Preventing Back Pain at Work and Home
The back is subject to wear and tear from daily activities and stresses. Pain may vary in severity and duration. Although the natural degenerative processes that take place with aging cannot be avoided, precautions can be taken at home and your workplace to minimize its impact. A healthy lifestyle with good habits such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, good posture, a diet adequately supplemented with calcium and vitamin D, and avoiding weight gain, smoking and stress can go a long way in keeping the back healthy.
When lifting objects try to bend at the knees instead of the waist and let your legs do the lifting, not your back. Keep the object close to your body. Know your limits and get help if you feel it is too heavy. The way you sleep can also affect the health of your back. Use a firm mattress, check for wear-and-tear and change it regularly. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Repetitive motions may result in back pain. It is necessary to take short breaks while at work. Tools and equipment should be easily accessible and adjusted to your body. Sitting puts more stress on the back than standing, so adjust your chair so that your feet are on the floor with your knees and hips at the same level. Your lower back must be adequately supported. Change your position once in a while. Avoid slouching. If you use a keyboard, place it at the level of your elbows with your forearms parallel to the ground.
Stress can create tension in the back. Avoid stress by planning ahead, knowing your priorities and using relaxation techniques.