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Back Care Awareness Week - How is your posture?

Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Administrator Posts: 796 Pioneering
This week is Back Care Awareness Week, which is an opportunity for people and organisations to reflect on how they can better support health and wellbeing, both in the workplace and at home.

Arranged by BackCare (the National Back Pain Association), a UK charity that was originally set up in 1968, the week also aims to  promote behaviour change to encourage more active lifestyles.

Throughout it's time, BackCare has strived to educate the public throughout the UK about ways of preventing and alleviating back pain. The charity aims to significantly reduce the burden of back & neck pain by providing information, guidance and advice to all people and organisations and those affected by such pain.

And because of this, Back Care Awareness Week is one of the biggest days in their calendar, and that's no different this year.

What role does posture play in good back health?

The majority of people get back pain at some point in their lives and for varying reasons. It may be due to a sports injury, an accident, or a condition such as scoliosis. However most of the time back pain develops during the course of day to day life. Repetitive activities at work or home, such as sitting at a computer, may cause tension and muscle tightness that result in a backache.

General good physical fitness and a healthy weight are important for improving and maintaining a good posture. Posture is the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting, and a poor posture can lead to very uncomfortable back pain.

Tips for improving posture

With just a short amount of practice and small adjustments, these tips could help improve your posture a whole lot.

  • lift your phone up toward your eyes, rather than moving your head towards your phone. Over the course of time, the constant tilting of the head can strain your spine. Most of us are guilty of this one.
  • Stand up straight - imagine you are measuring yourself against a wall. hold your head straight and tuck in your chin.
  • Try not to slouch, lean back or slump when you're at your desk or in a chair. As comfy as it might be, it's not good for your posture. Instead, sit back and straight wherever possible, place a cushion behind the middle of your back to protect your spine, keep your knees at a bent right angle and try to keep your feet on the ground.
  • When picking things up that are lower than your waist, always try to keep your back straight, and bend at your knees and hips.
  • When lying in bed, the pillow should be under your head, but not your shoulders, and should be a thickness that allows your head to be in a normal position.
Do you have any other tips for improving posture? Is there a particular habit you have that is bad for your posture? Let us know in the comments below.

:) 
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Replies

  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Administrator Posts: 1,305 Pioneering
    Title me: why does my back hurt? Also me: Drawing of a stick man comically slouched back on chair

    This is me on an average work day, so thanks for the tips @Ross_Scope!
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  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Administrator Posts: 796 Pioneering
    No problem @Tori_Scope, my aim is to save everyone's back :) 
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  • OxonladyOxonlady Member Posts: 174 Pioneering
    Hi @Ross_Scope, it's good to share information.
    I would not wish my spinal problems on anyone. After five operations I can barely stand up. So it is important for those who can, to look after their back. 
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Administrator Posts: 796 Pioneering
    Oxonlady said:
    Hi @Ross_Scope, it's good to share information.
    I would not wish my spinal problems on anyone. After five operations I can barely stand up. So it is important for those who can, to look after their back. 
    Thanks for sharing, it absolutely is important. I know I'm guilty of not having the correct posture in certain situations and I want to get better at looking after my back, so I don't have any problems with it in later life.

    I'm sorry to hear about the troubles you have had following your operations.
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  • chiariedschiarieds Community champion Posts: 4,708 Disability Gamechanger
    Of course, having taught 'back classes' including posture awareness, mine is perfect (!) That is apart from the fact my pain increases if I sit, so I'm half-lying here whilst I type. :D
    One of the most important things is to take regular breaks from sitting (or half-lying!), move around, & do some gentle stretches. This I do, & I'm off to potter in the garden soon.
    My top tip - when I used to teach posture I would say to imagine you had a string attached on the top of your head at the back. Now imagine that string being pulled gently upwards; this helps align the body in standing.
    There's also some advice from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Please see:                     https://www.csp.org.uk/conditions/back-pain   & https://www.csp.org.uk/public-patient/keeping-active-healthy


  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Administrator Posts: 796 Pioneering
    Thanks for sharing @chiarieds, I find your comment very interesting and helpful :) 

    It's great that you've taught people about posture in the past, I never considered that such classes would exist but thinking about it now it must be a vital class for many people. 

    Taking regular breaks is definitely a top tip, it's easy to sit or lie down for hours on end without moving, especially when you're doing something that makes the time fly. I find it helps me too, I often forget to take regular breaks but on the occasions I do, I'm thankful for it.
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  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Administrator Posts: 2,329 Scope community team
    My posture, if you can call it that, is awful. 
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

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  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Administrator Posts: 796 Pioneering
    Oh dear @Richard_Scope, that's not good :( 
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