Who can you ask for advice when your daily sitting habits are hurting your spine? Men’s Health magazine turned to Dr. Evan Johnson, Director of Physical Therapy at The Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute of New York.
Chances are, if you have a health problem that’s tied to your lifestyle, you have a good idea of what to do to fix it. Advice is everywhere: Exercise more! Eat your vegetables! Straighten up your posture! Don’t eat processed foods!
All the advice can be overwhelming, especially if your lifestyle makes it hard to introduce big changes. How do you exercise more when your schedule is packed? How do you improve your posture when you’re stuck with a chair that doesn’t offer support for your back, and you end up slouching?
Men’s Health magazine has addressed this problem in its article “6 Super Simple Health Hacks That Will Add Years to Your Life.” In it, the magazine offers some ideas for the “next best thing” you can do, if making a big change isn’t possible. The idea behind the article is that good health doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Making small changes leaves you healthier than doing nothing at all.
With this idea in mind, Men’s Health asked Dr. Johnson, for ideas about how an office worker can protect her back, even if she finds it hard to remember to sit up straight at her desk.
Dr. Johnson advised that if you have trouble remembering to sit up straight, you should try standing up to do gentle backbends a few times every hour. Slouching forward at your desk can decondition your back muscles. Backbends can compensate for slouching, he said, and might even improve your energy and mood.
Read the whole article here.