Americans in Pain: Part 2
What Causes Our Back Pain?
- Heredity / Genetics: We're pre-disposed to back and neck problems.
- Lack of exercise: We aren't in shape, so our spines are more prone to injuries, strains, and sprains.
- Obesity: The rate of obesity is increasing, and extra weight can lead to or intensify back problems.
- Work: Many jobs involve activities that can hurt our spines, including sitting at a computer all day or heavy lifting.
- Age: Especially as the Baby Boomers age, it seems that age-related back problems, such as osteoporosis, are becoming more prevalent.
- Inadequate health care system: Lack of universal health coverage means that people can't always go to the doctor when they need to. A small back or neck problem that could've been caught early snowballs into a bigger problem.
Republicans and Democrats agreed: the #1 cause of back and neck pain in America is work. 31% of Democrats said work was the leading cause of back and neck pain, while 40% of Republicans said that work is a pain in the spine.
Too many of us have "bad for the back" jobs. We sit at computers all day. We do a lot of heavy lifting. We strain, twist, slump, and hunch all the live long day.
Our backs pay for it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But perhaps soon and perhaps for the rest of our lives.
That's a slightly melodramatic statement, but the sentiment is right. In the 40+ hours you spend at work every week, you should be consciously taking care of your spine, whether you're Joe the Plumber or Jane the Accountant.
So, America, let's try:
- sitting up straight
- using good ergonomic principles to arrange our desks/work stations
- getting a quality chair that supports us in all the right places
- using proper lifting techniques
Now look back at those pie charts. There's an interesting comparison (and it will become even more interesting after you read the answers to Question 2). 20% of Democrats said that America's inadequate health care system is the #1 cause of back and neck pain. Compare that to the Republicans-health care barely gets a piece of the pie. Just 1% of Republicans said that the health care system is to blame.