Pure Physio Blog

Teaching The Tips Of Ergonomics

Published on
27 Oct 2014

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Roy and Cara were accepted an invitation from Netwealth to deliver a seminar on work place posture and ergonomics. It has become well understood that posture plays an important role in remaining pain free and productive in a desk based occupation. Our physio's teamed up to help Netwealth staff gain greater knowledge around posture and it’s effects, as well as to provide practical education on correct posture and workstation setup.

The anatomy of the spine is such that it is optimally loaded in an upright position, such as standing. Sitting on the other hand is not good for long periods and especially not when slouching. This can lead to low back pain which is quite common in desk based workers. We also see a lot of neck pain, and headaches that are referred from the neck. Read our article on the benefits of standing!

Everyone is different so there is no recipe for postural correction. There’s a lot more to it than to just ‘sit up straight’. For some it’s changing the position of the head and neck, for others it’s changing the angle of the curve in the mid back and for a lot it’s about teaching the correct low back and pelvic positions so your core muscles can do their job.

The external factors are the next things to look at, if the set up isn’t right then you can’t help but have bad posture. Monitor height is all important as is the alignment of your monitors if you use more than one. Chair and desk height, footstool use, keyboard type and mouse position are also important components to ensure you have the correct muscles working for you, in the right way.

We love to see people who pursue active recreation but often they don’t realise the impact that sitting in a chair for eight hours or more a day can have on their one hour of activity. For instance if you are a runner, sitting all day may cause you to have tight hip flexors that will restrict your stride and potentially lead to injury. Similarly cyclists can be very weak and tight in the mid-back and swimmers can be quite tight around the shoulders, restricting overhead movement and causing pain.

So make sure that you’re comfortable at your desk, be set-up correctly in terms of the ergonomics (extrinsic) and your posture (intrinsic). Remember we were made to move – so get up regularly and move! You’ll feel much better for doing so. If you’re getting persistent back or neck pain or headaches then come in to see one of our Physios and they can assess you and organise a workstation assessment if needed.

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