$50 billion spent on back pain treatment annually
Back pain is one of the most common causes of disability and the top reason for missed work worldwide, as well as the second leading cause for visits to the doctor. Half of all working Americans suffer from back pain symptoms and spend at least $50 billion annually on back pain.
What causes the back pain?
Among several causes leading to back pain, including poor posture, obesity and even psychological stress, the most common one is sitting too much. Nowadays, people sit between 6 to 8 hours a day to work. However, our bodies are designed for movement, not a sedentary lifestyle. As a result, back muscle or ligament strains causing acute lower back pain is prevalent in those who sit for long hours.
Solution #1: Stretching
Stretching serves two main purposes: It loosens up tense muscles and strengthens those that need some help. Depending on the location and cause of your back pain, certain stretches can reduce back pain, while others can cause more pain. Stretching should be gentle, so stop any stretching exercise that causes pain. If you force a stretch, you could do more damage than good. Consult your doctor for help in deciding the best stretches for your back pain. Once you get the hang of it, regular stretching can ease back pain quickly and effectively.
Solution #2: Right Posture
Most of us spend a good amount of time sitting down, whether it’s at work or during the commute to and from work. Sitting down for long periods of time may be more harmful than you realize. But you can minimize the impact by sitting properly. Correct posture in a chair means having all the bones in your spine lined up neatly, like a stack of perfectly aligned blocks. This means keeping your feet flat on the floor and your computer keyboard within easy reach so you’re not leaning forward. This is one part of proper office ergonomics.
Solution #3: Sleep the right way
The amount of rest you get is important, and so is the position you get it in. “Sleeping in a bad position or on a mattress without support can cause back pain,” Wilmarth says. Some pointers: Back sleepers should put pillows under their knees ; Side sleepers should place pillows between their knees to keep their spine in a neutral position. Stomach sleeping causes the neck and head to twist and can put undue stress on the back.
Solution #4: Switch between sitting and standing
Sitting is bad but standing all day long is not good for you as well. So switching between sitting and standing during your workhour is more preferable. Based on science, that you should not just stand still while using your stand up desk but should incorporate simple, small movements into your day along with bigger activities like stretches, exercises and using time spent doing routine activities to boost your metabolism, increase your caloric burn and generate the best results from the sit stand work lifestyle.
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