By Ananya Sarkar, Kolkata, India
City life today has become mostly sedentary. This is not to say that we, city-dwellers, don’t do any work. But given the various gadgets and equipment at our disposal, we are free of much of the physical labour that our counterparts in towns and villages have to undergo.
Lack of physical activity often leads to a lot of health problems, one of the most common being backache. This is most widely faced by office-goers, who have to sit for long hours. Very few can sit upright without tending to bend a little after some time. Moreover, most of our everyday activities require us to bend forwards, such as reading the newspaper, picking up things, peering out of the window and so on. In doing so, our spine gets strained more than we realise. As a result, a persistent backache develops that is only temporarily relieved on ingesting analgesics or applying balm.
But you are pressed for time every day and do not have the time for exercise or yoga. So, how do you get rid of that nagging ache for good? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back, literally! Here are 4 easy tips that can help you knock out that pain:
1. Stretch Yourself Often
Do you have a good stretch after waking up? Likewise, do you take the time to stretch from time to time amidst your work? If the answers to these are “no”, you are inviting a severe backache over time. Stretching in the workplace may be against work etiquette. However, the best way to counter that is to stretch yourself each time you visit the washroom. That way, your back gets flexed, which helps release any tight knots in the back muscles and gears the spine for a more upright posture.
2. Do “Yes/No” Exercises Frequently
Another important way to keep your back fit is to do frequent “yes/no” exercises. This literally means turning your neck from side to side (“no”) and then up and down (“yes”). But you need not allot any separate time if that seems difficult. Try doing this simple exercise after completing every task or each time you drink water. Make it into a habit. The more frequently you move your head in all directions, the lesser the strain on your spine, which in turn keeps your back supple.
3. Sleep Without a Pillow
Believe it or not, both your neck and back get relief when you toss away the pillow in bed. Lying in a position such that your head and feet are on the same surface helps your spine to avoid being stiff. When your body is resting on the same level, the base metabolism is perfect and your spine is well-rested. This will reduce any backache that you may be experiencing till it disappears.
4. Sleep on a Hard Surface
Sleeping on a hard surface such as the floor or the bed without any mattress is infinitely beneficial for your back. A soft bed, though more comfortable, does not support your spine correctly when you sleep. However, a hard surface helps your body alignment, which keeps pain in the back at bay. Your back is straightened through proper support, which provides an ideal posture. This, in turn, causes back pain to decrease.
The above tips will help drive away that backache like a breeze. And the best part is that you do not have to devote any extra time for exercises. All you need to do is remember to incorporate certain healthy habits in your lifestyle and voila, your back pain will be gone in no time!