Disclosure: BackJoy sent me complimentary products (a portable back orthotic and a fantastic stress roller) as a thank you for helping spread the word about their #PosturePledge campaign. As I approach my mid-40s, being mindful of my health and wellness is very important to me. I hope these tips are helpful to you!
There is nothing worse than lower back pain or, as we say in the South, “being down in your back.”
I sit a lot at work by the nature of what I do–blogging, writing, checking email, etc. Stretching, taking breaks from my desk, and using an exercise ball to help strengthen my core are just some of the steps I’ve made the past few years since injuring my SI joint (ironically while starting a jogging regimen to get “in shape.” Stretching properly is SO important!) SI joint pain is no fun and a literal pain in the a**!
I’ve partnered with BackJoy this month to help spread the word about their #PosturePledge Celebration. Ironically my coworkers and I have been talking about getting adjustable desks in our marketing area so that we can stand while we work. Plus it is ALWAYS good timing to take proper care of your back! Be sure to take BackJoy’s Posture Pledge. The first 500 people to take the #PosturePledge will receive a free SitSmart Posture Plus* (a $40 value) to help you on your posture journey and enter you to win the full suite of BackJoy products. Once 500 people have taken the #PosturePledge, additional entrants will be entered to win BackJoy’s grand prize.
Here are some great tips from BackJoy to get your back on track:
1. Improve sitting posture at work
TIPS: Head back, shoulders back, and hips upright with an ‘S’ curve in your spine. Maintain good ergonomic principles: find a good chair, use proper pelvic support, knees at 90 degrees, raise your monitor height level with your eyes. Get up and walk around every hour.
2. Ditch the heels and invest in “zero drop” shoes
TIPS: Find shoes that keep your heel and toes at the same height. Find a wide toe box so your foot can move naturally and keep your weight evenly distributed across the whole foot.
3. Sleep on your side or back instead of your stomach
TIPS: Find the right pillow that preserves the curve of your neck on your back, and keeps spine parallel to the bed on your side. Place a small pillow between knees on your side, and under them on your back.
4. Be conscious of “technology posture” and “text neck” – The 3 T’s Texting, Tablet, TV (Gaming)
TIPS: Keep devices at head height and don’t excessively bend neck down or to the side. Don’t slouch on the couch, and get up and exercise more than your thumbs!
5. Incorporate core exercises into your workout routine
TIPS: Back exercises are as important to your core as abs are. Mix them both in with your daily workout routine.
6. When you lift heavy things (weights, boxes, kids), bend at the knees, not the back
TIPS: Think like an Olympic weight lifter and get low. Use muscles that keep the ‘S’ curve in your back and avoid the ‘C’ shape hump back. Functional fitness training can help. Wear posture-enhancing shirts or sports bras for support and muscle memory.
7. Tell your mom “thanks!” She was right– sit and stand up straight
TIPS: Give her a big hug, buy her some flowers and admit she was right all those nagging years!
8. Consult with a posture professional (PT, chiropractor, ergonomist)
TIPS: Find a medical professional you trust. Look for a physical therapist, chiropractor, ergonomic specialist, or massage therapist. Search local listings and check out reviews on Yelp!
9. Stretch—do pilates, yoga, swimming
TIPS: Pilates, yoga, swimming, foam rollers or other self massage devices are a great start. Focus on stretches and movements that lengthen chest, biceps and hip flexor muscles in the front of your body. Once you start there you can think about the back.
10. Eat healthy and watch your weight
TIPS: Eat a healthy diet to support your muscles and drink lots of water so they can function well. People with extra weight around the mid-section can pull the pelvis forward and add stress on the lower back. Overweight and obese adults are also more likely to have disc degeneration in their lower back than normal-weight adults, according to a new study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Do you have any tips for maintaining good posture or taking care of your back?
I think I need a massage now!