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Back to Back

 Back pain affects people in all age groups but is most prevalent in the over 50s. Health experts say that chronic back pain is increasing across the population due to our sedentary lifestyle both at work and during our leisure hours.

 Around 4.2 million working days are lost to back pain by those in the 50-64 years age range.

A strong, healthy, stable back requires regular exercise. The exercises should strengthen the muscles supporting the spine, and also the abdominal and oblique muscles that encircle the trunk like a corset.

Those of us stuck at desks for most of our working day can try these exercises whenever we have a few minutes spare. Try 10-15 repetitions and hold each position for a count of 15.


  1. While sitting at your desk, put feet flat on the floor and hands on the edge of the desk. Push back, arching your spine into a convex shape, then reverse it into a concave position.
  2. Stand about 30cm from a wall and place hands against the surface at shoulder height. Bend elbows to support upper body and, using abdominal strength, lift heels while keeping the back straight.
  3. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, about half a metre from a wall. Face the wall and lean against it using hands, the back should be straight. Reach up with right arm and simultaneously lift left leg backwards and upwards. Repeat on the opposite side.


By Louise Addison

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