We all lead busy lives. But there are many preventable things we do every day that can cause us to become injured or ill. Repetitive habits, lack of awareness of health and fitness knowledge and poor ‘work/life’ balance can lead to us needing specialist help from doctors, physiotherapists and other health professionals. So, what kind of common mistakes do we make which can cause issues? Here are the 7 most common mistakes we make on a daily basis (clue – number 2 and 6 are the ones we see the most:
1.Taking the lift
Taking the stairs instead of the lift could reduce the risk of dying young by 15%, a study has suggested. Increasing the number of stairs climbed in a day improves fitness and reduces body fat, which in turn helps to keep the heart healthy!
2. Phone Use
Modern day life and phones come hand in hand – however using a phone consistently can come with problems. Eyes can become strained over time from using your phone at night, which in turn can cause headaches and poor sleep. Dr Kenneth Hansraj (a spinal surgeon in New York) has suggested that prolonged texting can also hugely increase the load on your neck, creating postural issues and muscular pain.
Driving or sitting for long periods can have some serious health consequences, including heart disease, increased insulin production (increasing the risk of diabetes), reduced bone density and digestion problems. In fact, a study published in a journal on diabetes suggested that sitting for 8 hours or more per day is associated with a 90% increase risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Crazy! This doesn’t even include the huge increase in back and neck pain – keep moving people!
4. Carrying a bag
If you wear your backpack over just one shoulder, or carry your books in a messenger bag, you may end up leaning to one side to offset the extra weight. In return, you might develop lower and upper back pain and strain your shoulders and neck. Not using a backpack properly can lead to bad posture too.
5. Shoe choice
Prolonged overloading as a result of shoes that don’t provide adequate support can ultimately cause all sorts of joint problems such as arthritis and also knee pain – especially in the case of high heels. In clinic, we commonly see lower back, heel and knee pain from poor footwear choices.
6. Lifting more than you can carry
Otherwise known as overload. If there is a deficit in strength vs ‘load tolerance’, then there is a risk of soft tissue injury – most commonly in tendons. Most common is the rotator cuff, the elbow (tennis elbow is rarely caused by playing tennis!) and the patella tendon in the knee.
7. Eating on the go
Eating on the go may make dieters overeat later in the day, said Professor Jane Ogden from the University of Surrey. This may be because walking is a powerful form of distraction which disrupts our ability to process the impact eating has on our hunger.
There you have it – 7 things we do every day which can cause us injury and illness. Watch out for next weeks post about how we can make small changes to these things to ensure can live a healthy and active life!
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