Posture is also key in maintaining back health. In addition to being aware of slouching or holding your head too far forward while sitting, the doctors recommend sitting with the feet supported, the hips level with or slightly above the knees, the spine slightly reclined, and a small arch in the lower back maintained.
If sitting at a computer, the shoulders should be relaxed and away from the ears, the elbows bent to about 90 degrees and resting by the sides, the wrists neutral (not bent up, down, or away from each other), and the head facing front without protruding forward.
If using a mobile phone or tablet for texting or web browsing, hold it up instead of bending your neck to look down, the doctors say. The more you look down at a mobile phone or tablet, the more the muscles have to work to keep your head up, which can lead to strain. At just 45 degrees, your neck muscles are doing the work of lifting a 50-pound bag of potatoes, the doctors say.
“When possible put devices at eye level,” says Dr. Angevine.