For a healthy spine, keep these tips in mind!
If you know you will be standing for an extended period, make sure that you wear supportive shoes and make sure you know how to keep good posture. Good posture is the key to a healthy spine. Keep your head held high, chin very slightly tucked in and your shoulders relaxed and in line with your ears. Keep both feet about shoulder-width apart.
Working at a Desk
Make sure that you are getting up every 30 minutes to stretch, even if you just walk around for a few minutes. If possible, consider using a 'sit/stand' desk that allows you to regularly alter your position throughout the day.
Next, be sure you are seated correctly. Make sure you have a chair that offers good lower back support and is adjustable for your needs. You also want your feet flat on the floor with your knees at a 90 degree angle. If you need a small stool under your feet to do this, bring one to work. (A gently angled foot rest purchased from an office supply shop may work even better.) Your computer screen should be at eye-level so you are not looking down at it. An under desk tray for keyboard and mouse may help to keep your elbows and wrists at approximately 90 degree angles as well.
Lifting objects is one of the most common ways to injure yourself. Start by squatting down to the object with one foot slightly in front of the other. Keep your back straight, only bending at the knees and hips. Keep your head looking forward and lift the object by straightening your legs, still keeping your back straight. Hold the object close to your body. Never twist while picking something up. Only turn once you are fully upright. Keep the same idea in mind when you are putting the object back down. Never attempt to lift objects that are too heavy for your body size and strength. If manageable, get someone else to carefully share the load or use a carrying dolly that you can slide under the weight and roll to move.
Warming Up for Physical Activity
If you know that you are going to be working or playing for a while, make sure that you are adequately warmed up. Even when only performing light activities, like gardening or pushing your child on a bike, it's easy to pull something if you don’t prepare your body.
Talking On The Telephone
If you're forced to use the telephone for a long period of time, a speaker or a headset is a must. Do not cradle the phone between your neck and your shoulder as this could cause you to damage the muscles or vertebrae in that area. If you are texting or reading a cell phone, hold the phone close to eye level, shoulders relaxed to avoid prolonged forward bending of your neck and back. Use an angled stand on a desk for long term use.
Resting or Sleeping
Straining your neck or back while you're sleeping is a very common occurrence. We often fall asleep in positions where we are not supported properly, or we fall asleep with our necks at an odd angle. Make sure your pillow supports your neck and head so that it lays neutral with the rest of your spine. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended as it puts stress on your neck and your back.