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.
- 1. Humans are born with 33 vertebrae, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. As we grow, 4 vertebrae fuse to develop the tailbone and 5 fuse to form the back of the pelvis, leaving us with only 26 vertebrae for the rest of our adult lives.
- 2. The number one spot for tattoos is on the back.
- 3. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 44,400 chiropractors practicing in the United States.
- 4. Back pain is one of the number one reasons for doctors visits and missed work days.
- 5. Approximately 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.
- 6. Our backbones are pretty darn strong. The average human back can sustain weight up to 220 pounds (100 kg).
- 7. There are over 200 muscles in the back, 120 of which support the spine.
- 8. Humans and giraffes both have seven cervical vertebrae in their necks.
- 9. Car accidents are the number one cause of spinal cord trauma. Men are 70% more likely to experience a spinal cord trauma than women. This could be because men generally bigger risk takers and participate in more extreme sports and activities.
- 10. Adolescent females are more likely to suffer from scoliosis, a sideways curve in the spine, than their male counterparts. Humans are the only mammals to suffer from the condition.
- 11. The spine naturally has 3 curves and is so flexible, it can form ⅔ of a perfect circle when bent
- 12. It’s never too late to fix your posture. First, it’s easy to make your work station more ergonomic. To get started, check out this guide by Crossover Health medicine lead, Daniel Lord: http://bit.ly/2bxacP6. Another option is Lumo Lift – a wearable posture coach and activity tracker that pairs with your smartphone and gives you gentle reminders to sit up straight when you start to slouch. Lumo Lift is available for purchase on our website at www.lumolift.com.
- 13. Good posture can make you feel more confident. When we stand up straight, we get a surge of hormones, including testosterone. Poor posture can lead to depression, decrease circulation and even make you constipated.
- 14. On average, the spinal cord is about 45 cm (18 in) in men and about 43 cm (17 in) long in women.
- 15. When astronauts return from space, they often come back taller than when they left Earth. When gravity is removed, cartilage can expand.
- 16. A baby’s backbone begins to develop 2 months after conception.
- 17. American’s spend at least $50 billion dollars on back pain treatments per year.
- 18. Some scientists suggest that much of our back pain stems from evolution. Although our spines are capable of bearing impressive amounts of weight and keep us standing upright, they are not a perfect design.
- 19. Studies show that smoking increases your risk for back pain because nicotine decreases our circulation and blood flow. Smokers also typically need to take more pain medication than non-smokers.
- 20. You are taller when you wake up than when you go to bed. Much like astronauts in space, your spine has had 8 hours without a downward gravitational pull, allowing the cartilage to expand.
Did any of these fun facts surprise you? Let us know in the comments below.
Start your positive habit change today with Lumo Lift
Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone, Windows desktop and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.
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