Posture 101: Back Pain 28 million people affected in the UK

In Corporate Wellness Blog by tailoredfit

As part of our corporate offsite offering, we often talk to staff about posture as a critical component of musculoskeletal health. It has a significant impact on staff health and on the bottom line of any business.

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders accounted for 34 per cent of work days lost in 2017. With absenteeism and presenteeism accounting for 30 days lost per member of staff per year, this can have a huge impact on productivity and profitability.

Here’s our simple guide on the what, how and why of posture to help keep your staff in good physical shape.

What is posture?

At Tailored Fit, we consider posture to be the positions we unconsciously adopt while sitting, standing or moving. Good posture would be considered positions in which joints are balanced and under reasonable tension. Poor posture while sitting could include forward head carriage, rounded upper back or feet tucked under the chair. While standing it could be having the weight planted on one leg for a sustained period or looking down at a phone. While walking it may be having a bag over one shoulder or walking without swinging the arms.

Why does it matter?

Affects muscular balance
The nervous system and the muscles of the human body will adapt to commonly adopted positions that will change their natural length and tension.

Affects how we move
The adaptations to posture will affect how the body moves in everything from day to day walking to sports and exercising at the gym.

Can lead to pain and injury
Repetitive or continuous strain caused by poor movement can lead to pain and injury to various joints of the body; often the spine, hips and knees.

What negatively affects it?

Sitting and lack of movement
The position you adopt while at a desk will have a huge impact on posture. If you are working an 8 hour day behind a computer, you are ingraining the position you find yourself in for a third of the day.

Poor form during exercise, sports and day to day movement
Exercise engrains movement patterns into your nervous system, so exercise with poor form leads to worse movement patterns. This is true of your walk as you commute to work; if you are carrying a shoulder bag and emailing on your phone, your body will develop lopsided patterns.

How do we improve it?

Move more often
Regardless of how good your posture is, holding one position for a long time will be detrimental to your musculoskeletal health. Regular movement is KEY to a healthy body. Short breaks every hour will keep the blood flowing, allow your brain to recharge and keep you more productive.

If you spend hours in one position with rounded shoulders, flexed spine, forward head carriage and flexed hips, it’s a great idea to work on doing the opposite every day. Do exercises to keep the head in a good position, get the shoulders back, the back upright with the hips extended.

Exercise correctly
Exercising with good form builds the control, mobility, endurance and strength needed on a day-to-day basis. So many musculoskeletal problems can be avoided with correct exercise.

And that’s it, our simple guide to posture in the workplace! If you want to find out about of corporate offsite in which we teach your staff all the skill they need to look after their body, get in touch here.