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How to break static working posture among your employees

We often think that back pain is an old age problem. Well, not anymore. With more and more of our youth spending most of their day in offices, we are afraid that such problems have resurfaced stronger.

One of the major reasons for this is a bad posture at work. A typical corporate employee is expected to spend anywhere from 5 to 10 hours at her workstation. Most of his work from meetings, and client calls to coding involves sitting. And mind you, this could be a villain in your life ahead.

The term “posture” simply means the position of the body in space. It maintains the body in balance during movement or while staying still. A good posture doesn’t mean standing upright or sitting erect all the time. Rather, holding your body in the right way, whether you are moving or still, can make a lot of difference in preventing pain, injuries, and other health problems.

Poor posture can lead into increase pressure on the spine, misalignment of the musculoskeletal system, pain, decrease flexibility, etc.

As we sit and work, we tend to forget about posture and allow gravity to do its job. The result is a bad posture at work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal disorders, and injuries (MSDs) accounted for 31% of workplace injuries in 2015.

Below is a posture profile of a young corporate employee. As shown below, one tends to keep up with good posture and tend to slouch forward most of the time.

How to break this postural attitude during office/working hours?

Keep your computer monitor at eye level. Pull your shoulders back and keep your back flat against the chair and 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.

Monitor your ongoing symptoms such as stiffness, soreness, and ache in your back, shoulders, and neck, you may start to notice that your pain is worse on certain days or at certain times of the day. You’ll also likely notice that your body feels different during work hours than it does after work or on weekends. With this information, you can start to adjust your posture at work and consciously prevent back pain.

Research has found that regular movement breaks every 30 minutes greatly reduce the health risks posed by sitting. it’s important to make time for scheduled breaks and perform good posture exercises throughout the day. Stretching overhead and opening up your chest and back can counteract slouching. A brisk walk around the room can help boost circulation and energy.

Plot showing (green lines- sitting erect), the client made a conscious effort between his working hours to correct his posture.

It’s undoubtedly important to practice good posture at work and use ergonomic products to support spine alignment. But it’s also important to take your good posture habits from the office to home to travel and anywhere else. Maintaining proper spine alignment in all aspects of life is essential to preventing long-term, debilitating conditions.

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