poor Back Posture and ergonomics?
how to improve your posture and ergonomics:
Ergonomics is the relationship between your body’s posture and your workspace. It is also known as human engineering or biotechnology. Bad posture can be related to various factors in a persons day to day life. Not only is this impacted by your work environment, including your office chair, your screen height and length of time in front of your computer, it also extends to every aspect of our lives such as driving and lifting grocery bags for instance.
Poor posture can easily become second nature, causing and aggravating episodes of back and neck pain and damaging spinal structures. Fortunately, the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are completely within one’s ability to control and are not difficult to change.
As a practicing Chiropractor, being environmentally aware is something that I continually work towards to improve. The below tips are ones that have helped me improve my own posture
1. Identify the warning signs of back pain caused by poor ergonomics and posture –
Take notice of the times when you start getting back or neck pain. It this a common recurrence at the same time and place?
2. Keep the body in alignment while sitting in an office chair and while standing
When standing, ensure that your body weight is distributed evenly. Avoid leaning to one side. When seated, ensure your chair is adjusted to meet your personal needs and is adapted to your height and measurements. Ensure that your ears, shoulders and hips are vertically aligned. Allow yourself frequent breaks from your desk to stretch out your body
3. Get up and move
Allow yourself frequent breaks from your chair. This will ensure your body has plenty of opportunity to stretch out
4. Use posture-friendly props and ergonomic office chairs when sitting
Ensure your chair is at the correct height to ensure correct alignment of the body. Adjust your screen height in line with this. Ensure all backpacks and bags used have sufficient back support and padding
5. Increase awareness of posture and ergonomics in everyday settings
Make a conscious effort to continually adjust your posture to ensure you are vertically aligned, when both sitting and standing, in work and at home
6. Use exercise to help prevent injury and promote good posture
Regular exercise will strengthen the muscles in your body leading to better posture, ensure to include core and back strengthening exercises in your daily routine
7. Wear supportive footwear when standing
As I mentioned above, even weight distribution is essential when standing for long periods of time. Ensure to wear footwear that supports this. Heels should be avoided
8. Remember good posture and ergonomics when in motion
When active and carrying out day to day tasks such as grocery shopping, walking and reading from your mobile phone, awareness of your posture is important. Walking tall with shoulders back is essential, especially today, with the use of mobile phones leading to hunched shoulders
9. Create ergonomic physical environments and workspaces, such as sitting in an office chair at a computer
Personalise your work environment, your home and car to ensure that everything is positioned to your specific needs
10. Avoid overprotecting posture
All nine points mentioned above are important for improved back posture and ergonomics, but don’t forget to stay relaxed when making these changes and don’t restrict and tense your muscles