In a kind of anti-Zen parable, they report that one of their own colleagues stopped to calculate the time he spent tying shoes and buckling belts. He projected this number out through the rest of his presumed life span and, horrified, made a decision to cut back. Henceforth, they say, he has worn only Sansabelt pants and Velcro'd sneakers.
James Gleick has published many excerpts from each chapter of his book, Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, as well as links for each. I am still plowing through them to see if I want to buy it. Seems interesting.
I have found it helpful to do the stretching exercises my physical therapist recommends. Do some core strengthening exercises, such as the ones highlighted at The Mayo Clinic. By keeping your core strong, your back won't put itself in a position to cause that sciatica pain you are having.