How to Improve Posture at a Desk & Work Station

Musculoskeletal disorders have been implicated for about 31 % of workplace injuries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Working at an office desk space has been known to be a very safe job, however, it comes with a host of problems which contribute to a host of workplace injuries and health issues.  Sitting for prolonged periods has been shown to predispose workers to workplace injuries which eventually cause chronic problems like neck pain and back pain.

Although research shows that exercise is important in improving flexibility as well as preventing the risk of injuries, all of this could be undone by poor posture in sitting. These positions include but are not limited to;
• Slouching while seated, keeping your spine misaligned
• Poor workstation set-up causing neck straining if computer monitors aren’t at eye level
• Bad habits like crossing your ankles and legs cause hip misalignment
• Lack of movement restricting blood and nutrient flow to spinal discs
• Continuous sitting increasing wear and tear on your spinal discs

Although poor posture at the workstation has been implicated in neck and back pain leading to more severe problems with the musculoskeletal system, these could be prevented/corrected by adopting some new habits which create long-lasting lifestyle changes. These include;

1) Practice Neutral Posture
• Keep your computer monitor at eye level so your head doesn’t tilt
• Pull your shoulders back and keep your back flat against the chair
• Rest your feet flat on the ground—no crossing ankles or legs
• Use a lumbar support tool to help keep your upper back straight and prevent slouching

2) Keep Note of Back and Neck Pain
Keeping track of these symptoms and when they arise could help create patterns of the causes and positions when they arise which will them help in trying to prevent it.

3) Give Yourself Movement Breaks
Research has found that regular movement breaks every 30 minutes greatly reduces the health risks posed by sitting. This helps improve circulation and restore alignment along the spine at intervals.

4) Set Reminders
Taking regular work breaks could be difficult and so it is important to take work breaks which will be helpful in keeping up with the 30-minute intervals.

5) Use Ergonomic Supports
Try using headrests and lumbar support for better spine alignment.
Other support products for work ergonomics include office footrests and workstation accessories like monitor arms and keyboard trays which help maintain an optimum posture.

6) Create an Ergonomic Workstation
Using all the tips, you should then create an ergonomic work station.
An ergonomic workstation takes into consideration things like:
• Encouraging full range of motion
• Placing most used items within arm’s reach
• Allowing adequate leg room and foot placement
• Alleviating hunched posture

You work station should take into consideration your body type and all your office resources and is tailored towards preventing workplace injuries caused by poor posture.

 

 

 


Sources

1. https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/ten-tips-improving-posture-and-ergonomics
2. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/osh2.nr0.htm
3. https://www.spineuniverse.com/wellness/ergonomics/sitting-disease-its-impact-your-spine
4. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170911180004.htm
5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003687016300515
6. https://www.techworld.com/download/system-desktop-tools/stretchly-017-3331112/
7. http://www.workrave.org/
8. http://monkeymatt.com/bigstretch/
9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3477898/
10. https://relaxtheback.com/blogs/news/workplace-ergonomics-how-to-improve-your-posture-at-work