10 Tips for a Healthy Back

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | September 12th, 2018

Follow these simple guidelines to keep your back in good shape:

Ergonomics

  • Customize your work station to your body and tasks
  • Change positions frequently
  • Move efficiently and control stress

Keep Active

  • Exercise at least 30 mins, 3 times a week
  • Take rest breaks every hour: recline in your chair for a moment or walk around for a few minutes
  • Change your position. If seated, stand up; if standing, walk around
  • Perform a different task every hour or so & use different muscles to relieve back

Sitting

  • Feet should touch the floor or be supported
  • Keep knees & hips level
  • Sit up to keep spine straight
  • Look straight without neck strain
  • Adjust your chair’s lumbar and armrests
  • Keep monitor at arms’ length
  • Position monitor & document holders even or slightly below line of sight

Mobile Devices

  • Sit up when texting or reading
  • Keep device at chest or eye level to decrease neck and back stress
  • Use a hands-free device instead of holder to your ear

Lifting

  • Estimate the weight to be lifted and ensure a clear path to move object
  • Keep a wide stance and bend from the legs (not from the waist)
  • Keep the load as close as possible to your body Avoid bending from your back
  • Do not twist, rather pivot from hips and feet for less back stress

Driving

  • Adjust the seat height and distance so knees are slightly bent and back supported by the seat back
  • Recline your seat slightly to decrease back strain if needed
  • Use lumbar support to support the natural curve in your low back (cushions or rolled towels work too!)
  • Raise back of seat so you’re sitting on a flat surface
  • Take frequent breaks in long drives: take a short walk and stretch

Child Care

  • Use your whole body by bending hips, knees and ankles, keeping child close, when lifting them (Don’t twist & lift)
  • Try carrying baby face-out from the middle of your body
  • If carring baby on side, alternate the sides frequently. Keep the thumb close to the other fingers to avoid ligaments/tendons stress
  • Keep baby carrier above hips
  • Adjust handle of stroller to belly button level, and push with relaxed, slightly bent elbows
  • Use a pillow or arm rest to support the baby during feeding
  • When on the floor, sit with your back supported or kneel

House Work

  • Mopping: Stand upright, keep elbows close to the body, and move with it like a dance partner, avoiding torso twisting
  • Vacuuming: Stand upright and move with the vacuum
  • Bathroom: Use a small stool to sit or kneel in comfort while cleaning the lower fixtures
  • General: If bending for a task, arch back, take breaks, and change postures frequently
  • Standing at sink or counter: Use a wide stance and lean your stomach on the counter edge to lower your body and prevent leaning forward, wear comfortable shoes or stand on rubber mat and be mindful of posture, keeping your head up

Walking

  • Walking at a brisk pace is beneficial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and often helps back pain
  • Maintain upright posture to avoid slumping or leaning forward while walking
  • Use a pedometer to track progress and stay motivated

Exercise

  • Choose a dynamic warm-up that increases your heart rate & elevates body temperature over simple stretching
  • Walk briskly, swinging arms in a pain-free manner, start slow, building up to higher intensity exercise