All of us may experience back pain at some point in our lives. Have you thought about why it happens? It is often the result of repeated behaviors that stress your body. Most of us never gave much thought to it until our back starts feeling sore. The things that we do have a huge impact on our bodies. There are various ways by which we hurt our spine and our backs with our lifestyle habits. The way you lift a heavy object, the way you sit/stand/bend, or the way you sleep can affect your spine for better or worse. All of these put a lot of strain on your back muscles and cause pain.

The key to avoiding back pain is to eliminate common poor lifestyle habits. Check out which are those habits you might be doing unknowingly.

  1. Sedentary lifestyle– Not doing any physical activity or not exercising is one of the main culprits. You are vulnerable to many back issues if you have not included exercise as a part of your daily routine. If you are not exercising, especially abdominal strengthening exercises might lead to poor posture and increased low back pain. You should aim to exercise for at least 30-40 mins, weekly 3 or 4 times. Not exercising at all is another backbreaker over a while.


  1. Posture– Poor posture strains muscles and adds stress to your spine. Incorrect posture while lifting a heavy object can injure you. Most of us hunch or slouch while sitting, isn’t it? This can cause damage to the discs between the vertebrae if you slouch/hunch continuously for a long time. Sitting for too long is also a backbreaker as it puts more pressure on the spine than standing. So, you should take a break frequently about every 30 mins to stretch out yourself. The stress of poor posture over a long time can change the anatomical features of the spine.

  1. Sleeping position – Your sleeping position affects your back. Mattresses also affect your back. You should pick a not too firm and not too soft mattress that provides support and moulds itself as per the shape of your back.

  1. Smoking– Smokers are thrice more likely to suffer from back pain. Nicotine limits blood supply to the discs that cushion the vertebrae and increases the rate of degeneration. The loss of cushion can lead to back pain. Smoking also reduces calcium absorption and prevents new bone growth. Therefore, smokers are at an increased risk for osteoporosis and slower healing after a bone fracture, which can cause back pain.

  1. Backpacks– Many people have the habit of stuffing up handbags or backpacks with extra items that increase the load. This results in an imbalance in the shoulders and leads to back pain. Your bag weight should not be more than about 10% of your total body weight. Make it a point to always wear the backpack on both your shoulder with the waistband fastened, which will remove the weight off your back. Also, it’s time to lighten the load and hence, ensure that everything in your backpack/briefcase/ handbag is 100% necessary.

  1. High heels – High heels can be trendy but those spoil the curvature of the back and leads to an altered posture. Your poor back has to compensate for the change in your centre of gravity to keep you upright. Your favorite high heels can put the foot at an angle that endorses tension in your spine which leads to low back, neck and shoulder pain. Wearing heels regularly may lead to serious damage to your spine.

  1. Diet– An unhealthy diet can lead to excess weight which in turn, puts a lot of strain on your back. Weight gain hurts the spine.  Eating an excess of junk food, high-calorie foods, and sweets also increases inflammation in the body and can cause several back problems. Caffeine present in coffee and soda might decrease calcium absorption. Calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients for bone strength. Ensure that you eat a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet.

All the above habits are not good for your back and must be ditched if you care for your back and want to ward off back pain.

Making small changes in your daily lifestyle will lead to an improvement in back health. Do not disregard your back pain when there are things you could do! You can use a few ergonomic products that can help in supporting your back.