Back health is one of those medical topics that no one really worries about until they experience back pain. You can attribute more awareness of this topic to a lack of movement throughout the day.
Besides movement and stretching, this article will cover a few other reminders to help you fit more movement throughout the day to improve the health of your back. The best part is that it is easy to get started improving your back health.
Besides sitting in a car to travel to work, you sit in an office all day at work and then sit in a car to return home. Then you go home to sit in front of a computer or on the couch to watch TV or read. That amounts to very little activity.
It’s no wonder why our back is letting us know this isn’t ok.
Table of Contents
Check Your Car Seat
Speaking of driving to work, make sure you are seated properly so your commute doesn’t start you off in the wrong space. You can really through your alignment out of wack right off the bat.
- Adjust the height and distance of the headrest so you can properly lean back comfortably.
- If your seat doesn’t have lumbar support or just isn’t comfortable, you can buy cushions and support.
- Make sure you aren’t favoring one hip or one side of your body. Make sure you are sitting and facing forward.
- Adjust your seat so that there is a proper distance between you and the wheel without straining.
- Make sure you aren’t leaning your neck forward as you are driving. You don’t need to already be straining your neck.
- Adjust your mirrors so that you aren’t twisting or straining to use them.
Swap Out Your Office Chair
One way to engage your back is to swap out your chair for a large medicine ball or backless stool. This allows you to activate the muscles in your core. Don’t forget to stand up and stretch every once in a while too!
I love to get up from my desk and do a couple of doorway stretches.
Check Your Posture
Maintaining good posture is essential for back health and it is one of the easiest things to neglect. Bad posture promotes unnecessary strain in other areas. As you start or continue exercising, you will strengthen muscles that will help you support proper posture.
So it isn’t only about willpower or constantly putting yourself in uncomfortable positions. Good posture also promotes other health including:
- Maintaining proper skeletal alignment.
- Using muscles more efficiently.
- Uses less energy and prevents unnecessary fatigue.
- Optimizes breathing and circulation. This makes it easier to practice deep breathing.
- Helps develop and show confidence.
When you do get some natural movement at work and get asked to help move something, you have to make sure to do it in a way to not hurt yourself.
If you need to bend, twist, and lift, be sure to keep in mind the following:
- Bend down at the legs with your knees and not at the back.
- The work needs to be done by the legs and not the back as well.
- Don’t twist as you lift. Be sure to move up when lifting and down when lowering.
- Try to hold the object as evenly as possible and as close to your body as possible.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, no matter the weight or size.
You spend around a third of your life in bed, so why not splurge a little here? Be sure to get a proper supportive mattress and be quick to eject a bad mattress from your life.
You are not out of the woods yet when getting a proper mattress. You still need to sleep in a good position.
Depending on what kind of pillows you use, you may need a body pillow or pillows below your knees to help keep your spine in a neutral position.
If your pillow isn’t cutting it, it’s time to buy a new pillow. Getting a new pillow can nearly immediately eliminate neck pain.
Exercising is extremely important. Exercising can melt away stress and give you the strength and flexibility to keep your back healthy.
Whether you already go to a gym or don’t want to, there are many ways to exercise. You can also do martial arts or another type of exercise that incorporates movements like Tai Chi and Yoga. Besides improving back health, these types of movements can be therapeutic.
So now you know and can’t ignore it moving forward. The more your back is taken care of the more likely it is to be in alignment.
Furthermore, the more you take care of your back the better off you will be, especially as you get older!