When we experience a sore back or neck, we often try to tie it to something we have done that may be either out of the ordinary or excessive such as lifting a heavy pot or walking for longer than normal. Sometimes this may be correct, however there are some commonly neglected little habits that we repeat regularly that can be just as punishing on our bodies.
What are they?
The first is sitting posture. While we are often conscious of our back posture, little thought is given to how we position our legs when we sit. Many people instinctively sit with one leg crossed over the other, and worse still it is often always the same leg! Crossing the ankles and bending the knees so that the feet are behind the knees are also common positions people adopt without conscious awareness. These positions can lead to unhappy backs, hips and knees.
Talking on the phone
Another common culprit of neck pain in particular is head position while speaking on the phone. Again, many people favour the one ear or side when talking on the phone and commonly tilt their head and neck slightly towards that side which puts extra stress on the neck muscles and joints. Worse still is when we try to talk on the phone while using both of our hands, which requires us to hold the phone between our ear and our shoulder.
The final culprits have a combined effect, especially when done close together. These activities involve anything where we bend with our heads looking down. The most common ones include vacuuming, preparing and cooking foods, reading and gardening. Unfortunately we spend far too much time looking down and bending forward rather than looking up and stretching back. This imbalance puts pressure on the neck and back muscles in particular as they strain to hold the body in this position.
What can I do?
Of course the way to offset these common culprits comes down to 2 major things.
Take notice of how you instinctively perform your regular “day to day” activities. Having awareness allows you to make conscious changes.
Once you are aware of your defaults, try to vary them. Variation in position and movement is what drives the health of the body.