Here are some tips to avoid stressing your back. Ergonomics breaks down how our work environment affects our work and body. Ergonomics looks for ways to improve our environment to decrease the risks of injury, ailments, enhance productivity, and improve the quality of our work.
The profession of ergonomics focuses on two areas:
- Industrial ergonomics also called occupational biomechanics focuses on the physical aspects of work like
- Repetitive movement/s
- Human factor ergonomics looks at the psychological aspects of work like mental well-being and efficient decision-making.
Minimize Stress at the Desk
- Try not to lean over the desk for extended amounts of time.
- Do not sit too far from the desk/workstation.
- Do not sit with your back unsupported.
- Adjust the chair to a proper height so the knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Keep the elbows bent at a 90-degree angle but also rest the elbows on the work surface or chair armrests.
- Try not to bend or twist the neck while on the phone.
Maintaining a Neutral Spine While Standing
The feet should be slightly apart with the knees straight and chin tucked in. Try not to stand in one or the same position for extended amounts of time. Change and shift the weight from one foot to the other regularly. Use a footstool to elevate the foot/feet off and on, shifting the weight and continually moving can be helpful.
Proper posture means maintaining the natural curve of the spine known as a neutral spine. Proper posture should be incorporated into all activities of daily living, which minimizes the amount of added stress to the spine. Proper posture is so important it’s what a chiropractor or physical therapist will first teach a patient.
Proper posture looks like
Imagine a plumb bob hanging from the ear lobe. With proper posture, the plumb bob will drop straight down the middle of the arm to the ankle.
Why is this so important?
Improper posture and incorrect body mechanics are two of the primary causes of neck and back pain.
- Observe the object to be moved, if the object looks too heavy or too big then please get help!
- Before moving the object move any obstacles out of the path.
- Get as close to the object as possible and bend at the knees.
- Before lifting make sure the feet are slightly apart and flat. When turning, instead of twisting, pivot with the feet. This helps provide a stable base.
- Take a long breathe and tighten the stomach muscles.
- Smoothly lift the object using the arms and legs, not the back!
- Try to hold the object at the side and bottom and keep it close to the body.
- Keep your back straight.
- Carry the object with the elbows slightly bent.
- When carrying try to keep a balanced amount of weight in each hand. For example, shopping bags or luggage should have the loads divided in two.
- Keep the shoulders held slightly back and level.
- The ears should line up with the shoulders.
- Keep the chin tucked in slightly.
- Keep the pelvis shifted forward so that the hips are lined up with the ankles.
- Consider the size, weight, and location of the object.
- Use a heavy-duty step ladder.
- Directly face the object and get as close to it as possible.
- One hand should be used for additional support.
- Try not to look overhead for extended periods as this causes unnecessary stress to the neck.
- Store items that are used all the time easy to reach. This could mean rearranging shelves etc.
There are almost as many causes of back pain as there are words to describe the pain and symptoms. Muscle spasms are the most common cause, the spine is susceptible to the same problems as other parts of your body. Poor posture and incorrect body mechanics are two of the leading causes of neck and back pain.
Through Dr.Alex Jimenez’s unique approach to healing, he continues being voted the best Chiropractor in El Paso by the El Paso reviewing sites, clinical specialists, researchers and readers. This is in part because he passionately accepts patients he feels are candidates for care. If he feels you need other treatment, then you will be referred to a clinic or Physician that is best suited for you. Dr. Jimenez has teamed with the top surgeons, clinical specialists, medical researchers and premiere rehabilitation providers to bring El Paso the top clinical treatments to our community. Providing high non-invasive protocols is our priority.
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Sitting places added stress and pressure on your back because it transfers the body’s full weight onto the buttocks and thighs. Sitting for long periods can cause pressure to increase on the discs, which can lead to severe/chronic back pain. Sitting also takes a toll on the lower extremities. As the blood stays in the legs and feet this creates a sluggish return of blood to the heart.