Sleep is often an overlooked part of any healthy living plan. The body requires sleep for both physical and mental health. Some of the benefits of sleep include, higher pain threshold, increased immunity, better memory and mood and weight loss. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep each night for adults between 18 to 64. In 2011, it was reported that 61 percent of Canadian adults get fewer than 8 hours of sleep each night, 30 percent of which get fewer than 6 hours a night.
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According to an article on FSP Health & Fitness, no matter how well we eat or if we exercise two hours a day, spending hours and hours sitting down in front of the computer destroys our health more than we realize.
The below infographic shows all the problems from head to toe, that are caused by sitting all day.
Someone recently asked me what’s the most popular piece of advice I give patients with back pain. Although you might think it’s advise on how to stretch or strengthen your back, both of which are important, getting out of chair properly seems to resonate the most with patients. Most likely because its a piece of advise that is used multiple times throughout a day, but also it usually provides patients with instant, albeit short term, pain relief.
So here are some tips on how to get our of a chair and decrease lower back pain.
1. Ensure that feet are firmly on the floor and approximately shoulder width apart.
2. Slide your bottom to the front of the chair
3. If arm rests are available place both hands on the arm rest. If there are no arm rests, then place both hands on the edge of the chair.
4. Keep the spine in a neutral position, do not lean forward. (This is a very important step. Leaning forward can compress the spine and discs within the spine which can cause pain)
5. Push down through your arms as you help unload your weight off the chair.
6. As you are pushing down through your arms, also push through the heels of your feet and straighten the legs, while letting go of the chair with your hands.
7. Stand up straight.
Other important tips; ensure you are not holding your breath while getting out of the chair and try to engage your core muscles throughout the movement to reduce pressure on the spine.
These tips may not help all types of back pain but for general pain this can reduce discomfort while reducing pressure and compression of the spine.
For most of us, a long winter results in a long period of inactivity, but jumping into gardening at the first sight of the sun can often lead to injured or aching muscles and joints.
In fact, eighty per cent of Ontario chiropractors report that gardening is the most common source of back and neck pain during the warm weather season. With the busiest gardening weekends just around the corner, it’s time to discuss how to plant and rake without the ache!
All avid gardeners understand that you must prepare the grounds before you plant; the same is true for gardening itself. To help avoid injury, you must prepare your body before you start any gardening activities. This starts with a proper warm up.
A good warm up may include a brisk 10 minute walk around the block, as this will increase circulation to the muscles and joints used during gardening. Once warmed up, it is essential to stretch your muscles.