Maintaining good posture within the workplace is very important. What does good posture mean? In theory it’s when your bones, muscles, joins and ligaments are properly aligned. This maintains the healthy condition of your body, which leads to increased efficiency and longevity. Good posture can help prevent several health problems. Many of these are long term health problems.
The health problems caused from constant bad posture include:
- Increased risk of backaches
- Poor digestion
- Increased chances of cardiovascular issues
- Varicose veins
- Changes in your spinal curvature
As an employee, maintaining good posture is very important to ensure you are able to work at a high level for a long period of time, without any health problem interruptions. As an employer, ensuring staff maintain a good posture is very important, to prevent the occurrence of health problems, leading to possible compensation claims etc.
What Are The Causes of Bad Posture?
Health problems associated with bad posture arise when you are sitting with bad posture in one place for a long period of time.
Bad posture includes:
- Slouching in your chair
- Hunching your back
- Rounding your shoulders
- Poking your chin out when sat at a desk
- Cradling your phone between your ear and neck
A common mistake that leads to poor posture is thinking your posture is good due to you being ‘comfortable’. If you are adopting the posture with the above involved, you may still encounter health problems even though it is ‘comfortable’.
Prolonged inactivity, poor ergonomic workstations, a lack of movement and exercise, can also lead to problems with your posture.
How to Improve Your Posture
Support your back
The best way to achieve this support is through using a sufficient ergonomic chair. This chair should be adjustable, to ensure you can sit upright and adequately support your lower back. Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips. You may wish to use a footrest, if it feels necessary.
Adjust your chair
Adjusting your chair can position you in a way that allows for the best possible posture. Your chair should be adjusted to allow for your wrists and forearms to be straight and level with the floor. This can help prevent repetitive strain injuries. Your elbows should be by the side of your body, so your arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint.
Place your screen at eye level
Place the monitor about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level. If this isn’t achieved and your screen is positioned in other ways, then this may cause neck problems due to constant strain.
Position your keyboard to be straight in front of you
Keep your arms bent in an L-shape and your elbows by your sides. Some people use wrist supports, which may be highly beneficial as it keeps your wrists straight and at keyboard level.
Ensure regular breaks are taken
Regular breaks should be taken, to allow for your bones, joints and muscles to rest and recover. This may be done by planning intervals to get up and move around or through job rotation etc.
If you have any questions about health and safety in the workplace then feel free to get in touch with our experts by getting in touch using the details below.
As a Managing Director at Wurkplace since May 2010, Karen has extensive HR, employment law and health and Safety experience from working within the private sector.
She also boasts experience of working in the public sector including local authority, fire service, police, schools, colleges, charities, NHS.