower blood pressure.

And last month, a study in the journal Neurology named gardening as one of a handful of activities that could lower the risk of dementia in old age.

This is probably caused by the combination of physical and mental stimulation that it offers.

But when we are outside in the garden, we are vulnerable to a large number of health risks, from back problems to skin problems.

Here doctors discuss a selection of products that gardeners could protect – we then assessed them.

A study in the journal Neurology mentions gardening as one of a handful of activities that could reduce the risk of dementia in old age (file photo)

A study in the journal Neurology mentions gardening as one of a handful of activities that could reduce the risk of dementia in old age (file photo)

BAKER WHEEL BOLT

£ 155, lawnandpower.co.uk

CLAIM: This steel wheelbarrow has three wheels, said to distribute the weight evenly, which means less pressure on the arms and shoulders when you push it. It also has a foot operated ratchet that presses you to tilt the load.

EXPERT VERDICT: & # 39; A standard wheelbarrow has one front wheel, meaning that your arms, shoulders and back have to bear most of the weight when propelling & # 39 ;, says Rajiv Bajekal, an orthopedic advisor at Barnet Hospital in London and the Total Orthopedics clinic.

This steel wheelbarrow has three wheels, said to distribute the weight evenly, which means less pressure on the arms and shoulders

This steel wheelbarrow has three wheels, said to distribute the weight evenly, which means less pressure on the arms and shoulders

This steel wheelbarrow has three wheels, said to distribute the weight evenly, which means less pressure on the arms and shoulders

# They also require a lot of strength and effort to lift and empty, which can cause tension in the muscles along the spine – a common cause of back pain.

& # 39; I am impressed by the smart design of this wheelbarrow, which means you don't have to strain to lift it; and the foot-operated tilt mechanism should go a long way to reduce your risk of neck, shoulder, and back pain. Worth a try if you are an enthusiastic gardener. & # 39; 9/10

BENCHMARK & # 39; S DERMA SHIELD AEROSOL

50 ml, £ 7.55, dermashield.co.uk

Moisturizing mousse contains palmitic acid and aloe vera, which is said to form a waterproof shield on the skin

Moisturizing mousse contains palmitic acid and aloe vera, which is said to form a waterproof shield on the skin

Moisturizing mousse contains palmitic acid and aloe vera, which is said to form a waterproof shield on the skin

CLAIM: This moisturizing mousse contains palmitic acid and aloe vera, which is said to form a watertight shield on the skin and prevents contact dermatitis – the red, itchy rash caused by touching something that irritates the skin. Apply a thin layer twice a day.

EXPERT VERDICT: & # 39; Soil, fertilizer and some plants are irritants that can cause inflammation in the upper layers of the skin, causing dermatitis or eczema & # 39 ;, says Dr. Anton Alexandroff, a dermatologist at BMI The Manor Hospital in Bedford.

& # 39; Aloe vera has a moisturizing effect and palmitic acid can strengthen the skin barrier – the outer layer of the skin. But this effect would not be strong enough to prevent a reaction; you can only wear gloves. & # 39; 4/10

WANDERLUST SUN COLOR WITH SPF50

£ 30, solbari.co.uk

CLAIM: This cotton hat promises to block 98 percent of the harmful rays, which according to the maker equals wearing SPF50. Can be worn as a cap or visor by unzipping the upper part.

This cotton hat promises to block 98 percent of the harmful rays

This cotton hat promises to block 98 percent of the harmful rays

This cotton hat promises to block 98 percent of the harmful rays

EXPERT VERDICT: "The ears, hairline, and neck are all hot spots for the two most common types of skin cancer – squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma – yet many people forget to protect these areas when gardening," says Dr. Alexandroff. & # 39; But even 30 minutes of unprotected sunlight exposure increases your risk. It is vital that gardeners protect their heads from the harmful rays of the sun and this hat is a decent choice, with good coverage with a wide brim that covers a large part of the face.

& # 39; I would not recommend wearing this as a visor because it is important to protect the scalp – and you should still wear a sunscreen.

& # 39; Any wide-brimmed hat would do the job. & # 39; 6/10

SMIDGE INSECTS REPELLENT

This spray contains picaridine - an insect repellent - that provides protection for up to eight hours

This spray contains picaridine - an insect repellent - that provides protection for up to eight hours

This spray contains picaridine – an insect repellent – that provides protection for up to eight hours

75 ml, £ 7, amazon.co.uk

CLAIM: This spray contains picaridine – an insect repellent – that provides protection for up to eight hours.

EXPERT VERDICT: & # 39; Biting insects can be a major pain for gardeners & # 39 ;, says Dr. Alexandroff. Vaak I often see patients with insect bites – they are generally not serious but can sometimes cause widespread eczema and even the skin infection cellulite, which must be treated quickly with antibiotics. The theory behind this spray is that picaridine blocks the insect's ability to smell human sweat and breath, although this has not been proven.

& # 39; Research has shown that picaridin is as effective as the older insect repellent chemical DEET – and is less likely to cause skin reactions. & # 39; 8/10

GARDENS FIRST AID KIT TIN

£ 4.99, westsomersetgarden centre.co.uk

CLAIM: This small gift tin contains plasters, a sign remover and tweezers for removing splinters. The maker describes it as & # 39; everything a gardener needs after a day of hard work & # 39 ;.

This small gift tin contains plasters, a sign remover and tweezers for removing splinters

This small gift tin contains plasters, a sign remover and tweezers for removing splinters

This small gift tin contains plasters, a sign remover and tweezers for removing splinters

EXPERT VERDICT: & # 39; There is not much that is useful in this view & # 39 ;, says Emma Hammett, a trained nurse and CEO of First Aid for Life, a company that conducts first aid training.

& # 39; First, most home gardens have no sign that live on wildlife, such as deer and farm animals. Common gardening injuries include cuts from thorny plants and wounds from sharp tools – which require good bandages or medical attention. Gardeners also often have dirty hands, so a patch alone would not be useful because it should only be applied to a clean wound.

& # 39; Gardeners would be better off buying a good first aid kit with sterile dressings and wipes, available at most pharmacies. & # 39; 2/10

KIKKA DIGGA CONNECTION CONNECTION

This stainless steel plate can be screwed onto any shovel or fork

This stainless steel plate can be screwed onto any shovel or fork

This stainless steel plate can be screwed onto any shovel or fork

£ 29.99, amazon.co.uk

CLAIM: This stainless steel plate can be screwed onto any shovel or fork, creating a lever that allows you to dig from a standing position.

EXPERT VERDICT: & # 39; Eliminating the amount of soil that a standard shovel yields is a particularly common way to strain the lower back & # 39 ;, says orthopedic surgeon Rajiv Bajekal.

& # 39; This smart attachment means that your foot presses a lever to dig and you can lift your shovels without having to pull all the way down with the long arm of the shovel – so it will really help against back pain.

& # 39; Another good way to protect the back when gardening is to always bend from the hips. & # 39; 8/10

Uvex 3D Hydroflex insoles

£ 12.99, Amazon

CLAIM: Worn inner boots or boots, these insoles should provide shock absorption and protection around the heel and front of the foot.

EXPERT VERDICT: & # 39; Wellies have no arch support or shock absorption, meaning feet, and standard the back, all impact from hard ground, & # 39; says Rajiv Bajekal. & # 39; Over time this can lead to back pain and stiffness. Some people recommend insoles, but I am not a fan; and the guidance from NICE says there is no evidence that insoles help back problems.

Worn inner boots or boots, these insoles should provide shock absorption and protection around the heel and front of the foot

Worn inner boots or boots, these insoles should provide shock absorption and protection around the heel and front of the foot

Worn inner boots or boots, these insoles should provide shock absorption and protection around the heel and front of the foot

& # 39; It is safest to wear walking shoes with well-padded soles so that they can absorb the impact of hard, uneven ground. & # 39; 2/10

BIONIC RELIEFGRIP GLOVES

£ 29.99, amazon.co.uk

CLAIM: Designed by a hand surgeon with arthritis, these garden gloves are made from Lycra and have flexible silicone fingertips. They promise to improve grip and protect the finger and wrist joints.

EXPERT VERDICT: & # 39; It is often overlooked, but years of gardening can cause arthritis symptoms in the hands because it is a mechanical disease caused by repeated wear of the joints & # 39 ;, says Dr. Sundeept Bhalara, a consultant rheumatologist at West Herts NHS Trust.

Designed by a hand surgeon with arthritis, these gloves promise to improve grip and protect the finger and wrist joints

Designed by a hand surgeon with arthritis, these gloves promise to improve grip and protect the finger and wrist joints

Designed by a hand surgeon with arthritis, these gloves promise to improve grip and protect the finger and wrist joints

# The thumb-to-finger action of using pruning shears for pruning is particularly aggravating for the hand joints. These gloves will generally protect the hands, but also relieve joint pain by supporting the fingers and improving grip. They also distribute force on the hand joints and protect the soft tissues against extra inflammation. & # 39; 9/10

BURGON & BALL KNEELO KNEEL PROTECTORS

£ 14.99, John Lewis.

These knee pads are filled with shock-absorbing foam

These knee pads are filled with shock-absorbing foam

These knee pads are filled with shock-absorbing foam

CLAIM: These knee pads are filled with shock-absorbing foam.

EXPERT VERDICT: & # 39; Gardening can be very difficult for the knee joints – especially for people with arthritis & # 39 ;, says Dr. Bhalara.

& # 39; Kneeling pulls the kneecap backwards, creating enormous pressure on the joint. Indeed, housemaids & knee is very common in gardeners, and occurs when the protective pads of fluid called bursa around the knee become inflamed and painful.

& # 39; These knee pads are a great, inexpensive solution – and are much more effective than the kind of & # 39; kneeling cushions that you can pick up in garden centers. These will cushion your knees well so that you can kneel without causing pain or aggravating existing injuries. & # 39; 8/10