Top 10 tips for a healthy back, including lifting advice, how to sit properly and back-strengthening exercises.
- Exercise your back regularly. Walking, swimming (especially backstroke) and using exercise bikes are all excellent ways to strengthen your back muscles.
- Always bend your knees and your hips, not your back.
- Never twist and bend at the same time.
- Always lift and carry objects close to your body.
- Try to carry loads in a rucksack and avoid sling bags.
- Maintain a good posture. Avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over a desk or walking with your shoulders hunched.
- Use a chair with a backrest. Sit with your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest. Change how you sit every few minutes.
- Quit smoking. It is thought that smoking reduces the blood supply to the discs between the vertebrae and this may lead to degeneration of these discs.
- Lose any excess weight. Use our Healthy weight calculator to find out if you're a healthy weight for your height.
- Choose a mattress suited to your height, weight, age and sleeping position.
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