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How to Prevent Lower Back Pain That Plagues 85% of Canadians

11/03/2014 05:33 EST | Updated 01/03/2015 05:59 EST
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*Co-authored by Alexis Dobranowski

Did you know that 85 per cent of Canadians will be sidelined by low back pain in their lifetime? Andrea Bean and Suzanne Denis, physiotherapists at Sunnybrook's Holland Centre, share some ways you can prevent low back pain.

Be aware of high-risk jobs: Workers in some jobs have higher incidents of back pain. If you work in construction or nursing, jobs with heavy or repeated lifting in awkward positions or with prolonged forward leaning you may be at higher risk for developing back pain. Be sure to practice safe lifting techniques and good body mechanics. (Check the link for some good tips on safely performing daily tasks.)

Sitting is the new smoking: Even if your job requires no heavy lifting, you could still be at risk. New research suggests that office workers who sit at desks suffer from back pain as well as other health issues. Be sure to set up your workspace properly, and take frequent breaks to stand up and move around. Have a walking meeting with a colleague. Or take a quick walk at lunch. Park further away or get off the bus a stop early.

Move, move, move: Adding physical activity into your daily routine is key to preventing back pain as well as countless other health problems. Try for 30 minutes of moderate activity each day. That could be a walk, gardening, cycling or swimming -- anything that gets your heart rate up.

Read more health tips from our experts at health.sunnybrook.ca

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