Although we like to see ourselves as free-willed beings, we are all creatures of habit. Our habits shape our lives to an extent, having an impact on our productivity, health and relationships. Unfortunately, some of these habits can have a detrimental impact.
In this post, our Fareham chiropractor highlights a few habits which sometimes have a negative impact on the health of the spine. Being aware of these habits will help you avoid them or take action to mitigate the damage they can cause.
If you have any questions, please contact our leading Fareham Chiropractic Clinic, Homewood Chiropractic, by calling 01329 280 283.
#1 – Sitting On The Couch For Hours Watching TV
Many of the patients visiting Homewood Chiropractic Clinic for the first time admit to having this habit. Unfortunately, researchers have discovered that prolonged sitting is associated with a variety of health concerns including:
- Higher risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes
- Higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Excess body fat, particularly around the waist
- Poor posture
- Weak legs and glute muscles
- Stiff shoulders and neck
- Varicose veins
- Tight hips
- Increased risk of obesity and much more.
Extended sitting is also bad for the health of the spine. It forces the spine to become compressed, which takes a toll on the invertebrate discs. It can also weaken the ligaments and muscles in the back, placing additional stress on the spine.
It’s very common for people who spend a lot of time sitting to eventually seek out treatment for lower back pain from one of our team of Fareham chiropractors. In most cases, we recommend a combination of physical exercise, chiropractic treatments and lifestyle adjustments to counteract time on the sofa.
#2 – Being Glued To Your Smartphone
The average Brit spends about 2.5 hours on their smartphone each day, which is a serious amount of screen time.
Unfortunately, this habit tends to involve a lot of leaning forward and looking down. Over time, this can cause a postural condition called forward head posture, where the head is positioned in front of the body and the neck is leaning forwards. This condition can push the upper spine into an overly flexed position and compress the spinal discs.
Do your best to limit smartphone usage to short bursts of time and hold the device higher up when possible, so you aren’t constantly looking down.
#3 – Not Working In An Ergonomic Way
If the ergonomics of your work environment are poor, it can result in additional strain being placed on the spine. If work is causing you pain, read this short guide on ergonomics and human factors at work. You can also visit our Fareham Chiropractors to learn more about workplace ergonomics.
#4 – Smoking
Everyone knows that smoking is a dangerous habit because it increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease. But did you know that smoking can also affect the health of the spine?
Researchers have found that smoking can impact bone health and cause premature disc degeneration. Smoking affects circulation to invertebrate discs, which makes it harder for the discs to receive the nutrients they require. Without complete nutrition, they are more likely to become thin, dry out and crack.
#5 – Not Thinking About Your Posture
If you are like most people, you probably don’t put much thought into the way you position your body. You probably sit or stand in the most comfortable position possible, even if it places undue strain on certain parts of the body.
Unfortunately, this can increase the risk of poor posture, which may impact the health of the spine. The solution to countering this habit is to be more mindful about how you position yourself. Remember that engaging several muscle groups evenly is healthier than relaxing major muscle groups then placing an excessive amount of strain on one muscle or joint.
If you are concerned about your posture, talk to one of our chiropractic team at Homewood. They will perform an assessment to determine if you need to receive treatment and will provide you with some lifestyle adjustments that will improve your posture.
#6 – Skipping Your Workouts
If you are in the habit of skipping workouts during the week, you may be risking the health of your spine. Exercise is important for maintaining the health of the spine for several reasons. Regular exercise will:
- Keep the connective fibres of ligaments and tendons flexible which reduces stiffness, improves mobility and reduces the risk of injury
- Strengthen the bones in the spine
- Reduce the risk of degenerative diseases like arthritis
- Help you maintain a healthy weight, which reduces the load on the spine
Failing to get in 3-4 sessions of at least 25 minutes of aerobic exercise per week may see a worsening of spinal health over time.
#7 – Excessive Use Of Sunscreen
We don’t get too many sunny days in the UK, but when we do, Brits react in some unusual ways. One common reaction is to lather on huge amounts of sunscreen because of the risk of skin cancer.
This is a sensible habit, but only if you are spending a long time in the sun. If you are only getting 15 or 20 minutes sun exposure per day, wearing sunscreen can adversely impact your health.
How? Well, the human body uses sun exposure to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that is used by the body to absorb calcium, which is important for maintaining good bone health. If you rarely get any sun and lather on sunscreen when you go outside, your vitamin D levels may become low, which risks the health of your spine.
Get into the habit of only applying sunscreen when you know you will be spending more than 15 minutes in the sun.
If you are in pain or discomfort our chiropractors at Homewood Chiropractic Clinic in Fareham are here to help you. You can call us on 01329 280 283 to book an appointment or Book Online at our website here.