Posted on October 6, 2022
Consequences of poor back posture: What you need to know.
Posture plays a significant role in your job, regardless of the field you operate in. It helps you prevent accidents and injuries at work while providing you with optimal working conditions.
Good posture is vital for the proper alignment of bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves, ensuring their ability to work together smoothly and efficiently. Proper body mechanics ensures that stress is appropriately distributed when:
It reduces wear and tear on the body, especially the joints, muscles, and connective tissues.
That's why it's essential to offer VR training on proper posture to your employees.
Some of the most effective ways to prevent work-related injuries due to poor posture and body mechanics are ergonomic workplace assessments. These assessments fall into two categories:
Physical aptitude tests can also help by identifying employees who might have posture, body mechanics, or other physical problems that can impact work safety and efficiency. A full-day workshop on employee safety and ergonomics can also help educate employees on how to use proper posture and body mechanics at work and raise awareness about these injury prevention measures.
Here's what you risk from poor back posture at work:
Every human's spine has three primary curves that form an "S." If you consistently have poor posture, this can distort these natural curves, placing undue pressure in the wrong position.
One of the main side effects of poor posture is unwanted tension in the upper and lower back. Leaning forward exerts pressure between your shoulder blades, flattening your back muscles. If you feel pain under your neck and around your tailbone after a long workday, you're probably not sitting upright.
Maintaining a poor posture throughout your workday can strain your posterior muscles, negatively impacting your neck. The pressure exerted on your neck by the tension caused by these muscles can lead to sharp headaches, whether your shoulders are slouched or your head is tilted down.
The discomfort and pain caused by poor posture throughout the day can disrupt your sleep at night.
If your job requires you to sit nearly all day, poor seated posture can cause digestive issues. This can compress your organs, slowing digestion and causing stomach issues.
Not sitting upright or not standing with shoulders back can also negatively impact work ethic. You focus on the discomfort rather than the task at hand.
Follow these guidelines to improve posture and ergonomics at work:
Recognize the warning signs. If back pain worsens at certain times of the day or week, it could be the result of poor ergonomics and posture. It's a pain that starts at the neck and travels down the upper back, lower back, and limbs. It usually disappears after changing position and is often felt when you have a new job, a new office chair, a new car, etc.
As muscles tire, slouched and poor postures become more likely. They then exert extra pressure on the neck and back. Change positions frequently to maintain a relaxed posture. It's recommended to stand and stretch or walk every half hour.
Keep your body aligned when sitting on an office chair, benefiting from the chair's features. Think of aligning your ears, shoulders, and hips in a vertical line.
These can relieve the stress and load on the spine. You can use ergonomic chairs, footrests, lumbar supports, comfortable cushions, corrective glasses, etc.
Regular physical activities like walking, swimming, or cycling can encourage your body to maintain aerobic fitness, while specific strengthening activities help the muscles surrounding the back stay strong. These benefits promote good posture, which in turn conditions muscles and prevents injuries.
Avoid wearing high heels daily if you often stand at work. They can affect the body's center of gravity and alter the entire body's alignment, negatively impacting back support and posture.
Walking, lifting, holding a phone, and typing are all activities that require attention to ergonomics and posture. Back injuries are particularly common during twisting and/or lifting and often occur due to awkward movement and controlling the body's upper weight.
Remember, it's essential to maintain a generally relaxed posture to avoid restricting movement by tensing muscles and adopting a stiff and unnatural posture. For those with existing back pain, it's a natural tendency to try to limit movements to avoid the potential pain associated with movement. However, unless there's a fracture or another severe issue, the spine's structures are designed for movement, and any movement limitation over a prolonged period creates more pain.
At Immersive Factory, our mission is to help companies drastically reduce workplace accidents and provide a safe working environment for their employees. To achieve this, we offer HSE VR training programs. We invite you to browse our catalog of virtual reality-based training if you aim for "zero accidents."