How to care for your spine at the workplace


Did you know that, world over, back and neck pain is one of the most common reasons cited for sick leaves? Statistics also state that around 50 per cent of the working population suffer from back or neck pain symptoms at least once a year. Most of the time back pain and spinal problems develop due to poor posture and inactivity. Spine specialist Dr Garima Anandani, senior spine consultant Dr Suraj Bafnaa and clinical nutritionist Nupur Krishnan share tips to deal with back pain…

Sit with proper back support
Doctors say that using chairs that have a fixed back support and an inclination between 90 to 110 degrees are good. One must sit on a chair that has proper back support with hips all the way behind and legs supported flat on the floor. This will ensure that pressure is distributed equally throughout the spine.

Choose the right chair
Sitting on easy chairs, stiff backed ones, bean bags, or on sofas that are too soft, could lead to back problems. Sitting on a chair cross-legged for many hours is also a big no-no. Avoid sitting on the floor with your back unsupported — especially if your jeans/trousers are too tight.

Eat right
Keeping an eye on your diet is important. Nutritionists say that you need check on your vitamin D3, vitamin B12 and calcium levels to keep your bones and spine healthy.

Stay hydrated
Our intervertebral discs consist largely of water, therefore, it is imperative to drink water to nourish them and keep them healthy.

Reduce stress on the spine
Bending one’s knees when lifting anything helps to reduce the stress on your spine. If you want to pick up anything, you must bend your knees, get the object closer to your body, and then lift it.

Pay attention to spine curvature
One of the key points to keep in mind is to make sure that you keep the curvature of the spine intact. Using a lumbar support helps.

Keep things close to you
At work, it is important to keep the things that one requires in the immediate reach area or just an elbow-width apart. This prevents you from reaching out and stretching unnecessarily.

Your bed should support your spine
Since we spend around eight to nine hours on the bed, you need to make sure that the bed you use is firm. Sleeping on very hard surfaces like the floor, or an extra firm mattress could also be detrimental to your spinal health. Pillows should not be ignored — use ones that support up the natural curve of your neck.

Carry your backpack the right way
Your backpack should not be too heavy and you should adjust the straps to make sure that it does not sag down to your hips. This creates a lot of pressure on the shoulder and back. Carrying backpacks on one side is also a bad idea because you invariably strain one shoulder. The right way to carry the backpack is to carry it close to your back.

How to sit the right way
– Your back should be completely supported.
– When you sit, your hips should go all the way behind on your chair

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