One of the many causes of back pain is prolonged sitting. You may develop natural imbalance due to strained cervical vertebrae if most of your sitting is at your desk, craning your neck forward toward a keyboard or tilting your head to hold a phone while typing.
Back pain and its causes can be complicated and painful. Even mild pain can be annoying and distracting if it happens day after day after day. Your healthy habits can prevent the pain and the occurrence of back pain though. Prevention is about how to reduce strain, relieve pressure, strengthen the muscles, and protect the spine. What you do today will have an impact on how healthy your body will be tomorrow. The choice is YOURS.
The following 5 tips can lead you to a healthier back, and a healthier body.
1. WALK AND TALK
Walk and visit your officemates for project collaboration and updates. Face to face communication is still the best and most productive form of communication. Visit a colleague for group discussion instead of sending an email, keep the discussion about work, and you'll keep your boss happy. Use the stairs and move your muscles by stretching, doing yoga, meditating or by doing simple office exercises such as lunges, squats, and butt clenches.
2. STAND AND STRETCH
If you have a desk job, avoid an awkward position, or even maintaining the same body position for too long - our bodies were meant to move, not be static. Try to move around the room whenever you can. If you hold a position for too long or sit for an extended time, you will put undue pressure on your spine. Use a sit-stand desk or a standing desk converter that makes your transition from standing to sitting easier and more ergonomic.
Relieve the strain of the day whenever you can by standing, walking, and performing simple stretches. It will help keep your blood flowing through your muscles and bones. It will also help reduce the aches caused by inactivity.
3. FOLLOW CORE EXERCISES
Core exercises make your abdominal muscles and back muscles strong. This is essential for your everyday tasks such as moving at your standing desk, lifting your files, putting away your groceries, and maintaining your good posture at your desk.
Reduce your risk of strains and muscle spasms by having your regular strengthening exercises which address the core muscles of your body. You can try abdominal circles and abdominal, knee lifts, lower back reaches, and shadow boxing.
4. BE HIGH IN CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D
Consume plenty of vitamin D and calcium to keep the bones in your spine strong. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and is needed for bone growth. Strong bones can help prevent osteoporosis. It’s one of the most common causes of back pain later in life, particularly for women.
Calcium can be found in milk, yogurt, leafy greens, or vitamin supplements (kale chips anyone?). Good sources of vitamin D are fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver, and cheese. Vitamin D is also produced by your body when exposed to the sun. If you do consider supplements, please heed a friendly warning to always consult your doctor before taking any kind of supplement.
5. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR POSTURE
Use comfortable, low-heeled shoes to prevent back pain or strain on your back while standing. For women, it is recommended to use pumps with less than an inch heel. A good posture protects your spine to keep them in good form, fully functional, and healthy. Bad posture puts strain and stress on your back and can actually change the form of your spine. Refrain from slouching, bending on your side while standing, and rounding your shoulders.
Preferably stand to work with proper posture, using your standing desk whenever you can, and sit when needed. Your body will thank you. Your back will thank you as well. Moreover, as an added bonus, you will feel physically alert and more productive. Now, 'back' to standing!