A day in the life of your back

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Ian and Richard are urging you to think about what you put your 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. Surprisingly, it’s not strenuous exercise putting most people’s ‘backs out’ – 43% of UK respondents said sleeping was their most common pain trigger and 44% said sitting was also a trigger.

In a recent survey in the Midlands 71% of you said that they were currently experiencing back or neck pain or have done in the past. Almost a third – 31% said they suffered on a daily basis*.  In the UK, 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.

As part of Back Care Awareness Week Ian and Richard advise that inactive lifestyles are likely to be causing unnecessary pain and are encouraging you to make small adjustments to daily routines, to help improve their back health. Simply put move more and:-

‘Anything better than zero movement is good’

Sobering statistics – the breakdown of a typical 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

“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.”

WellBeing Clinics TOP TIPS for maintaining a healthy back and neck:

  • Sit up straight – keep arms relaxed and close to the body and place arms on the desk when typing. 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.
  • 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 right one for you.  Lie on your side rather than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side.

For more information on how to maintain a healthy posture, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has developed ‘Straighten Up’ – a simple, three minute exercise programme for all ages, designed to help strengthen the spine and improve posture and help joints – watch it below.

If you have any specific questions about a problem and you would like speak to one of our Derby Chiropractors just call us on 01332 224820.  Don’t worry you won’t get any ‘high pressure sales tactics to coerce you to come in’ – just honest, professional advice on your best course of action.


Don’t forget if you do decide to come in we also offer a 100% money back guarantee.

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*Taken from ONS Report ‘Sickness Absence in the Labour Market, February 2014’.

  1. Research was commissioned in January 2014 on a sample of 2006 UK adults.*Sample of 127 adults from the East and West Midlands responded to the question ‘have you ever suffered from neck or back pain’ and 91 adults from the East and West Midlands responded to the question ‘how often do you suffer from neck or back pain’.
  2. Chiropractic is a primary contact health profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and management of many conditions that are due to problems with bones, joints, muscles and nerves, particularly those of the spine.
  3. The BCA is the largest and longest established association for chiropractors in the UK. Chiropractic is a statutorily regulated healthcare profession, regulated by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). Members of the BCA must abide by the GCC’s Code of Conduct and Standard of Proficiency. The association only accepts from an internationally recognised college of chiropractic education.  Chiropractic care offers hands on pain management and focuses on muscles, joints and nerves.  Chiropractic is suitable for all ages and can help with a wide range of problems
  4. Chiropractic treatment mainly involves safe, often gentle spinal manipulation to free joints in the spine or other areas of the body that are not moving properly. Apart from manipulation, chiropractors may use a wide variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice about posture.

About the Author:

Derby Chiropractor Ian Reed and co founder of WellBeing Clinics Derby