Improving Work Posture While Sitting

By Ryan Fogel,

On average, most of us spend up to 12-13 hours daily sitting in front of the computer. What we may not be aware of is just how much our poor posture is affecting our health. There are many negative impacts of poor posture on our bodies, including: rounded shoulders, potbelly, muscle fatigue in the neck and back, headaches, and other bodily pains.

Failure to sit properly can cause these ailments to become worse and potentially have life-altering side effects, such as a permanent change to your spinal cord. Poor sitting posture doesn’t just cause a temporary strain or discomfort, but long-term negative effects.

Tips for Better Ergonomics

To prevent chronic neck and back pain and other health issues that affect productivity, it is essential to practice better ergonomics. The term ergonomics refers to tailoring sitting and work tools to fit your body and improve health conditions. Here are some helpful tips that can improve posture and reduce pain in the body.

1. Practice Neutral Posture

The neutral posture is the natural alignment position of your back when sitting. If the natural alignment of the spine is compromised due to slouching, hunching, or injury, this can lead to spinal compression, nerve pinching, and muscle tension. To achieve a neutral position sitting at your work desk or at home, do the following:

  • Position your monitor at eye level, so you don’t have to tilt the head
  • Pull your shoulders back and let your back rest flat against the chair
  • Ensure your feet are rested on the ground without the legs or ankles crossed
  • Keep your upper back straight, use a lumbar support tool if necessary. This also prevents slouching.

2. Watch for Back and Neck Pain

Watch out for symptoms such as stiffness and soreness in you back, shoulders and neck. If you observe symptoms, ensure you make daily or regular notes to track any habit or routine that may be causing or contributing to your pain. Using this information, you can begin to make the necessary adjustments to your posture to effectively prevent any stiffness or soreness in your muscles while seated.

3. Give Yourself Movement Breaks

One of the major reasons why the work desk causes back pain and chronic diseases is because it limits your movement. Research has found that taking regular movement breaks every 30 minutes helps reduce the health risks posed by sitting for extended periods of time. It is vital to make time for scheduled breaks and good posture exercises during sedentary work.

4. Use Ergonomic Supports

It can be tough to maintain a neutral posture when sitting at a desk. It is difficult to remain in alignment due to years of poor posture habits. Thankfully, excellent support products make it possible to attain a neutral seated posture and build healthy ergonomic habits.

Some of these kinds of products include adjustable ergonomic chairs with headrests and lumbar supports, footrests, and workstation components like monitor arms, keyboard trays, and ergonomic mouse. A popular option today is the “sit-stand” desk, which allows switching between sitting and standing easily.

5. Create an Ergonomic Workstation

Set up an ergonomic workstation if you want to achieve complete body wellness. A properly set up ergonomic workstation will:

  • Allow for full range of motion
  • Have items placed at the correct distance to prevent reaching
  • Provide adequate leg room and foot placement
  • Alleviate hunched posture

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace. At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Risk Management, Ergonomics Training, Workplace Injury Reduction
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Why Ergonomics is Worth Investing In

By Ryan Fogel,

Ergonomics involves designing workplace stations with the use of human data to create an environment that is more suitable for working. To put it simply, you want a workplace designed according to the natural laws of the human body, so as to increase safety and comfort, and boost employee efficiency.

Ergonomic Assessments in the Workplace

Ergonomic assessments are done to minimize the risk of injury and maximize productivity. It is also done to support the return to work of a worker who is injured and needs to minimize workplace discomfort to recover faster from their injury and prevent aggravation. Workers who are remote also need to ensure their remote work environment is safe and ergonomically designed.

The first step to making your workplace more ergonomic is to hire an ergonomist to conduct workplace ergonomic assessment. These people have experience in assessing and identifying present and possible future problems and have the necessary skills to suggest solutions for any ergonomic issue they encounter. With the guidance of these health professions, you can decide what kind of actions to take; be it to organize a workshop to increase awareness, one-on-one assessments of employee to ensure proper ergonomic setup, or to determine the equipment or higher levels of control that an injured employee may require.

Once you have identified your ergonomic issues, it becomes easier to decide what needs to be implemented, whether that be to provide ergonomic equipment or make changes to an employee’s job duties. For example, concerning issues with high-task repetition, a simple solution is to continuously cycle employees between repetitive tasks.

Other Ergonomic Benefits

These days, ergonomic trends are moving away from trying to reduce musculoskeletal injuries to the many other business benefits ergonomic change brings. Good ergonomics has reduced worker compensation claims and increased productivity since workers are happier and healthier. It has also improved employee engagement and longevity at the workplace. People can notice when you invest in them and taking steps to improve their health and well-being, which shows you care about the working conditions of your employees.

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomic Injury Prevention, Ergonomics Assessment, Ergonomics Consulting, Ergonomics Training
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Benefits of Improving Typing Posture

By Ryan Fogel,

The use of computers every day is now part of our lives at work, home, school, or business. An office employee spends, on average, 95% of the day working on a computer, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Neck, shoulder and back pain, along with eyestrain and injuries to the hands and wrists can be as a result of working at a computer. They are altogether known as RSIs, repetitive strain injuries. These injuries can cause prolonged and severe pain, resulting in movement impairment and muscle weakness. Typing ergonomics have become more important than ever because of the high risk of severe RSIs among computer users.

What Does Ergonomics Mean?

The word ergonomics takes on a more precise definition in regards to typing. It refers to taking on the right position while typing to avoid RSIs and body stress to achieve optimal comfort.

People who haven’t used typing software or have no formal typing training are commonly at a higher risk of developing typing related injuries. Ergonomics will help you prevent painful RSIs following the “three P’s” of typing.

Position

Awkward movements of the hand can result in muscle strain and damage. It is necessary to position your hand and arms properly over the keyboard. Let your keyboard be positioned at a height that facilitates this. You may have to adjust your sitting height as well.

Also, place the backs of your hands parallel to the keyboard to avoid wrist strain. While you type, let your forearms be at the same level as your keyboard and your elbows supported and resting comfortably by your side.

Posture

Avoid slouching while using a computer, to prevent pain and injuries. Try to keep your spine neutral, with the three natural curves of the spine present and not overly arched. Plant your feet on the floor, if necessary, adjust your chair height with a footstool. Let your head be positioned directly above your pelvis while you keep your shoulders relaxed.

Place

An ergonomic workstation set up should be functional and comfortable. Place your monitor slightly lower than your eye level or just at your eye level. You will be forced to strain your neck if positioned at a level higher than the eye.

Choose an ergonomic chair that gives lumbar support. While you sit, it can generally help your spine to hold its curve. Also, position your desktop to provide enough room for your keyboard and mouse. A restricted space doesn’t give you enough room to type and causes uncomfortable and incorrect positioning.

Typing daily shouldn’t result in physical stress or prolonged pain. Abiding by these simple ergonomic principles will create and maintain a comfortable and safe work environment.

To achieve an optimal ergonomic workstation, it is important to hire a Specialist to examine your current workplace.  At Accredited Rehabilitation Consultants, we can evaluate your current workspace, find ways to make it more ergonomic, and then provide and install the necessary equipment to do so. To learn more, contact us today!

  Filed under: Ergonomics Office Design, Ergonomics Training, Industrial Injuries
  Comments: None