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.
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
Here are some
tips for sitting ergonomically at the workplace:
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
- You must
also get up and walk around for a while at least every hour.
leaning to one side when you are sitting.
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.
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
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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