Bad posture – and how this can affect you at work

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

It is said that we spend roughly 90, 000 hours of our lives at work. Yes 90, 000. Just think about all those hours of hard work, commitment and dedication to working.

Now, depending on what field you work in, you will most likely spend that time doing the same thing, day in and day out. Whether it involves typing away at your computer, manual handling of machinery or even stocking shelves in a supermarket.

Either way, we are using our bodies to allow us to move. To move in a way which we aren’t designed to repetitively move in or even in wonderful and weird ways that we don’t realise we are moving our bodies in.

For example:

‘Miss A is a right-handed 55-year-old factor worker. Her role at work involves her having to screw bottle tops to bottles manually. She does for 7.5 hours a day, 5 days a week, whilst standing’.

What could possibly go wrong?

Observing Miss A’s movements at work, her right arm is constantly moving out of midline to reach over to collect her bottle top. She is then moving her right arm back to her midline. To screw the bottle top to the bottle, she is using her fine and gross motor skills whilst twisting her wrist outwards to tighten the bottle top to the bottle.

Of course, we have our own techniques to how we do things but this is just one way of looking at it. Imagine doing this all day, every day!

So, how will this affect Miss A in the long term if work-place ergonomics are not considered?

Firstly, constantly reaching out of midline can cause shoulder and neck ache which can lead to headaches and migraines. Not only that, screwing bottle tops can also cause wrist strains or aches when repeating the movement. This can also cause repetitive movement injury or lateral epicondylitis – also known as ‘tennis elbow’. If untreated, they can continue to cause long-term problems.

The same applies to your work desk! You do not want to keep repeating movements whilst sitting in bad posture. Like Miss A, there are many ways to avoid doing this, whilst maintaining good posture. Frequent breaks, re arrangement of equipment and sitting up properly are just a few of many changes we should be implementing.

Remember, good posture equals happy employee equals efficiency.

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