How your home can improve your health

Posted by Steve Kleber on May 14, 2010

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Not many of us think about our backs or joint pain when selecting pieces for our home’s décor. Color, style, aesthetic appeal and price typically consume our thought process during those kind of purchases. But take a moment to consider how seemingly insignificant ways you decorate your home can contribute to physical pains and stresses.

Arnold J. Weil, MD, a specialist in non-surgical orthopedics, says choosing a suitable reclining chair or mattress is a health choice, just like taking daily vitamins and stretching before a run.

“Back pain oftentimes stems from little things that can add to a big problem,” said Dr. Weil. “It’s definitely worth it to adjust items in your home so they’re conducive to your health. The consequences of poor back and lumbar support in the home could include significant aching and soreness, thus leading to hassle, time and money spent on relief.”

Hardwood floors, bar stools and non-supportive mattresses could strain your back muscles, resulting in considerable pain and treatment. Hardwood floors aren’t suitable shock absorbers like carpets and rugs are, thus contributing to back pain. Bar stools affect your core muscles and back in another way because when your feet aren’t planted on the ground, the rest of your body works harder to keep stabilized. This puts extra strain on your back.

Another way to prevent injuries and strains is to store heavier household items at arm level, so you’re not reaching or bending excessively.

Dr. Weil says the most important piece of furniture in your home to consider is the bed.

“Though many of us don’t get as much sleep as we should, ideally the bed is a place where you spend a significant amount of time,” he said. “It should be a place that is comfortable and supportive. It affects not only your mentality, but your body when you don’t get proper sleep, and proper sleep depends largely in part on an appropriate mattress.”

So before purchasing a fancy, high-end couch, chair or bed, consider that it may look great with the rest of your home’s décor, but unless it’s supportive of your body, it’s really not worth it.

Contact Dr. Weil on Twitter @NonSurgicalMD with back pain questions and other tips for living a healthy, pain-free life.

This entry was posted by Steve Kleber on Friday, May 14th, 2010 at 9:27 am and is filed under Home Building & Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.