Posture is a huge contributor to back pain, even more so in recent years with the rise of working from home, and often, working from the sofa, bed or kitchen table. Here are three major culprits and how to counteract them:
1. Hunched over the steering wheel?
To protect your spine when driving, make sure hips are back in the seat, and knees just slightly lower than hips. Ensure that eye level is plenty above the steering wheel and have your seat so it’s ever so slightly leaning back and not completely upright at a 90-degree angle. Take regular breaks too.
2. Slumped at the desk?
With many of us now either working part of the week at home and then in the office or home working full time, many of us will be without a decent desk setup. And the situation has only become worse as our equipment isn’t always set up in a healthy position to support the health of our necks and spines. Aim to sit with your ear, shoulder, and hip in line, with shoulders, rested. Try sitting with your bum against the back of a chair and feet flat on the floor and aim to have your screen right in front of you at eye level it’s vital to take breaks.
3. Staring down at a phone?
Scientists estimate that 75 per cent of the world’s population is hunched over their hand-held devices with their heads flexed forward, which increases the weight load on the neck by five-fold. If you’re one of the millions of people who relies on their phone for news, entertainment, and general information, then you could be at risk of tech-neck. When standing, aim to have your ear, shoulder, hip, and ankle in line. Try standing with your back against a wall as a guide. As for checking your phone, see if you can avoid looking down at it as you walk. Instead, wait until you’re sitting comfortably and look at a screen at eye level.
For relief of back pain check out our article Mind Your Back for information on Mentholatum heat and cold therapies and the S.T.E.P.S. programme.