Our home can be a constant source of health risks. Did you know, for instance, that the majority of fall-related accidents happen at home? The stairs and the slippery bathroom floor are common culprits. Thankfully, many homeowners are familiar with fall risks and take preventive measures to reduce exposure. Unfortunately, fall is only one of the many health risks that await you at home.
Chronic back pain is a frequent occurrence for homeowners. Indeed, many leisure activities such as DIY and gardening could lead to harmful bending or lifting motions. The good news: Enthusiastic gardeners or DIYers rapidly learn to recognize potential risks in their hobbies. They can also rely on adequate equipment and posture enhancing kits (such as kneeling pads for gardeners) to prevent injuries. Yet, have you ever considered how your home layout and structure can influence back health? Indeed, everyday home routines could lead to back pain if you’re not careful. Here are some essential home improvements that can protect your back.
Maximize natural sunlight
Nobody enjoys reading or working in dim lighting. You might have heard that poor lighting is bad for your eyesight. In reality, poor lighting can do more harm to your back health. Indeed, most people naturally bend closer to reduce the distance between the eyes and the item they are trying to see in a dark environment. If you are sitting at a table, your lower back or neck could be affected. Maintaining a bent position for a prolonged period can lead to pain and inflammation. Therefore, it’s important to maintain full access to natural light throughout the day. You can maximize natural sunlight through strategic furniture placement and window improvements. Older structures can benefit from renovation works to replace home windows with modern frames and plain glass panels. Adequate lighting solutions can also help transition into the darker hours with ease.
Create a functional kitchen
Awkward movements can generate unpleasant back pain. Cooking can therefore become an unexpectedly dangerous activity. Indeed, many homeowners confuse style with functionality, which can affect the final design of their kitchen. A kitchen that isn’t designed to reduce unnecessary movements and gestures can increase the risks of back pain. So there are 3 main things you want to consider in your kitchen layout:
- The height of your appliances;
- The placement of work surfaces and kitchen island;
- The storage options.
Make sure to plan strategically to avoid any awkward bending motions as you cook!
Create a safe leisure spot in the lounge
Evenings are for Netflix and Chill; who agrees with the statement? Everyone? Good. However, lounging on the sofa can be the main cause of back pain at home. Does it mean you should cancel your Netflix membership? Not quite. A bad sofa that lacks firm support will affect your posture as you watch TV. More often than not, firm couches and supportive cushions can make a huge difference to your back health. You also want to add smart solutions that can keep your back healthy.
If you enjoy eating in front of the TV, you might want to invest in a TV tray. This can ensure you don’t have to bend to eat from a low coffee table.
Add smart heating solutions to the bathroom
Bathrooms are often cold and uncomfortable in winter. Who doesn’t dread an early morning shower in winter? But what does the unpleasant temperature have to do with back pain? The answer: More than you can imagine.
When you are cold or expecting to be cold, you naturally tense your body. Tensing your muscles is a protective behavior, but it can also lead to muscle cramps and pave the way for chronic back pain. As such, smart bathroom improvements such as a heated underfloor or a heated towel rack can help release muscle tension. If the water needs a long time to get to temperature, upgrading the water heater could also reduce risks of back pain.
Change your pillows and duvet too
When it comes to bedroom improvements, changing the mattress is the main priority regarding back health. However, your mattress isn’t the only thing you can change. Did you know that most people sleep on the wrong pillow? Pillow firmness and shape vary greatly depending on your sleeping position. Unfortunately, too many sleepers continue to invest in standard pillow shapes that don’t match their positions. Additionally, the choice of duvet will also affect your back health. A light duvet can encourage muscle tension on a cold night, which will increase the risk of pain. Ideally, you want to change duvets as the seasons progress.
Back pain is one of the most commonly overlooked health conditions of our modern age. Tell me about it! I was just diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease, so I will be looking into making a few of these switches as well. I wish I had done it earlier. I’m not even 40 yet, and they’re talking about surgery. Unfortunately, it can affect anyone at any point in their life, as I am finding out. Yet, more often than not, homeowners don’t realize that their habits could encourage the condition. Making your home a haven of health starts with reducing the risks of chronic back pain in your environment.