As the saying goes prevention is so much better than cure and spinal health is no exception. As most of us lead busy lives it’s easy to put our health on the back burner and hope that it takes care of itself. But when it comes to your spine this isn’t necessarily the case.
Many of us lead pretty sedentary lives even at work. We get up, get in our car, drive to work, sit at a desk all day, drive home and go to bed. If this sounds like you then it’s probably only a matter of time before something gives out and it’s often your back. Many countries now have legislation that ensures employees who are desk-bound are allowed standing breaks during which they can get up and walk around for five or ten minutes at a time and this has to be a good thing.
A recent survey of office workers here in the U.K by Get Britain Standing and the British Heart Foundation made some startling findings:
• 45% of women and 37% of men spend less than 30 minutes a day up on their feet at work
• More than 50% regularly eat their lunch at their desk
• 78% office workers felt they spent too much time sitting down
• Nearly 75% were worried sitting at work was having a negative impact on their health
So what can we do? Here are some useful tips:
1: The first thing is to get active. ‘Use it or lose it’ is a useful mantra here. Sitting around all day and then doing an hour in the gym won’t work by itself. The best way to keep healthy is to keep your spine mobile throughout your day. If you can supplement that with gym work then so much the better.
2: Regular chiropractic adjustments can help keep your spine healthy.
3: Be careful when lifting heavy objects, whether it’s weights at the gym or boxes at work. Stand close to the object and use your legs to take the strain, not your back.
4: Have a daily stretch. Flexibility is important in maintaining good joint function and range of mobility.
5: Hydrate! Few of us drink enough daily fluids. Making sure you drink enough water each day is important because our discs are vulnerable to dehydration, particularly as we get older.
6: Listen to your body. If you have a problem don’t ignore it and seek help as soon as you can.