by Dr. Robert Cumming
We’ve all heard the latest buzz phrase “sitting is the new smoking” and simply sitting less seems like great advice but is easier said than done. Using the following tips should help increase your overall physical activity and make your spine much happier. All of the preceding assumes you are in a relatively sedentary, office type occupation with a lot of sitting as most of our patients are.
- Stand up to answer, talk or text on the phone. Even if you are only rarely on the phone this small change will get your butt out of the chair more often than you think.
- Set an alarm in your computer or phone to remind you to stand for 30 seconds once per hour. Just standing up straight without any specific stretching for 30 seconds will make a big difference over an 8-hour day to how your spine feels.
- Drink more water! For 2 reasons:
- The vast majority of people are at the low end of hydration and since water is both a shock absorber and lubricant in your body it stands to reason that getting more will make you feel better.
- You’ll have to go to the bathroom more which, unless you work in a porta-pottie means you’ll have to stand up and walk somewhere to go to the bathroom and then walk back to your desk… voila, more activity.
- If you use a laptop, despite its name don’t use it on your lap (or desk, or coffee table or kitchen table). Place it on a box or bin on a counter and stand while you work.
- In the evening, before you go to bed, lay on your stomach on the floor propped up on your elbows for 10-15 minutes. This reverses most of the accumulated stress in the discs in your low back that is caused by the evil sitting.So there you have it, 5 easy steps for a happy spine in 2017!