POSTURE, PAIN, ERGONOMICS, AND YOU: The Effect of Bad Posture
The term ergonomics refers to a design that intentionally minimises physical effort and discomfort, while maximising efficiency. Good ergonomics helps to eliminate the effects of bad posture and maintain high levels of productivity.
Did you know that motor vehicle manufacturers require their seat designs to accommodate approximately 90% of all human beings, in all our shapes and sizes?
Ergonomics, in vehicles, is the science behind the seat and interior design of the vehicle cabin that makes a driver comfortable, safe, secure and alert. It is an essential component of motor car design today.
With this in mind, wellness chiropractor Dr Matt le Roux discusses the topic further:
“Let’s say that you spend an average of 10% (about 2 ½ hours) of your day in a comfortable and ergonomic car seat for commuting to work and back, running errands, going to the shops etc.
Now, how much time do you spend at your office chair, your office desk and workspace?
If you are in an administrative position, you could easily spend about 50% of your day (that’s a whopping 12 hours!) in an office, mostly behind a computer, at a desk, seated on a chair.
Sometimes, a long stretch at your workstation could be a continuous 2 or 3 hours before you stand up. Spending such long periods at your desk will take a huge toll on your posture.
So then: don’t you think that your seat and office environment should be optimised for ergonomic support – to help you work efficiently, effectively, and pain free?”
Matt continues: “If you think about it, we spend money on cars with special ergonomic features, sometimes without even realising it. Yet we spend so little time and effort on the perfect chair, screen and working environment, when significantly more of our time is spent there.”
It should be a given, and high on your personal priority list, that your furniture and office space should make you feel comfortable, safe, secure and alert. By eliminating poor posture, slouching can be rectified, and in combination with a healthy lifestyle you can reduce neck pain, back pain, headaches, and other symptoms of poor posture.
Matt works with patients suffering from poor posture almost daily, and he attributes a large portion of this to the poor ergonomic support in office environments.
Matt believes that many people are simply unaware of the benefits of “ergonomic thinking”, where bad posture, slouching, and pain can be reduced in their daily lives, just by making changes to eliminate ergonomic hazards in your workspace.
Some of these patients have incurred long-term injuries that have adverse effects on their lifestyles, reducing their ability to partake in many social activities, including golf, tennis, and hiking.
All of these injuries could have been avoided by adopting a simple “Good Posture Habit”.
As you know, prevention is far better than cure.
Matt believes in providing good advice in combination with physical and lifestyle remedies, rather than medicine alone.
For this reason, Matt also recently shared a few Simple Ergonomic Tips that can make these Good Posture Habits a way of life so that you can avoid the potentially serious consequences of lower and upper back, neck and shoulder injuries that are attributed to poor posture habits.
Keep these topics in mind to help overcome bad posture:
- MAKE SURE YOUR CHAIR IS AT THE RIGHT HEIGHT & POSITION FOR YOU.
Correct seating height is at the core of Good Posture. The wrong chair can cause several injuries over extended periods of time. Comfort and good posture at work is a combination of height, backrest and distance from your desk and worksurface. Crucially, your chair should provide lumbar support that matches the natural curvature of the spine. choosing an ergonomic chair will help reduce the effects of bad posture on your health.
- PLACE YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN AT THE RIGHT HEIGHT AND DISTANCE FROM YOUR CHAIR.
Your line-of-sight should allow you to sit up straight. Avoid looking down and slouching forwards towards the screen. This is one of the biggest contributors to a stiff neck and lower back pain.
Matt has also discussed the same concept of bad posture and the Consequences of Text Neck, another growing problem in our “always on” society. Good Posture needs the right combination between the height of, and seating distance from, your computer screen.
- MAKE SURE YOUR DESK HEIGHT AND ACCESS TO WORK TOOLS SUPPORT YOUR CORRECT SEATING POSTURE.
Ergonomic expert Jon Cinkay provides this useful explanation to Correctly Set Up Your Desk. This short and practical video addresses the issues of bad posture at your workstation, and describes a few practical tips for posture correction and pain relief.
- MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GOOD AND CLEAR VISIBILITY.
Great strides have been made in recent years to improve computer screen lighting. This is to protect your eyesight when sitting in front of a computer screen for prolonged periods. Be careful of the Negative Effects of Too Much Screen Time, ensure that your eyes are not continually straining, and that you are not slouching – one of the biggest causes of headaches, neck pain, and a stiff neck.
- TAKE REGULAR BREAKS AND TRY SOME OFFICE EXERCISES.
Try and create a “1-Hour ROUTINE”. Stand up and walk around your desk, or office, at least once every hour, and for at least 2 minutes at a time. A good approach is to simply move your body a little more during the workday, and you could try out a few Desk-Friendly Ways to Get Fit.
What does bad posture do to your body?
Bad posture can dramatically affect your lifestyle enjoyment and cause injuries in multiple ways.
The most common symptoms of bad posture include back pain, lower back pain, neck pain, and headaches, but slouching and bad posture can have many other negative effects on your body.
can you reverse bad posture?
The good news is that you can improve your condition, and even stand taller, by adopting good posture habits. You can start fixing and correcting your posture today by simply implementing a few Ergonomic tips in your work environment.