We live in a culture that is ruining our backs, and with them our posture. Every day we perform multiple activities whose normal positions are hard on our spines and bad for our postures. Here are some of the most common, offenders.
Sleeping isn’t supposed to be bad for our backs, is it? Of course not, and to be fair, it’s not the sleeping itself that is the problem, it’s where we sleep, and how much we sleep.
Do you have a good mattress and the right pillow? Having a mattress and pillows with the correct support level is critical for spinal health. I have a friend who spent a week sleeping on a pullout couch and paid for it with a month of crippling back pain. Now when he visits his sister, he stays at a hotel.
And do you get your 7 – 9 hours a night? Sleep deprivation leaves us too tired to focus on standing up straight.
Seriously, get a good night’s sleep on a good mattress.
Eating is not an activity that should harm your posture, but it does. I’m sitting here trying to remember a comfortable dining chair, and failing. At home, in the cafeteria at work, in a restaurant, all the chairs are uncomfortable, lack lower back support, and leave us hunched over our meals.
Cars have adjustable driver’s seats, steering wheels and mirrors, which we can use to get ourselves situated to use the controls. But do you use the height, tilt, lumbar support and head rest to help properly align your spine for your daily commute? Do you adjust your mirrors and steering wheel? And do you then sit properly? Or do you simply hunch over the wheel, head tilted forward. From my observations, most people do the latter. Don’t’ be most people, adjust your car seat, mirrors and wheel.
I’ve been a labourer, a delivery driver, a factory worker, an office clerk, a teacher and now I’m a desk jockey. In all those occupations, the only place I’ve seen any concern for spine health is in the office, and not universally. If you’re going to drive a computer 8 hours a day a good office chair and an adjustable sit down/stand up desk will do you a world of good.
I may have already written on this subject. Short version; texting, using your notebook, playing video games, etc., will wreck your back. Don’t hunch over your screen.
Tech neck wasn’t originally called scholar’s neck for no reason. Hunching over a book may be doing your brain a world of good, but it’s doing your spine and posture a world of hurt. With a paperback sit up straight, with the book ate eye level and use a book holder for hardcovers and textbooks.
If you have a bad back and poor posture, it’s not your fault. The 21st century technological world is a wonderful place, but its default position is to ruin your back. Fortunately it also has the tools for us to fix our backs and learn to StandUpRight.