8 Habits You Need to Give Up to Keep Your Back Healthy
About 80% of people in the world suffer from back pain throughout their lives. According to experts, this pain is not always the symptom of a serious illness or injury. All too often, the real cause is the risk factors that all of us face on a daily basis. Today, we’re going to tell you about those dangers in detail.
When we were kids, our parents used to tell us: “Keep your back straight!” However, amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we constantly forget about this rule and only remember it when pain sets in.
Bright Side has put together a list of those ordinary, day-to-day risk factors that prevent our back from staying healthy and can cause irritating aches.
1. Occupational factor
Back pains aren’t only common among people whose occupation involves hard physical labor and lifting heavy objects. Cosmetologists, nail stylists, architects, drivers, engineers, office workers, and seamstresses are just some of the professions that experience serious daily back strain.
Therefore, it’s very important to take a short break from work at least once every hour. If possible, get up from your workspace and do a short warm-up, or at least stretch your legs a little — all of this will reduce the stress on your back muscles.
2. Organizing your working environment at home
You might think that once you’re home from work, your back is no longer in any danger. The cozy atmosphere of your house or apartment helps you relax and forget about maintaining proper posture. However, as risk factors go, all of those daily household chores (like washing dishes, preparing food, or ironing) are just as damaging.
The important thing is to thoroughly adjust your surrounding environment to your needs. The height of your sink, table, or ironing board must suit your own height. This is crucial in order to keep your spine straight and your back muscles relaxed as you’re doing things around the house.
3. Uncomfortable shoes
Trying to adhere to today’s beauty standards also exacts an often unbearable toll on our well-being. Mesmerized by the sight of a pair of beautiful, high-heeled shoes in a shop window, we tend to forget about the fact that our footwear directly affects our posture. Remember: it’s not recommended to wear high heels for more than 2 hours a day.
However, a totally flat sole causes equally profound strain on your spine. This happens because your body weight is distributed incorrectly. As a result, an unnecessary burden is passed on to your back muscles. Conclusion: flat-soled shoes are not for everyday wear either!
For routine activities, select shoes with a low heel. Also make sure that your sandals, and other types of summer footwear with straps, keep a tight hold at the toe and the heel.
4. Large bags
The current fashion trend of carrying huge bags poses a serious threat to your back’s health as well. This trend increases the temptation to keep more and more stuff in your bag regardless of whether those things are truly useful or simply turn into pointless, heavy “dead weight.”
Take an honest look at the contents of your bag and remove all unnecessary objects. Leave only those items you actually use every day.
A backpack is an ideal solution for day-to-day situations, provided you wear it correctly on two shoulders instead of one. Adjust the straps so that your backpack presses snugly against your shoulder blades, instead of dangling at waist level.
5. Tight-fitting clothes
Another sacrifice that fashion demands of us is wearing uncomfortable, tight-fitting clothes. Pencil skirts, dresses with narrowed skirts, and skinny jeans (men wear them too) — all these types of clothing noticeably restrict freedom of movement and disrupt blood circulation. Also, your back muscles become strained, which leads to back pain at the end of the day.
For women, the choice of underwear also plays an important role. Shapewear puts a lot of pressure on the muscles which interferes with their blood circulation. When choosing your everyday bra, remember that comfort should come before beauty. We advise you to go for items with wide straps.
6. Stress and depression
Recent scientific research suggests that many of the depressed mental states we suffer from in everyday life can cause excessive tension in the back muscles.
When we are upset we stop paying attention to our posture — our shoulders sag and our back becomes rounded. This leads to inevitable back and waist pain. Physical activity helps to eliminate stress. Take your time and pick an activity that’ll make you genuinely happy. Whether it’s dancing, swimming, or running — pick something that lifts your mood!
In the case of prolonged depression, it’s better to contact a specialist. This will help to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
7. Incorrect sleeping position
An incorrect sleeping position coupled with an uncomfortable mattress not only prevents you from having a good rest but can also provoke back aches. A rigid mattress can definitely have a negative effect on posture. On the other hand, sleeping on excessively soft surfaces isn’t advisable either. Choosing a moderately-firm mattress is the best solution.
When you’re sleeping, your spine must remain straight. If you prefer to rest on your side, make sure that your head neither stays too high, nor too low. If you tend to sleep on your back — put a pillow under your legs at the knee level. This will help to relieve the burden from your waist.
8. Lifting heavy objects the wrong way
There’s no doubt about it — lifting heavy objects is harmful for your back. But there are all kinds of situations in our everyday life that make this type of activity unavoidable.
To protect your spine from injury, make sure to follow this easy-to-remember rule:
When handling heavy weights keep your knees bent, and your back straight and level with your head.
Is there anything you’d like to add to this list from your personal experience? Share your thoughts and advice in the comments below!