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It May Be Time to Treat Your Back Better

By Sandy Schroeder

If you take a good look at your daily habits, you may be surprised at how badly you treat your body and your back.

  • Do you routinely tote two or three heavy bags around all day?
  • Do you spend most of the day in one fixed position at your desk?
  • Do you frequently skip daily exercise routines?

Many of us spend as much as 15 hours a day sitting at home and at work. Not surprising, we then skip exercise altogether.

Then when someone picks up our tote they may ask, "So what are you carrying in here, stones?" It's all too easy to just keep loading up our totes when we shuttle back and forth to work, but many of us also deal with families and take short trips. That adds up with snacks, phones, laptops, and travel gear.

Better Ideas for Toting and Lifting

If you know you should reform, you may want to take a look at these tips for toting and lifting that will protect your body and your back.

  • Choose backpacks with double straps to distribute weight, or carry two totes instead.
  • Be sure a tote, bag or purse is never more than 10 percent of body weight. Five percent is preferred
  • Clean out totes daily and only carry what is really needed.
  • When you are lifting objects or children, stand as close as possible, squat down and lift with your legs.
  • If large items are too heavy, get help.
  • Never bend from the waist. Always squat and use the legs to power a lift.
  • Use backpacks or bags with wide straps and multiple pockets to distribute items and weight.
  • Be aware heavy bags can harm posture, impact circulation, pinch arm or shoulder nerves, and create lower back aches.
  • Consider using a bag with a long strap to wear across the body to distribute weight.

Better Ideas for Sitting Less and Moving More

As you square away your totes, you may want to make some new rules for sitting and exercising.

  • Limit sitting sessions as much as possible
  • Punctuate each 30 minutes of sitting with a 5- to 10-minute stretch or walk
  • Rethink your schedule to insert walking meetings and standing phone conferences
  • Consider an adjustable computer platform that lets you stand or sit while you work
  • Consider an under-the-desk pedal machine to use while you work
  • Look for chair exercises that add some extra stretches and lifts for arms, legs and core

Watch for ways to protect your arms, shoulders, wrists, hands and back as you work. Check with your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic clinic for more tips on working safely at home and on the job.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in.Lincoln, Nebr.

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