Follow these simple guidelines to keep your back in good shape:
Standing… keeping one foot forward of the other, with knees slightly bent, takes the pressure off your low back.
Sitting… sitting with your knees slightly higher than your hips provides good low back support.
Reaching… stand on a stool to reach things that are above your shoulder level.
Moving Heavy Items… pushing is easier on your back than pulling. Use your arms and legs to start the push. If you must lift a heavy item, get someone to help you.
Lifting… kneel down on one knee with the other foot flat on the floor as near as possible to the item you are lifting. Lift with your legs, not your back, keeping the object close to your body at all times.
Carrying… two small objects (one in either hand) may be easier to handle than one large one. If you must carry one large object, keep it close to your
Sleeping… sleeping on your back puts 55 lbs. of pressure on your back. Putting a couple of pillows under your knees cuts the pressure in half. Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees also reduces the pressure.
Weight Control… additional weight puts a strain on your back. Keep within 10 lbs. of your ideal weight for a healthier back.
Quit Smoking… smokers are more prone to back pain than nonsmokers because nicotine restricts the flow of blood to the discs that cushion your vertebrae.
Minor Back Pain… treat minor back pain with anti-inflammatories and gentle stretching, followed by an ice pack.
We all want to live happy and fulfilling lives and we want the people we love to be happy too. So happiness matters to all of us.
Happiness is about our lives as a whole: it includes the fluctuating feelings we experience everyday but also our overall satisfaction with life. It is influenced by our genes, upbringing and our external circumstances – such as our health, our work and our financial situation. But crucially it is also heavily influenced by our choices – our inner attitudes, how we approach our relationships, our personal values and our sense of purpose.
There are many things in life that matter to us – including health, freedom, autonomy and achievement. But if we ask why they matter we can generally give further answers – for example, that they make people feel better or more able to enjoy their lives. But if we ask why it matters if people feel better, we can give no further answer. It is self-evidently desirable. Our overall happiness – how we feel about our lives – is what matters to us most.
In recent years there have been substantial advances in the science of well-being with a vast array of new evidence as to the factors that affect happiness and ways in which we can measure happiness more accurately. We now have an opportunity to use this evidence to make better choices and to increase well-being in our personal lives, homes, schools, workplaces and communities.
The research shows that we need a change of priorities, both at the societal level and as individuals. Happiness and fulfilment come less from material wealth and more from relationships; less from focussing on ourselves and more from helping others; less from external factors outside our control and more from the way in which we choose to react to what happens to us.
If we agree that for all human beings it is important that they experience happiness and escape misery, then it follows that the best society is the one in which there is the least misery and the most happiness.
On this basis, everyone’s happiness counts equally. This includes the happiness of everybody now alive as well as that of future generations. So it is important that we act in a way that takes the happiness of all into consideration. If we can agree on this then we’re one step closer to achieving a happier society.