Tips for Healthy Spine

10 Tips for a Healthy Spine

1. Workplace Efficiency

  • Change positions often

  • Customize your work station according to your body and responsibilities

  • Move efficiently and reduce stress

2. Sitting (while working on a desktop)

  • Feet should touch the ground or be supported by a foot rest

  • Sit up to keep spine straight

  • Look straight without pressuring your neck

  • Adjust your chairs' lumbar and arm rest

  • Keep desktop at arm's length

3. Keep active

  • Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, at least 3 times a week

  • Change your position frequently. If seated, stand up; if stood up, walk around

  • Perform a different task every hour or so and use different muscles to prevent strain in your back

4. Mobile Devices

  • Keep mobile at chest or eye level to reduce neck and back strain

5. Lifting

  • Keep an extensive posture and bend from the legs (not the waist)

  • Keep the load as close as possible to your body and avoid bending from your back while carrying the load

  • Do not twist, rather rotate from hips and feet for less back ache

6. Driving

  • Adjust the seat's height and distance so that your knees are slightly bent and back supported by the seat

  • Recline your seat slightly to lower back pressure if needed

  • Take breaks during long drives: take a brief walk / stretch

7. House Work

  • Mopping: Stand straight, keep elbows near the body, avoiding body twisting

  • Vacuuming: Stand straight and move along with the vacuum

  • Bathroom: Use a stool to sit or kneel so that you are in a comfortable position to clean the lower fixtures

  • General tasks: If bending for a chore, arch back, take breaks, and change postures often

  • Standing at a sink or counter: Use a wide posture and lean your stomach on the counter edge and prevent leaning forward, wear comfortable shoes or stand on a rubber mat and keep your head upright

8. Walking

  • Walking at a rapid pace is useful for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and also helps back pain

  • Maintain straight posture to avoid crouching while walking

9. Exercise

  • Choose an energetic / vigorous warm-up that increases your heart rate and raises body temperature

  • Walk rapidly, swinging arms. Start slow and then build up to higher intensity physical activities

10. Child Care

  • Use your entire body by bending hips, knees and ankles when lifting the baby

  • Adjust handle of stroller and push with relaxed, barely bent elbows

  • Use a pillow or arm rest during feeding the baby to reduce neck and back strain

Dr Sherief Elsayed

MB BCh MRCS (Eng) FRCS (Tr & Orth) CCT (UK)

Consultant Spinal Surgeon, Dubai & Sharjah