The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is urging people to think about what they put their backs through during an average day, as research findings reveal that sleeping and sitting are two of the main culprits for triggering neck and back pain in the UK.
More than three quarters (77%) of people surveyed say they are currently experiencing back or neck pain or have done in the past. Nearly a quarter (24%) say they suffer on a daily basis.
Surprisingly, it’s not strenuous exercise putting most people’s backs out – 43% of respondents pin sleeping as their most common pain trigger and 44% said sitting is also a trigger.
It seems modern lifestyle could be to blame; 82% of those surveyed say they spend up to six hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen and almost one in five (19%) spend more than 4 hours a day watching TV.
Today, as part of BackCare Awareness Week (6-12 October) the BCA is warning that inactive lifestyles could be causing unnecessary pain and is encouraging the nation to make small adjustments to daily routines, to help improve their back health.
Breakdown of a sedentary day:
• 73% spend more than six hours sleeping
• 28% spend over six hours sitting
• 33% spend between two and six hours looking at a laptop or tablet
• 49% spend between two and six hours watching TV or a film
• 82% spend up to six hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen
BCA chiropractor, Rishi Loatey comments: “As a nation we’re becoming increasingly sedentary and struggle to switch off – whether it’s sitting at a desk or lounging on the sofa, hunching over a mobile device or lying in bed for too long, the effects of modern lifestyles are taking their toll. Understanding how to sit properly and keeping active will help improve posture, strengthen muscles and therefore reduce neck and back pain.
“With 35 million working days a year lost to back and neck related problems* it’s really important that people think about their back health when going about their daily business, and that they seek help from an expert if they are in pain to avoid more long term problems.”
The BCA’s TOP TIPS for maintaining a healthy back and neck:
- Sit up straight – keep arms close to the body and supported if possible. Make sure the top of the screen is level with the eyebrows and the chair is titled slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips and the feet to be flat on the floor. Sit into the back of the chair and use as much of the chair for support.
- Keep moving – if sitting in the same position all day take regular breaks – ideally every 30 minutes. It’s good to stretch your arms, shrug your shoulders and move your fingers around – this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed.
- Switch off – try to limit the time you spend leaning over your mobile devices or with your laptop on your knees especially after a day spent in front of a screen, to help improve your posture and relieve neck strain.
- Sleep easy – test out your mattress before you buy it to find the perfect one and lie on your side rather than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side.
Take your first step towards enjoying your life more
From the team at Well Adjusted Health
Providing gentle chiropractic in West Sussex
including Ashington, Storrington, Steyning, Southwater, Horsham, Shoreham, Worthing and Billingshurst