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How to Maintain Back Health

30 October 2020

Have you been experiencing back pain lately? If the answer is “yes” then you might want to check how and where you sit.

Sitting is not a terrible activity altogether. But excessive sitting is. It is not the ideal setup for the body, as experts from Mayo Clinic said that humans are supposed to move.

Sadly, sitting turned to be a mainstay in our daily life. Sitting too much is linked with many diseases and conditions, including obesity, hypertension, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and depression, continued the article.

This is the reality that we are in now. But this is a fairly new concern for humankind. According to the same article from Mayo Clinic, two centuries ago, 90 percent of the world lived in agricultural communities. You can imagine how farmers work -- they stay active by checking crops, looking after livestock, and doing everyday chores to keep the farm moving. People sat for three to five hours per day but only to take breaks from working.

Then technology happened. In the 21st century, modern Modern Americans sit for 13 to 15 hours per day.

A look in Amish communities

Let’s take a look at Amish communities. Located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, the Amish live without cars, TVs, computers, phones, or even the electricity needed to run so much of 21st-century gadgetry.

The absence of all these things might be doing them good. Time reported that the Amish adults enjoy the benefits of good health in late life.

Several factors lead to this, but one of them is that their agricultural lifestyle is helping them to stay active. Since they have no modern farm equipment, all their work has to be done manually.

Since they move more and do consistent manual labor, the Amish have a better health status.

Only about 4 percent of Amish people are obese, which is way lower than 36.5 percent of the overall U.S. population.

A healthier approach to work

You might be thinking that your lifestyle is not akin to the Amish community. That’s right. But it pays to take cues from how they live. By staying physically engaged, there is a bigger chance that the body becomes healthier.

If you are a desk worker, you can still improve your daily work routine. You can also buy some accessories to enhance the ergonomic factor in your workstation. Let’s look at some ways on how you can do this.

1. If you must sit, remember to do so with proper posture -- If you slouch for long periods, there is a big chance that you will experience more body pain. The misalignment makes other parts of the body compensate, which can strain the neck and hips. Prolonged sitting can be particularly hard on the lower back. Without proper back support, there tends to be a lot of stress on the lumbosacral discs. This leads to poor posture which leads to stressed soft tissues and joints.

To avoid this, you can:

  1. Buy an office chair that offers ample lumbar support so you can sit comfortably throughout the day at an angle that will not make you slouch.
  2. Invest in a lumbar support chair accessory for extra back support if you already have an existing office chair.

2. Mix standing and sitting -- Moving is important for the body. This allows for better blood circulation, which supplies oxygen to the brain and other organs. One of the many ways to avoid poor blood circulation is by not sitting still as per Medical News Today. You can buy a sit-stand desk or remind yourself to move around by setting an alarm every 30 minutes or so.

3. Do back and neck exercises -- Exercises and stretches that target back muscles will help to improve its strength and endurance. This way, they can better support the spine and improve the back’s flexibility. When this happens, the spine develops its range of motions for better functions. With consistent activities, a healthier back could tolerate more static and dynamic activities. It also paves the way for good blood flow for optimal tissue hydration and nutrition.

Your health matters most

Prioritizing your health is a must. The body that you have now is the body that you will have in this lifetime, so it pays to ensure that it functions at an optimal level. If you feel like you need to adjust your lifestyle, do it by all means. You will feel amazing down the line if you take the first few steps in having a healthier life. Any time is a good time to make that choice.