Back pain is one of the most common work-related injuries and is often caused by ordinary work activities such as sitting in an office chair or heavy lifting.
Over 31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time, and low back pain is the number-one cause of disability worldwide.
Applying ergonomic principles – the study of the workplace as it relates to the worker – can help prevent work-related back pain and back injury and help maintain a healthy back. Ergonomic chairs, kneeling chairs, standing desks can all play a role in adjusting the physical environment at work.
While companies are focusing more on employee wellness, few realize that something as simple as poor posture can have some pretty negative effects on work performance.
By encouraging micro-breaks to stretch and walk each hour, offering meetings that incorporate standing and walking, as well as designing the office to encourage movement, small changes can make a big impact.
Over time, poor posture may be caused by habits from everyday activities such as sitting in office chairs, staring at the computer, cradling a cell phone, carrying a purse over same shoulder, driving, prolonged standing, caring for small children, or even sleeping.
As a Chiropractor, I am seeing a troubling trend in our society, and it’s been going on for years, and only keeps getting worse with the rise of a technology-driven workplace and world. There are numerous dangers and side effects to poor posture, some cause our bodies to be in pain, but a lot of the internal functions of the body are also dependent on how our body’s posture.
See for yourself. I want you to hunch over or even just round your shoulders forward and slouch your back. Now take as deep a breath as you can and pay attention to how it feels. Now I want you to sit or stand up straight, with your shoulders back and repeat the exercise. I bet that the breath you took with your shoulders back felt a lot better, and you felt yourself get a deeper more efficient breath.
Complications from sitting incorrectly can be felt not only in your body, but also in your mind. Its effects can greatly impact your ability to physically, mentally, and emotionally function. These are areas of your body that are impacted by improper posture:
- Improper Digestion
- Varicose Veins
- Increased Stress Levels
This hunch back posture we are talking about is a major inconvenience, and it can be painful. But more importantly, it is compromising our body’s ability to function at 100%. The lungs are being compressed, not allowing them to fully expand, which in turns means that every breath taken is not as efficient as possible. This makes the lungs work harder to bring oxygen into the body. With less oxygen, the heart then has to work harder to pump oxygenated blood to the rest of the body, and the chain continues from there.
So, you see, your posture impacts more than just how your body is feeling or how it looks, it affects how your whole body is functioning!
About the Author: Dr. Jason Marsilio, Doctor of Chiropractic is the owner of ChiroEvolution in Wexford. The practice educates our community about true health through specific, scientific chiropractic care; deliver the most advanced chiropractic care. If you have any questions about this or anything else you think I may be able to help you with, feel free to contact my office via email at [email protected].