Back Health for Students: 3 Tips to Keep You Standing Tall on Campus

If you’ve ever been a student , chances are you’ve dealt with back, neck and shoulder pain that comes with lugging around heavy books, laptops and other necessities. Starting from an early age, students are made to carry potentially harmful amounts of weight in their backpacks. An amount of weight that unfortunately tends to increase as we move from grade to grade. 

20 Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Back

Working at Lumo Bodytech, I spend a lot of time thinking about the back. In addition to trying to achieve my 8+ hours of good posture, I also stay up to date on all the latest back health, spine studies and posture tidbits circulating the web. On the daily, I read some really interesting stuff, ranging from respected journals to blogs and Buzzfeed. Here are the top 20 surprising facts I’ve come across in my quest for back knowledge.

8 Simple Moves to Strengthen Your Back

Chances are you’ve heard about the benefits that come from a strong core, but what about a strong back? Weak back muscles can lead to back pain (particularly lower back pain), poor posture, fatigue, limited fitness performance and even issues with the hips and legs. Fortunately, there are hundreds of exercises you can do to strengthen your back and improve your overall well-being.

7 Deadly Posture Sins

Bad posture isn’t just hunching over — though it’s definitely number 1 on our list of postures to avoid. There are a multitude of bad habits and positions that are harmful to your back (and we’re all guilty of them too). Read on to find out what the 7 most deadly posture sins are so you can avoid pain, injury and trips to the doctor.

Try These 3 Short Exercises To Ease Your Lower Back Pain

Do you belong to the two-thirds of Americans who suffer from lower back pain? While nearly 72 percent use pain medication as a way to relieve their symptoms, more than 55 percent use heat and cold packs at home for relief. But is this getting to the root issue: our ways of moving? We’ve been hunched over our smartphones or laptops, sitting at our desk and slumped over on the couch and our body have adapted to these chronically poor positions of our modern lifestyle.

To address this, more and more doctors suggest their patients to move and train their back muscles to ease lower back pain. Here are 3 short exercises to help you ease your lower back pain. If you’re someone who suffers from severe back pain or a herniated disc, make sure to check with your doctor before taking part in these movements.

Step Up Your Work Day Activity

Keep up with the latest posture, back health and corporate wellness news with our weekly round up of interesting and useful articles.

What’s trending this week?

The focus these days seem to be on getting up and moving to reduce sitting time. Sitting, especially in poor posture, for extended amounts of time is destroying our health, and causing all sorts of aches, pains and issues. Here’s our weekly round up of articles that provide insights, tips and information on work day activity as well as for general posture and health.

Upright or Reclined?: Why We Advocate Maintaining a Neutral Spine

Here at Lumo BodyTech, we advocate upright posture with a neutral pelvis and a straight, stacked spine. Our technology is designed to detect pelvic tilt and Lumo Back gives you a gentle vibration to remind you when you slouch out of a neutral pelvis position.

Charles Wang, M.D. Co-Founder

Charles Wang, M.D.
Co-Founder

We are often asked, however, why we believe this is the healthiest posture. One often-quoted study from 2006, for example, suggests that sitting in a reclined position with a 135-degree angle between your thighs and torso is the best position for your back health.

I love getting questions from all of our smart and curious Lumo Backers, so I wanted to explain why Lumo Back is designed to promote neutral pelvis posture.

First of all, we believe that the best posture is always the next posture. Our bodies were made to move, so frequent movement is always preferable to any sedentary position. Even if you have to sit all day at work, standing up for a quick stretch break or short walk to the water cooler is an easy way to “reset” your posture and improve your health.  Try to do this as often as you can.

Obviously, we do all have to sit and stand still sometimes. When you maintain a neutral pelvic position with a straight and upright back, the vertebrae in your back are nicely aligned. This takes a lot of pressure off of your spine and back muscles, which can reduce back pain.

 The study that advocates sitting in a 135-degree position suggests that such a position places less strain on your low back because it minimizes the amount of spinal disc movement that occurs. We don’t believe that this reclined posture is ideal for a number of reasons.

Diagram from the aformentioned study, advocating a reclined seated position.  Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6187080.stm

Diagram from the aformentioned study, advocating a reclined seated position. Note that LUMOback recommends a more upright seated posture. 
Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6187080.stm

 

First, it is very difficult to maintain. Your back still needs to be straight in a reclined position for this position to be beneficial. While a well designed reclining chair at home might offer adequate support, most chairs make it difficult to sit in a reclined position without collapsing your lower back into a harmful kyphotic, or slouchy, position.

Second, it causes neck and upper back strain. As shown in the above image of a 135 degree reclining position, there is a huge tendency to jut your neck forward and out of line with your spine in order to read or look at a screen.  A 135 degree position, while comfortable if you are lounging and keeping your neck and upper back aligned and supported with the lower back, is not a functional position for us to work for a sustained period of time.  In an office setting, you’re likely to have to crane your neck to see your computer screen and strain your upper back and shoulders to reach a keyboard. Thus, any potential lower back benefits of a reclined position are outweighed by the negative impacts on your upper back and neck.

Upright posture is the most functional for

Upright posture with a neutral pelvic position is the most functional for office work.

The neutral pelvis and lumbar spinal posture we are advocating is most functional for the longest period of time, making it useful in doing the desk work and computer work that has become the mainstay of many of our occupations.

Click here to learn how to get into good posture.

I am by no means saying that you need to ditch your comfy recliner at home or that sinking into a plush couch for a little while is necessarily harmful. However, we believe that maintaining upright posture with a neutral pelvis is one of the best and easiest ways to promote good back health, especially in a work environment, and to improve appearance and confidence.

So remember: sit straight, stand tall, and keep moving!

1 2