Here’s an easy way to protect your lower back: People who walked backwards on a treadmill for 15 minutes three times a week reported less pain, according to research from the University of Nevada , Las Vegas. The link is unclear, but researcher Janet S. Dufek, PhD, observes that facing away from the console tilts the hips up and engages the core, which strengthens the back. Give it a try at 2.0 mph setting , no incline.