Can Watching Too Much TV Hurt Your Back?

How Watching TV May Cause Back Pain in Santa Monica, CA

There was a time when concerned mothers warned their children not to sit too close to the TV for fear of what it would do to their eyes. However, vision isn’t the only thing excessive viewing of television or video in all its forms can affect. It may also be the reason for your back pain. Rather than the act itself of watching TV, it’s actually the habits that tend to go along with viewing that can be harmful to your spine and the muscles that support it. The staff at The Spine Institute in Los Angeles explains how you can hurt your back from watching TV.

TV Viewing and Posture

Whether you’re getting into the latest episode of your favorite program while parked on the sofa or are viewing from a computer, tablet, or mobile device, there’s a tendency to neglect posture when watching TV. All the slumping and reclining may seem comfortable in the moment, but it’s not the way your back was meant to bend.

Avoiding Exercise

Regular TV viewing often means prolonged periods of little or no exercise. Australian researchers determined through radio imaging that 8 weeks of inactivity yielded noticeable degeneration of lower back muscles. Recovery wasn’t as simple as making an effort to move more. Some participants still reported pain several months later, likely due to related joint or bone issues.

Making Unhealthy Food Choices

There’s rarely an urge to order a veggie plate when binge-watching your favorite show. Though occasional snacking is fine in moderation, quick runs to the fridge during commercials or eating some pizza and related snacks means your spine isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, which can worsen pain or contribute to inflammation.

The key to reducing back pain is paying attention to your posture and taking occasional breaks. When commercials come on or before you press “play” for the next episode, get up to stretch or take a mini-break to go for a short walk. Making small changes to your TV watching habits now can reduce your risk of experiencing back pain later.

Whether your back pain has come as a result of your posture when watching TV or another source, the expert spinal surgeons at The Spine Institute Center can help. Dr. Bae specializes in minimally invasive procedures like spinal decompression surgery that can provide the relief you need to live a happy and pain-free life. Call 310-828-7757 today to schedule an appointment.