Department of Posture and Ergonomics
Ergonomics is a word of Greek origin of a combination of two words. “ergon” meaning work and “nomoi” which refers to the natural laws. Combined it means the relation of one’s occupation or work with the laws of nature. In today’s light, an Ergonomist is a profession that studied the human capabilities in relationship with one’s daily occupational hazards.
Posture is word of Latin origin “ponere” which means to place or is related to putting something, “positus” is Latin meaning position. Thus, to place in a position eventually it was called posture referring to how one positions their body.
Our posture while at work may cause some injuries due to incorrect posture while using work related equipment (E.g. computer or mouse) and furniture (E.g. desk or chair). Maintaining a good posture while working prevents any injuries in the muscle tissues and bones in the body.
What is a good posture? Ideally a good posture is when no joints are bent nor twisted and the spinal column is aligned, using proper breathing techniques and body weight distributed evenly and balanced.
What are the consequences of bad posture while at work?
Many injuries may occur while hours of working with a bad posture. These injuries may depend on the type of occupation one have. This is where consulting an Ergonomist about the proper posture while working in the type of occupation one has. For example, people who work in the office on desks and using a computer must sit on a chair that is high to allow the legs and feet flat on the floor. The back must be straight and the spinal column aligned. The shoulders and chest must be out and the neck must support the head in eye level position. The weight must be evenly distributed on the hips.
Common injuries caused by poor posture while working
- Lower back pain (lumbar region)
- Wrist injury
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Sciatica – a pain at the back of the legs due to a slipped disc or lower back pain
- Knee pain
- Shoulder impingement – is an injury when the space in between the shoulder joints is lessened resulting to pinching feeling in the tendons