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Say No to Couch Potato

Published on 05 December 2012  | Download | back to previous

This is an image from this news item.Many forecasters are predicting a harsh winter this year, so it will be extremely tempting to stay in the warm and relax in front of the television. However, with 36% of Brits saying that their back pain is triggered by sitting still for long periods of time, Young's Spinal Health offers the following advice on how “couch potatoes” can keep their backs healthy:-

• The ‘squishier' the sofa the worse it is for your back, ideally you would benefit from a firm sofa where the hips are positioned higher than the knees. This position reduces the pressure on the low back, which in turn reduces the risk of back pain.

If you don't have a firm sofa:-

• It is a good idea to have a range of chairs in the living room rather than always choosing to sit on the sofa.

• Vary your seating position – you should alternate sitting on the sofa to sitting on the floor with your back rested firmly against the base of the sofa to keep your posture upright.

• Lie down rather than sitting for long periods of time. You can also place a pillow between your legs to open the pelvic joints.

Regardless of the type of sofa, follow these measures:-

• It is important to ensure you get up at regular intervals (at least every 20 minutes) to change position and walk around the house to stretch your muscles.

• Allow yourself to move while you are still seated and not stay completely stationary, for example, roll your shoulders forward and backwards to loosen your muscles.

The British Chiropractic Association has launched Straighten Up UK, a three minute exercise programme for all ages, designed to help strengthen the spine and improve posture. Easy to learn and do, the sequence of exercises consists of precise, slow stretches, each with a specific purpose. This exercise can be carried out during television advertising breaks and is most effective when performed daily. To see a video of these exercises please follow this link,

If you are developing low back pain, don't let it affect your Christmas. Contact Young's Spinal Health today on 01656 856162 or e-mail us on
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