Running to the office to spend prolonged hours sitting in a single position while working on a computer and rushing back home to complete pending household chores – we’ve all been there done that in our lives. But are we doing any justice to our bodies as we find ourselves immersed in the corporate world?
Our Everyday Routine
Consider a simple scenario – you’ve been told by your boss that you need to finish a report before you get back home and you skip your ritual meals, slouch in the chair at your workstation, and focus all your energy completing the report. At the end of the day, you do feel accomplished after submitting the report, even though it has already been two hours past the usual time on which you usually leave the office.
You rush back home only to realize that one of your kids is unwell, the dishes are undone, and the garden needs weeding. You unwind yourself and gain momentum to hunch your back forward for garden work after putting your kid to sleep and then spend an hour standing doing the dishes. There’s no time left for you to prepare dinner, so you order a meal and smoke for a while before hitting the bed at (late) night.
You may feel accomplished with what all you did in a day but unfortunately, your health may no longer be in terms with you. This is especially true for your spinal health. After a long day at work, your body may feel lethargic, your lower back may hurt, and the zeal to go back to work will soon become a distant memory.
Spine Health Matters
It would be an understatement to say that your spine is one of the most important parts of the human body and in fact, the most sensitive ones as well. Little things that we do in a day can have a huge impact on our spinal health.
We cannot eliminate our daily chores or stop ourselves from going to work. But we can do certain things that can help . For example, we can maintain a correct posture while conducting daily activities.
Before exploring the changes that we need to make to ensure optimum spine health, let’s see the common lifestyle habits that trigger back pain.
Lifestyle Habits That Trigger Back Pain
- : Prolonged sitting and not moving at all while spending half of your day at work is one of the leading causes of back pain.
- Poor posture: It may put the spine under great stress and also strain the muscles. Such people are at an increased risk of conditions such as (pressure on the spinal cord due to narrowing of the discs) and osteoarthritis of the spine.
- Excessive weight: Excessive consumption of junk food, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle etc. are some of the reasons contributing to the epidemic of obesity. Excessive weights put spine under pressure and stress, leading to back pain.
- Smoking: Excessive smoking triggers disc generation and also prevents the flow of blood to the spine. Additionally, it prevents the absorption of calcium and thus, there is no new bone formation. This may eventually lead to osteoporosis, that is, weakening of the bones.
- Calcium and vitamin D deficiency: These two minerals are absolutely essential to maintain the health of the bones, including the spine. Deficiency of any of these minerals may trigger bone pain, including pain in the lower back.
- Often wearing high heels
- Lack of interest in job
- Sleeping on an uncomfortable and old mattress
- Bending at spine to pick up things
- Underlying health problems such as depression and kidney stones
- Excessive exercising
- Carrying heavy weights incorrectly
- Long commuting time
- Driving for long hours
Changes You Need To Make To Save Your Spine
While there is nothing big that we could do to make a drastic shift in our lifestyle that would not hurt our spine, there are surely a few small things that we can do and ensure to make sure that our back doesn’t hurt over the long run.
Some of the simple and effortless changes that you can make in your lifestyle to prevent back pain and other spine-related problems in the future include the following:
Take a stroll to grab a glass of water every 30 minutes you sit down
A sedentary lifestyle is too bad for our spine health. Stand up every 30 minutes that you sit down, walk around for a while and then sit down again to do your work. It will relieve the pressure building up in your spinal muscles and discs.
Bend your knees to lift or pick up things
Stop bending at a spinal level to lift things. This is one of the simplest changes that you can make today to keep your spine safe and prevent unnecessary back pain.
Exercise when you can
Doing simple things to prevent yourself from gaining weight can help prevent obesity and thus, any extra pressure on the spine. Exercising is important, however, that does not mean that you need to hit the gym every day to be able to do that. Just include brisk walking, Yoga, or any other physical activity in your daily routine to keep that extra weight off. Did you know that you can actually perform a number of exercising while sitting on your workstation, thinking about the next task you have to do?
Prefer home-made meals over junk food
Junk food often lacks nutrition that is absolutely essential for bone health. Freshly prepared home made food, on the other hand, is full of nutrition that you body can use for all the healing and repair work. Prefer to eat at home as many times a month you can. Junk food is rick in sugar and saturated and trans fat that may trigger inflammation of the joints, and hence cause back pain.
Grab a flavored gum over a cigarette
Cigarettes not only harm your lungs but spine as well. Research shows that people who smoke are three times more likely to suffer from chronic back pain than those who don’t. Chewing a flavored gum can help combat the urge to smoke after meals or any other time of the day.
Hire a cab when you know you’ll be stuck in traffic
Driving for long hours or staying stuck in the traffic for long also triggers back pain, You can simply choose to hire a cab when you know that driving at peak traffic hours may hurt your back.
Wear what’s comfortable, not trendy
Change your footwear and choose something that is comfortable to your feet and does not hurt your back. Quit wearing high heels and flip flops, especially when your back hurts because of them.
Stop sleeping on your stomach
Sleeping on your stomach may flatten your spine and damage the natural curve of it. This can contribute to back pain. The pain can be excessive if you keep your neck turned while sleeping. Also, prefer to change your mattress if they are too old, soft, lumpy, or hard.
Keep your back straight and maintain a good posture
Keeping your spine straight while standing, performing household chores or working on the workstation can also go a long way to keep your spine fit and flexible.