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Suffering From Back Pain Again? These Two Tips May Help You

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Suffering From Back Pain Again? These Two Tips May Help You

Back pain can be one of the most debilitating and frustrating ailments. When acute, back pain can stop us from walking, exercising – and even enjoying life.

If you work in an office, you may have noticed some people choose to work while standing at height-adjustable desks. While this is shown to be a good thing in general,[1] talk to the people standing, and often they will tell you that due to back pain, sitting for prolonged periods is just too painful for them.

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Fortunately, recent research has revealed two things that you can do to help ensure your back remains pain free. (Or if you’re already suffering back pain, the tips will prevent you from causing further damage and pain to your back.)

1. There’s a perfect angle for leaning back

Were you aware that leaning back on a chair can be a cause of back strain? It’s true. Helpfully, however, a study in 1999[2]determined that sitting at an angle of 110-130 degrees was optimal for spine comfort. A further study in 2007,[3]showed that leaning back at 135 degrees was the ideal angle for preventing back strain.

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You may be asking yourself: “What angle am I currently sitting at?” It’s a fair question, as it’s probably not something you’ve considered before.

While you could manually check the angle you’re sitting at, an innovative consumer device developed by Lumo Bodytech can make this process easy and automatic. The company offers a product called Lumo Lift that uses angle displacement to track and alert you to times when you are slouching or have poor body posture. The company claims that by improving your posture, you’ll reduce back pain, lower your stress levels – and become more productive. Positive benefits that we’d all welcome in our lives.

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2. Doing sit-ups badly is a surefire route to back pain

While we all want to be as fit as possible, some basic exercises (when done wrongly) can be detrimental to our spine. A common cause of back problems is sit-ups.[4]The issue is not with the exercise itself, but by the mistakes most people do when performing sit-ups. Frequently, people use their hands behind their head as leverage. As we’ll see, this can be a recipe for disaster.

By using the hands as leverage while performing sit-ups, unnecessary strain is placed on the sensitive vertebrae in the neck and all the way down the spine. Furthermore, by performing sit-ups in this way, the abdominal muscles aren’t exercised as thoroughly as they should be. In other words, you think you’re building up your fitness, when, in reality, you may be contributing to its demise.

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Here’s how to perform sit-ups correctly:[5]

  1. Lie on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Put your finger tips behind your ears (but don’t use your hands as leverage).
  3. Put your elbows to your side, with shoulder blades back.
  4. Using your abdominal muscles, raise your body towards your knees (head should always be looking straight).
  5. Gently roll back down, and commence the exercise.

As you may know, back pain is notoriously difficult to eliminate. It has a tendency to flare up at unexpected times, causing misery to sufferers. As a consequence, many people spend thousands of dollars on expensive pharmaceutical pain treatment, acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation and specialized massages. While these treatments can certainly help, avoiding back injury in the first place is ideal.

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By following the two tips above, you can help to reduce your risk of back injuries. This could free you from unnecessary pain, discomfort and immobility. By looking after your spine, your body can be flexible, healthy and pain free.

Reference

[1] Smithsonian.com: Five Health Benefits of Standing Desks
[2] Wall Street Journal: Burning Question: Why Sit Up Straight?
[3] Wall Street Journal: Burning Question: Why Sit Up Straight?
[4] LIVESTRONG: Do Sit-Ups Cause Back Pain?
[5] 30 Day Fitness Challenges: How To Do A Sit Up

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Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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