7 Everyday Habits with Lasting Effects on Your Spine

What are some common everyday habits that affect the spine?

  1. Sitting for too long
  2. Bad posture
  3. Not enough exercise or movement
  4. Lifting heavy things incorrectly
  5. Smoking
  6. Wearing certain kinds of shoes
  7. Sleeping in certain positions or on a sagging mattress
All over the world, back pain accounts for most health complaints people have during medical consultations. People’s everyday habits have a profound effect on their spines. Their current lifestyle may also not be good for their backs. Here are 7 bad habits that affect the spine, and how you can fix them:  

Sitting for too long

Sitting for too long Spending too much time at a desk, often crouched by a laptop or mobile device, is one of the worst things you can do for your spine. The posture you adopt while sitting can put pressure on the lower part of your spine. That’s why it’s important to always sit up straight, and avoid sitting for too long as much as possible. Take quick walking or stretching breaks the next time while at your desk for long periods. You can also set a timer next to remind yourself to stand in between periods of sitting down for too long.  

Bad posture

Sitting isn’t the only time your posture affects your spine. Even when standing, your posture can still be slouched, affecting your shoulders and upper back as well. Unfortunately, this is quite common today since many spend their time looking down at screens with bent necks and rounded shoulders. The key to having a better posture is to be aware when you’re losing it. Remind yourself regularly to keep your back straight, square your shoulders, and loosen the tension in your neck.   

Not enough exercise or movement

Your muscles, ligaments, and tendons all need movement to function. Without regular movement and exercise, your body may become stiff. This can be temporary, but if it continues, it can get much worse and affect your spine permanently.  Your weight can also contribute back pain. Excessive weight gain with no exercise puts too much pressure on the bones, making overweight people suffer more spinal injuries over time.   

Lifting heavy things incorrectly

Lifting heavy things incorrectly Your spine can also be affected when you lift heavy things incorrectly. Doctors and chiropractors provide their patients with the correct ways of lifting to avoid this from happening. Next time you lift something heavy off the ground, try doing it this way:
  • Get close to the object—don’t just lean toward it as this will strain your upper back and shoulders.
  • Bend your knees (not your back!) and get a firm grip on the object.
  • Lift the object straight upwards (no twisting!) in one fluid motion.
  • Hold it close to your body as you move—again, don’t lean toward the object.
  • Bend your knees when you put it down.


Among a wide array of other symptoms, spine and tissue degeneration is another bad effect of nicotine on the body. This is because nicotine restricts the blood flow toward the discs of the spine which cushions the vertebrae. It also reduces the absorption of calcium, an important vitamin for bone growth and strength. This means that people who smoke often have weaker spines compared to non-smokers and are more prone to bone diseases like osteoporosis. When a smoker experience a broken bone, it may heal more slowly due to the lack of calcium. Worse, it can also affect other bones in your body—even in shocking areas such as your mouth. When you smoke, you're more likely to experience tooth decay, and may need the assistance of an experienced dentist in Drummoyne.

Wearing certain kinds of shoes

Some shoes affect the spine, too. Shoes without a proper cushion for your feet cause your spine to arch uncomfortably. If worn every day, these shoes can worsen your posture and strain your spine over time. To combat this, avoid wearing both high-heeled and flat-soled shoes every day.  Both of these extremes can be equally bad for spine health.  

Sleeping in certain positions or on a sagging mattress

Sleeping in certain positions or on a sagging mattress When you sleep, your neck and spine should be relaxed in a neutral position. This is something you may not have control over. To help you achieve a relaxed position while sleeping, you can focus on your mattress instead.  Choose a mattress that is not too lumpy since this can cause back pain and general stiffness. Remember, your neck should always be supported and you shouldn’t be feeling any uncomfortable bumps in the mattress you’re sleeping on.   

Key Takeaway

Now that you know the different habits that affect the spine, you can start to be more aware of this in your everyday life. Many assume back pain may go away, but ignoring them can only worsen it over time. If you experience regular back pain, consult with us here at Chiropractor Philippines. We can help you address these concerns right away, You can book a consultation with us at our chiropractor clinics in Manila.

Written By: Dr. Benedicto Luz Adorable III

Dr. Ben is the CEO and Founder of Philippine Chiropractic Healthcare Specialist. He has a Doctorate Degree of Chiropractic from Parker College of Chiropractic.

To read more about Dr. Ben, click here.

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