7 Important Back Health Tips
- Sit with your knees about level with your hips. The chair seat should fit about 2/3 of the length of your thighs, feet should rest flat on the floor and your knees should fit easily under desk or table top.
- Adjust your computer screen and working materials so you aren’t straining your neck to look up or down.
- When standing for long periods of time, stand on a soft surface and rest one leg on a chair rung, telephone book, or stool to keep one foot a few inches higher than the other. Alternate feet.
- Place items that you use most often in your workstation within arms reach.
- Keep frequently used items on shelves that are at a height between your shoulders and hips.
- Do not twist or bend while doing tasks, especially while lifting objects.
- If you must move a heavy object by yourself, pushing is better than pulling.
Simple lifestyle changes can decrease your risk of back injury.
- Use a speaker phone or a headset
- Switch heavy objects you carry from side to side.
- Leave your wallet in the car, in a desk drawer, or carry it in a front pocket.
- Sit up straight. Use a lumbar pillow or rolled up towel in the hollow of your back. You can also use an exercies ball as a chair.
- Get sufficient rest on a bed that provides support. Firmer mattresses are usually more supportive.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. This exact amount may be debatable, but most people do not drink enough water.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel when driving.
- Consult a NUCCA Spine Doctor if you injure your back or limbs.
- Cradle a phone between your ear and shoulder or always use the same ear when talking.
- Carry a heavy bag on one shoulder.
- Carry your wallet in your back pocket.
- Slouch in your chair, hunch your shoulders, or keep your head tilted or rotated to one side.
- Sleep on your stomach or a sagging mattress.
- Drink too much caffeine, soda, or alcohol.
- Cross your legs or drive leaning to one side.
- Think the pain will “just go away” when you are injured.