Staying healthy – a simple trick that worked for me

As entrepreneurs, it’s all too easy to neglect our health. Long spells at the keyboard, even longer days (14 hours are not unusual) and a lack of exercise can all take their toll.

The thing is, when you work such long hours, you can fool yourself into believing you’re being productive when the exact opposite is actually true. Eventually, it will catch up with you, your productivity will drop, and your health may even suffer.

So, take regular breaks, try to work reasonable hours and get out in the fresh air regularly – even if it’s for a short time over lunch.

Many hours at my desk eventually took its toll

In my case, overwork and too many hours spent hunched over the keyboard eventually took its toll. I got back pain so bad, after only half an hour at my desk, I could barely stand up and shuffle to the kitchen to make a coffee. Getting in and out of the car was agony.

I took anti-inflammatory (I hate taking drugs of any kind, even an aspirin). While they helped, I knew I wasn’t getting to the root of the problem and the thought of having to continue in pain was getting me down big time.

I thought I must be missing something, but what could it be? Surely this horrendous back pain wasn’t something I just had to live with – the thought was scary.

Then it dawned on me

long hours at my deskI thought through how I was approaching my work then something occurred to me. I was spending many hours at the keyboard without a break – and that was the key. Because I wasn’t taking a break, I wasn’t eating regularly or, more importantly as it turned out, I wasn’t drinking regularly.

I wonder…

I did some quick research and discovered that not drinking enough water during the course of the day can indeed lead to back pain. You have a series of vertebrae in your back and between them are “gel disks” that act as cushions for your spine.

When you sleep, these gel disks regenerate themselves, but to do so they need sufficient fluid – water. It’s interesting that during the day you get shorter as these disks compress; you’re at your tallest when you wake up in the morning.

Could it be that easy?

At first, I wasn’t convinced my severe back pain could be due to something as straightforward as not drinking enough water. But I resolved to make sure I drank 2 liters of water (8 glasses) a day to see what effect, if any, it would have on my excruciating back pain, it couldn’t do any harm I reasoned.

So, I bought a liter bottle of water and refilled it from the tap twice a day. This way I could easily keep track of how much water I was drinking – I didn’t want to drink too little, or even too much.

So, I got back to work and actually enjoyed drinking the refreshing water regularly.

I hadn’t bargained for the result, which began to kick in just a couple of days later.

The solution was simple yet 100% effective

I couldn’t believe what happened next – my back pain disappeared. When I say disappeared it literally was no more.

I was amazed, very very happy, but amazed nonetheless.

Something as simple as a couple of liters of water a day was all that was needed to rid me of my back pain completely…

Try it yourself

So, if you yourself suffer from back pain, why not give my simple solution a try. Even if you don’t have back pain, you need to drink enough water in any case.

It worked perfectly for me, I now have zero back pain and can work comfortably at my desk and get in and out of the car without a problem.

Two liters of water a day, that’s all it took – amazing.

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Godfrey

    Hello there, Les

    Quite an interesting read. Very simple yet 100% effective. Sitting for very long hours glued to your computer, especially if you are a writer could be very draining.

    I can’t wait to get myself a water bottle and get started on this prescription soonest.


    Godfrey W.

    1. Les Blythe

      Hey Godfrey, I didn’t do anything fancy. Just got myself a couple of liter bottles of water from the local store and I refill them.

      I’ve come to understand just how important it is to get enough water every day…

      – Les

  2. Richard Hoffmann

    Hello Les,

    It is often the most simple of things that can makes the greatest changes in our lives. I sit for extended periods of time at my desk and have the same concerns as you. 

    I purchase a 1L reusable bottle that I place on my desk. By doing that it forces me to be conscious about the amount of water I consume during the day and reminds me that I need to get through 2 of these bottles before going home.

    Thanks for your practical advice.


    1. Les Blythe

      Your dead right Rich, sometimes the simplest solution that does the trick.

      Thanks for connecting!

  3. Vanna Denham

    I can totally relate to the problem you talked about in this article.  I sit long hours at the computer without even realizing the time.  I had no clue it was being caused by lack of water.  

    In my case I started wearing support garments. From time to time I use a posture belt to support my lower back.  There were a few times when I gave in and took pills.  Of course I got the necessary relief but I didn’t like taking the medicine. 

    So I will definitely try drinking more water and hopefully that will be helpful for me also.

    Thank you for the information.

    V. Pearl

    1. Les Blythe

      I would definitely give it a try if you feel you may not be drinking enough water.

      Do let us all know if it makes a difference for you as it did for me.

      All the best!

  4. Alexander

    Thanks Les! I’ve had terrible lower lumbar pain ever since a car accident back in 1996. I’ve tried Chiropractors AND acupuncture therapy but it didn’t work as well as I would like.

    I understand what you mean about the water and it makes sense that your spine will heal itself overnight. I’ll give the water a try and see what results I get.

    1. Les Blythe

      Give it a go Alexander, it can’t do any harm and it might just help…

  5. Dave

    Hey there Les, 

    I have to say that reading this post felt like you were describing my life exactly. I am online worker and I barely take a break, exercise or eat well enough. I can stay in front of my computer for hours without feeling awkward.

    The back pains for me started about 2 days although they are very mild. 

    I haven’t taken any drugs and I am happy to have found this post before doing that. 

    I will follow the things you have laid out in your post and see how well they work for me.

    Thanks a lot for the comprehensive post and the very specific advice.

    I really loved it. Have a good day.

    1. Les Blythe

      Hey Dave, I’m glad my post helped you out.

      Just drinking enough water worked amazingly well for me, I really couldn’t believe it at the time.

      Give it a go, there’s nothing to lose…

  6. Loes

    Thank you, Les that’s a very good idea! I drink too less, I suppose. At least, not always 2 liters a day. Besides that, I have a stand-up desk as well. I can change positions easily. I have a barstool, which I put aside a couple of times during the day, to stand behind my desk. That does wonders too. I can recommend that to anyone who’s sitting a lot behind the desk too.


    1. Les Blythe

      Hey Loes,

      Yes, I agree. If you have a back problem it’s worth trying various approaches.

      The water idea is a simple solution (at least it worked for me). I’ve seen the stand-up desks and that also looks like a good idea!

  7. Andrea

    Hi there,

    I am in my twenties but my back pain sometimes feel like I am in my eighties haha. I will try drinking more water as I usually drink caffeneited drinks and not water. It is just sometimes difficult when you travel and the water tastes disgusting. Any typs and trick how to replace the water or put some flavour in it without having a sugary drink?

    1. Les Blythe

      Hey Andrea,

      I stopped drinking sugary drinks a few years ago when I realized just how much sugar was in a can – like 6/7 teaspoons!

      I’d suggest putting some lemon or lime juice in the water. Give Google a go, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of inspiration online as well…

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