Sitting in front of a computer for hours on end isn’t great for the back. But for many of us this is an inevitable part of business as online entrepreneurs. However, this doesn’t have to spell disaster for our backs. With a few simple techniques you can ensure you keep your back happy and remain productive at work.
#1 – Get up. It’s important to take regular short breaks during your work hours. You can aim for five minutes every hour. During the five minutes, get up and do a few stretches, walk around the room and take a few deep breaths. All of this will help you remain flexible and give your muscles a much needed break.
#2 – Happy core = happy back. Research has shown that our core muscles play a big part in the health of our backs. Our core muscles are the “trunk” muscles in the center of the body. A few simple but effective core exercises are:
Superman – Lie on your front with your forehead touching the floor and your arms and legs extended (in a “superman” position). Gently lift your right arm (keep it straight) and at the same time lift your left leg (keep it straight). You only need to lift a few inches off the floor for the exercise to take effect. Lift gently, in a controlled manner then lower to the ground and repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Work up to ten repetitions.
Plank – Lie on your front and then get into an all fours position so that your body is supported on your knees and elbows (as if you were a dog or cat). Then gently lower your legs so that you are supporting your lower half using your feet. Think of a plank position. Keep your body straight and don’t arch your back. Build up to one minute.
Crunches on exercise ball – An exercise ball is very effective for working the core muscles. Do a simple crunch by supporting your upper half on a ball rather than the floor and gently crunch up for ten. Keep your breath controlled and your chin off your chest. Aim for ten repetitions.
#3 – Consider Pilates – Pilates has been proven to help many back ailments. It’s a very gentle form of exercise which will help strengthen your back and core muscles. However, form is paramount in Pilates. Learn the exercises from a registered Pilates instructor and where possible opt for a few private sessions before joining a class. Pilates can be a great all-round exercise for your health and back but without proper form you may end up doing more harm than good.
#4 – Lose the weight – Carrying around extra weight can be hard on the back and joints. Losing a little weight can help relieve the pressure off your back and joints. If you’re overweight, start by taking a few regular weekly walks and slowly cutting down on a few extra calories. Small changes can add up to big results.
Back pain plaques many of us but with a few small changes you can improve it and in some cases get rid of it all together. These tips will help you get started.