Creating a Pain Free Workplace Ergonomically

Creating a Pain Free Workplace Ergonomically

Poor working posture and body mechanics can result in fatigue, strain and tension in the neck, back, shoulders and wrists. All these problems affect concentration, reduce productivity, increases human errors and result in absenteeism. And back pain is especially a common health problem in the workplace. This is often caused by prolonged and bad sitting posture.

Having a proper workplace ergonomic and exercise programmed may help to relieve and prevent such problems. Sitting is very bad for the discs of the lumbar spine. Prolonged sitting may leads to disc injury. The load to the body as a result of static posture can be as bad as the load due to too extreme a deviation from the neutral posture.

How to Sit Ergonomically

Here are some tips for sitting ergonomically at the workplace:

- Office chairs should have adjustable height, back rests and seats. The back rest spring should be adjusted so that the back rest moves with you. A seat that tilts forward is a particularly useful feature.

- Adjust the height of your chair so that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and feet flat on the floor.

- You should sit close to the desk. When you lean forward at your desk, bend forward at the hips instead of rounding your lower back. This will allow you to keep your back straight and in good alignment.

- Do not remain in the same posture for a long time. Change your sitting positions every 10 minutes, e.g. straightening your back to an upright position.

- You must also get up and walk around for a while at least every hour.

- Avoid leaning to one side when you are sitting.

- Support your lower back with a specially designed seat support, available at medical supply stores. If not a rolled towel or a small pillow is also acceptable. You must also remove the back support every half hour for five minutes to allow your lower back a change of position.

- Your head should be positioned so that your ear is in a line with your shoulder and your chin is parallel with the floor.

- Move your feet and legs frequently.

- Lean back in your chair when you are not using the keyboard or mouse.

- Lift up your arms from time to time and move your hands and fingers.

- A desk that is too high for typing will add load on the shoulders, because the user will lift the shoulders in order to find a comfortable working posture for the arms, wrists and hands. It should have sufficient space for both your computer equipment (display, keyboard and mouse) and your work papers within easy easy reach. Desks designed especially for computers have a tray under the tabletop to hold the cables. They might also have a tray that holds the system unit under the tabletop or attached to the side of the desk.


Exercise is important. Proper stretching exercise, done regularly, will provide the flexibility in the muscles of your legs and back that you need to help avoid excessive strain and possible injury. Strength training helps to develop strong abdominal, back and leg muscles to help you maintain good posture and body mechanics. Aerobic activities, such as walking, help you control weight that might be the cause of stress and strain to the body.

There are many other treatments for back and other body pain. They include drugs, acupuncture, surgery, spinal manipulation, massage etc. It is often suggested by most experts that good posture, proper lifting technique, and a regular exercise programmed are often the best ways to reduce pain and injury. Since it is now known that most injuries are the result of lifetime of improper consideration to the body mechanics, especially of the back, it is never too soon to begin correcting bad habits. Without a doubt, your workplace is the ideal place to begin such practices.

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