Sit up straight!

Healthy body, happy mind, productive PhD researcher! Again, it seems mother was right…

How many times did my parents annoy me by telling me to “sit up straight”. Ah the wisdom of our elders. I should have paid more attention. It is a little bit frustrating to have to say: oh it turns out my parents were right about that all along. If only I knew then what I know now (isn’t there a song about that?).

Today is a tough day in the office. I have just taken some painkillers to combat the back pain I’ve been suffering since yesterday. It’s lower back pain on the right hand side, and I know it’s not due to any major injury, because I haven’t fallen or lifted heavy things or anything like that. It might be due to stress. It’s been hectic, to say the least, for the last few weeks. It might be due to fatigue. But the bad posture I have when sitting at my desk is certainly one major factor.

I have been working furiously at my desk, for long stretches of time, over the last few weeks. I managed to ‘get into the zone’ with work and writing and haven’t been careful about taking breaks. You know that feeling when things are just flowing and you’re afraid that if you go for that cup of coffee now, you’ll lose the rhythm? That’s where I was. It’s usually a good feeling, but my body evidently disagrees. Now my back is in pain and it’s distracting me from work and I actually have lost the momentum! Just goes to show – my body can only take so much, and if I don’t want to be prevented from working I have to be more reasonable with myself.

Today I am very consciously sitting with my feet flat on the floor, back straight and attempting to get the 90 degree angle right for typing, and the monitor high. I’ve swapped chairs for one that has a straighter back, hoping that will help force me to keep the position. But I imagine it’s not ‘just like that’ that I will get over this back pain. Hopefully I will be able to get some rest to help recover. And I must avoid heavy lifting (could be challenging since this weekend I’m taking care of my young nephews who love to be carried!).

Hopefully I can develop some positive habits to prevent future pain too. Right now, this back pain is rather distracting. Perhaps I should indeed listen to my parents a bit more…

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