It must have been devastating for Canadian skier, Erik Guay to miss his opportunity to bring years of training to fruition when he damaged his back forcing him out of the competition. Lyndsey Vonn, the skier representing the US had a close call after suffering a back injury which put her place in jeopardy. And these are honed and trained athletes.
You don’t have to be an avid ice skater, or even a once-a-year skier to fall foul of the threat of back pain during the Winter Olympics. We enthusiastic spectators, from the apparent comfort of our own sofa need to be mindful of our backs.
A lot of it is about posture: be aware of that slouch. Sit up straight, with a good support behind you. Try to keep your neck and head aligned with your shoulders – that’s especially applicable if you’re watching highlights on your phone or laptop as you’re likely to be looking downwards at the screen. Keep both feet flat on the floor. (You can take a look at our other blog dealing with posture in the office here).
Athletes take breaks: so should you! Sitting in one position for too long is no good for your back. Stand up, have a stretch, walk around every 15-20 minutes, keeping your back straight and head up. Be aware of drooping shoulders whether sitting or standing.
It may seem strange at first as you retrain your back to become accustomed to its properly-aligned position, but the benefits you will reap in terms of reducing your risk of back pain are enormous. We can’t promise you’ll qualify for Beijing in 2022, but at least you’re more likely to be comfortable when you watch it.
In the meantime, if you want a good start, pop in to see us and we’ll help you get your back into a correct starting position.