Body Postures And You – II

Continuing our exclusive four-part series on correcting body postures for pain-free health benefits, Parsi Times presents the second part with Physiotherapist Dr. Zahra Hussain, specialist in Orthopaedic and Sports Physiotherapy, and a certified therapist in Kinesiology Taping and Mulligan Therapy.

Today we shall elaborate on one of the prime factors responsible for Musculo Skeleton Disorders (MSDs): ‘Awkward Working Postures’. Sitting copy

We usually tend to over look muscular strains that arise from bending too much over the desk, the pain at the back of our neck and at times the spasm that we sense in our backs while trying to lift heavy objects. Timely rectifications of such non-ergonomic conditions are a must.

The three main positions that we typically indulge in at our work place are: ‘standing positions’, ‘Sittingpositions’ and ‘Lifting positions’. The best way to rectify awkwardness in these postures is to replace them with ‘neutral postures’.

Incorrect Standing Postures:

  • Sticking your head forward leading to a ‘Zig-Zag’ posture
  • Swaying backward with stomach sticking out, leads to a ‘Large Zig-Zag’ posture.
  • Extremely erect position leading to a ‘Over Corrected’ posture.

Correct Standing Posture:

  • Your Head, neck, shoulder, hip and ankle should be in one line.
  • Keep adequate/ comfortable distance between both the feet.
  • While standing in front of the monitor, made sure the screen is twenty to thirty inches away.
  • Make sure the monitor is tilted at a slight angle.
  • Have a foot rest for one leg to help occasionally shift body weight.

Standing copyIncorrect Sitting Posture:

  • Slouching while seated.
  • Sticking your head forward while seated.
  • Neck hyper-extended in the forward direction.
  • Shoulders rolled forward.
  • Compression of discs in the low back.

Correct Sitting Posture:

  • Head should be placed straight on the shoulders.
  • While seated make sure the upper back is well supported and straight.
  • Offer additional support to your lower back with the help of a small cushion/ towel roll.
  • Support your feet on a foot rest.
  • Support your thighs completely with the base of the chair.
  • Make it a point to have the ‘screen at eye level’, ‘keyboard at elbow level’ and ‘arms well rested on arm rests’.

Incorrect Lifting Postures:

  • Bending too much causing the back to be rounded.
  • Bending too much from the knees while gripping the weight.
  • Lunching forward while lifting the weight, causing immense pressue on the back muscles.

The Correct Lifting Posture

  • Hold the parcel firmly while tucking your fingers underneath.
  • Bend at knees and not the back to go down.
  • Straighten knees with an erect back while trying to stand up.
  • Rise vertically.
  • Keep a wide stance.

Applying these ergonomic principles to your work station will help bring harmony between the work environment and your body.

Dr. Zahra Hussain
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