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Back Health and Posture Correction with Office Ergonomics – A Complete Guide

woman holding her back because of back pain

Table of Contents

Poor posture and back pain are common issues faced by office workers. But with the right tools and practices, it is possible to alleviate these problems and create a more comfortable work environment. Office ergonomics play a crucial role in correcting posture and improving back health. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about office ergonomics, including what it is, its benefits, and how to select and use ergonomic equipment. Whether you’re looking to improve your own work environment or help others, this guide is an essential resource for anyone looking to maximize comfort and productivity in the office.

The Importance of office ergonomics

Did you know that an in a lifetime, an average person spends approximately 90,000 hours at the office workstation? When measured in years, it is slightly more than 10 years. 

Not only do we spend a vital part of our life working, but it is also done in the prime ages of our life. Hence, our working years contribute significantly to our overall well-being and define our quality of life.

Most people have yet to look at their work from this angle, and by the time they realize it, it already becomes too late. Many of the health problems we face in the later stages of life result from our lifestyle from age 20-40. Thus, we must educate ourselves on the harms we expose ourselves to every day at our office by maintaining a bad posture while working and try to minimize its effect on our health and life. 

Health consequences of a bad posture

A bad posture can cause many problems, beginning with giving you a slouchy look. In addition, it adds excessive strain to your joints and muscles, causing fatigue and chronic pain depending on which part of your body the posture harms the most. Hence, musculoskeletal disorders are a growing worry among people who have done or have to do a desk job all their life.

Importance of proper posture and back health

Proper posture is important for maintaining good back health. Poor posture can cause muscle imbalances and spine strain, leading to back pain and other health issues. Good posture is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Helps eliminate wear and tear of joint surfaces (such as the knee) to control the onset of arthritis.
  • Upholds bones and joints in the correct alignment and position, so muscles are used appropriately.
  • Prevents exhaustion because muscles are used more effectively, which allows the body to consume less energy.
  • It prevents the spine from getting fixed in unnatural positions.
  • Prevents muscle pain and backache.
  • Reduces the pressure on the spinal ligaments.

man not using ergonomic furniture holding his back because of back pain

Now that we understand the importance of good posture in detail,

Tips for maintaining good posture 

  1. Stand up straight: Keep your shoulders relaxed, and your feet shoulder-width apart. Try to distribute your weight evenly across both feet. 
  2. Keep your head up: Avoid slouching or tilting your head downward for extended periods of time. 
  3. Use good posture when sitting: Keep your feet flat on the ground, with both knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your chair supports the natural curve of your spine. 
  4. Take breaks and stretch: Stand up and move around regularly to prevent muscle fatigue. 
  5. Use proper lifting methods: When lifting heavy objects, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and lift with your legs, not your back.

Following these tips can help maintain good posture and improve your back health. 

But, as office work and corporate lifestyle demand us to sit mostly, we should focus on the correct sitting posture to avoid back pain.

What is a correct seating posture?

  • Sit upright with a straight back. Touch your buttocks to the back of your chair.
  • Use a soft, rolled towel or a lumbar roll to slightly arch your back in comfort.
  • Draw yourself up and accentuate your back curve maximum. Stay in the position for a few moments.
  • Don’t toss, twist and turn at the waist when sitting in a chair that pivots and rolls. Instead, turn your entire body.

While these tips can help you immensely, you can achieve back health and posture correction with an ergonomic design office workstation. 

Confused? Read on!

Office ergonomics: The revolution supporting working lifestyles

Office ergonomics is the study of designing work environments and tasks to fit the needs and capabilities of the people who work in them. In a working setup, this can involve creating office workstations and equipment to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), back pain, posture and other health problems caused by sitting in the same position for long periods or using poorly designed equipment. It’s vital to be aware of how the design and arrangement of your equipment can impact your comfort, health, and productivity.

Tips to create an ergonomic office environment 

  1. Adjust your chair height and position – Before even the height comes a proper chair. Choose an ergonomic design chair that gives support to your spinal curves. Your feet must be flat on the ground or a footrest, and your knees should be at a 90-degree angle when seated.
    Make sure both your thighs are parallel to the floor. The backrest should support the natural curve of your spine, and your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle when typing. Your arms should gently rest on the armrests with both shoulders relaxed. A lumbar roll or cushion can also help maintain proper posture. 
  2. Use a good quality keyboard and mouse – Look for ones designed to reduce strain on your wrists and forearms. Place your mouse on the same surface as your keyboard and within comfortable reach. While typing, keep your upper arms close to your body, wrists straight, and your hands at or slightly below the elbow level. Use keyboard shortcuts to reduce comprehensive mouse use.
    Adjust the mouse’s sensitivity so you can use a light touch to operate it. Alternate the hand you use to use the mouse by moving the mouse on opposite sides of your keyboard.
  3. Position your monitor at eye level – The ergonomic design of an office workstation requires your monitor to be placed strategically. It should be able to lessen neck strain. The upper part of your monitor should be at or slightly below eye level. Place the monitor approximately an arm’s length away – directly in front of you. The screen’s top should be at or a little below eye level.
    Keep the monitor slightly behind the keyboard. If you wear bifocals, lower the monitor by 1 to 2 inches for easier viewing. Let the brightest source of light come to your monitor’s side.
  4. Key objects – Office ergonomics involves keeping important things handy. It means your stapler, papers or files and the telephone should be close to your body to lessen overstretching. Remember to stand up for anything that can’t be easily reached while sitting. 
  5. Footrest – If the height of your desk needs you to raise your chair or your chair is too high for you to lay your feet flat on the floor, get yourself a footrest. If not, try using a small stool to reduce back pain and enhance your sitting posture. 
  6. Desk – Make sure there’s enough clearance for your knees, thighs, and feet under the desk. Place sturdy blocks or boards under the desk legs if the desk is too low and can’t be adjusted. Raise your chair if the desk is too high and can’t be adjusted. Use a footrest as a foot support, if required. Use a wrist rest or pad the edge if your desk has a hard edge. Don’t store objects underneath your desk.

By following these tips, you can help create a comfortable and safe work environment that can help improve back health and correct bad posture.

Three essential points to reduce back pain & Improve posture  

  1. Take breaks and stretch: Standing up and moving around regularly to prevent muscle fatigue is essential. Some stretching exercises that can help are –
    1. Rotate your head slowly from left to right, relaxing the neck muscles.
    2. Roll your shoulders forward and backward multiple times. 
  2. Headset instead of phone: A headset should be supplied if your work requires regular phone use and if telephonic communication is combined with hand tasks such as writing or typing. 
  3. Document holder nearby: A document holder to position hard paper copies in a vertical orientation should be provided if your job demands recurring viewing of documents while entering data into the computer. The document holder should be placed at about the same distance and height as the monitor screen. 

    Use proper lighting: Avoid glare on your computer screen and ensure the lighting in your workspace is sufficient to reduce eye strain. Ensure your office is well-lit and well-ventilated, with natural light and fresh air circulating regularly. 

Bottom Line –
These are the key parts of office ergonomics. The main thing is to be able to experiment with your setup in a way that suits you best. Try lifting or lowering your monitor, alternating between sitting and standing, and adjusting your chair. Keep checking how your body reacts after every hour and make changes until you attain the Goldilocks level of your workspace being “just perfect.” That’s actual office ergonomics! A well-designed office environment can not only reduce back pain but also help to increase overall comfort and productivity.

If you are looking for ergonomic design office workstations such as chairs, tables, or other accessories, check out Delhi NCR’s leading Opus Indigo furniture. The furniture is designed to correct sitting posture, boost productivity, and avoid neck or back pains. Follow the link for more information: https://www.opusindigo.com/ To shop, directly visit: https://www.opusindigo.com/store/ 

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