The Truth About Good Posture and Workplace Ergonomics
Because we can even injure ourselves when we’re sitting down.
You probably go to work to support your family. But who—or, more precisely, what—is supporting you?
According to Safework Australia, 50% of Australian workers have jobs that involve sitting at least some of the time, and the Australian Health Study in 2013 showed that adults report sitting down for an average of 39 hours per week. The same report also claimed that office workers spent around three-quarters of their working hours off their feet. With those kind of statistics, you can see why there is such a focus on ergonomics.
If you spend that much time sitting you’ll need to think about your posture if you’re going to stay injury free. Poor posture is by far the most common cause of musculoskeletal neck strains, whereas good posture helps your body function better and use less energy.
Even slight changes in head position cause big changes in the amount of muscle tension required to support the neck; in fact, the tension doubles for every 2-3cm that your head moves forward. And seeing as the human head weighs approximately 5kg—about the same as two of the reams of paper sitting next to the photocopier—it takes a pretty big effort for your neck to support it.
So next time you’re reading a report or craning your neck to see the information being presented in a meeting, think about your posture. If you don’t—well let’s just say it’s no wonder that one in ten Australians has neck pain at any given time.
Thankfully, one of our experienced Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, or Chiropractors at Northern Spinal & Sports Injury Clinic can help. After conducting a complete history, orthopaedic and neurological examination, your practitioner will recommend a course of treatment that aims to reduce pressure, restore movement and prevent recurrence.
Typically, your practitioner will recommend the following:
- postural advice and how to avoid further strain
- a series of spinal mobilisations to restore proper movement to the neck vertebrae
- massage to tight neck muscles
- neck exercises to encourage improved movement
- neck strengthening exercises
- heat/ice therapy to help manage your neck pain
- recommend a contoured pillow to provide correct support while sleeping.
If you’d like to hear more about how we can help with posture in the workplace, call us on 03 9470 1010!