The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

How Often Should You Be Healthy?

A reader thoughtfully sent in the photos at left to help readers recognize unhealthy bending, and asked, "What is your advice when someone is having to bend to put dishes in the dishwasher? It just seems so uncommon to think to squat while loading the dishes."

There is no better time to bend in healthy ways than your real life. The whole point of fitness as a lifestyle is that your daily life is healthy movement - not to change clothes to do squats at a gym three times a week, then change clothes again, go home, and bend wrong all day. Healthy bending is for every time you bend. How often is that? The post How Good Would You Look From 400 Squats a Day - Just Stop Unhealthy Bending showed how we estimated that you bend an average of 400 times every day for ordinary activities. Why harm your back and miss free exercise for your legs hundreds of times a day?

Most people know and repeat, "bend your knees" if you quiz them on healthy bending. Bending knees slightly, as in the above photos, does not make bad bending healthy. Bending over forward pressures your lower back discs, whether your back is rounded (photo above left) or straighter (above right). You are still bending over and the leverage point is your lower spine. Bending right is simple:

  • With feet side-by-side, comfortably apart, bend knees, keeping your torso fairly upright - as if not wanting something to fall from a shirt pocket (right drawing).
  • Keep both heels down and shift your weight back to your heels.
  • Pull your knees back over your heels. Don't let them droop forward under your body weight. When you shift your knees back, you will feel the effort shift away from your knee joint to your thigh muscles.
  • Don't stick your backside out or exaggerate the lower back arch.

Unless you are moving in healthy ways for your real life, it is not a lifestyle and it is not healthy. Healthy bending is easy and life changing. It is free exercise and injury prevention. When should you do it? Each time you want your daily life to be healthy.

To Be Healthy:

The post Free Exercise and Free Back and Knee Pain Prevention - Healthy Bending shows exactly how to make good bending a healthy normal part of your daily life for the hundreds of times you bend.

More photos and description of bad sitting and bending that causes back and disc damage and what to do instead - The Cause of Disc and Back Pain

Check the exercises you do for the same body positioning that would be recognized unhealthy if they were not renamed "exercise" - Are You Making Your Exercise Unhealthy?

Photos of readers using these practices in daily life - Household Fitness in the New Year

Click the labels under this post for all Fitness Fixer on each topic.

Books showing step-by-step good bending and getting built-in lifestyle exercise: Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery, and Health & Fitness in Plain English THIRD edition on my web site books page -

Read success stories of these methods and send your own. Before asking questions, see if your answers are already here - click labels under posts, links in posts, archives at right, and the Fitness Fixer Index. For answers to personal medical questions - Replies to Medical Questions.
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See Dr. Bookspan's Books, take a Class, get certified -

Photo by Healthline reader
Drawing of Backman!™ © copyright Dr. Jolie Bookspan
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.