Stay fit

If you sit in the car, at work and in front of the TV, buy a gym ball and sit on it while you’re watching TV.

•Get up every 30 minutes at work. A quick circuit around your workspace will put the onus on your back muscles, not your chair’s backrest.

•Stretch your back before you get up. Lie on your back, lift your left knee to your chest and pull it to your right with your right arm. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat three times and then swap sides. If you feel twinges of lower back pain, find somewhere at work to repeat this move during the day.

•Walk, cycle, swim or jog. Soft tissues, muscles and bones rely on being physically stressed to maintain their vitality. If you’re unfit, start by getting out of the lift one floor before the one you work on. Each week, get out one floor earlier. After a couple of weeks you’ll be able to put your hand on your lower back and feel the muscles powering your legs as you climb the steps.