Hudson's Office Furniture present the User Guide To Better Posture within the office or home

A chair should be an integral part of ergonomic office life.

When the time comes to invest in new office furniture you have the perfect opportunity to revamp your office ergonomics. If your team members complain about aches and pains the problem could be their desk set up. Four out of five adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives and this can result in them needing to have time off work which can cost your company money. Back pain is only one of the health issues that poor ergonomics can cause. The health of your team should be paramount and making your employees comfortable and healthier could be as simple as improving ergonomics in the workplace.  This is where we come in. We have introduced a number of products that have been specifically designed to reduce or prevent RSI, improving employee welfare and reducing the associated cost of employee absence.

Some key facts about this increasingly common complaint:• The total number of Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) cases in 2013/14 was 526,000 out of a total 1,241,000 for all work-related illnesses. This represents an increase of 20% from 2011/12.• The total number of working days lost due to MSDs in 2013/14 was 8.3 million, an average of 15.9 days per case of MSDs.• General practitioners report the most likely work-related causes of back disorders is due to tasks such as heavy lifting, keyboard work and material manipulation.Source: HSE.gov.uk

To make sure you are getting the most out of your chair, follow our simple advice:
• The chair should allow the user to move easily and freely; we recommend that you leave the chair unlocked to make full use of the chair’s movement whether on the phone, reading or reaching.
• When typing or working at the computer, the ideal seat angle would be tipped slightly forward to encourage an open posture.
• If you have been sitting for a while, move your feet around to stimulate the blood flow, and try not to slouch.
• If you are going to use another chair, make the effort to adjust it to ensure you are receiving maximum support before you commence work.

Good Working Positions

 


Sitting PostureTo understand the best way to set up a computer workstation, it is helpful to understand the concept of neutral body positioning. This is a comfortable working posture in which your joints are naturally aligned. Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and skeletal system and reduces your risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). The following are important considerations when attempting to maintain neutral body postures while working at the computer workstation:

 

  • Handswrists, and forearms are straight, in-line and roughly parallel to the floor.
     
  • Head is level, or bent slightly forward, forward facing, and balanced. Generally it is in-line with the torso.
     
  • Shoulders are relaxed and upper arms hang normally at the side of the body.
     
  • Elbows stay in close to the body and are bent between 90 and 120 degrees.
     
  • Feet are fully supported by the floor or a footrest may be used if the desk height is not adjustable.
     
  • Back is fully supported with appropriate lumbar support when sitting vertical or leaning back slightly.
     
  • Thighs and hips are supported by a well-padded seat and generally parallel to the floor.
     
  • Knees are about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward.

Regardless of how good your working posture is, working in the same posture or sitting still for prolonged periods is not healthy. You should change your working position frequently throughout the day in the following ways:

  • Make small adjustments to your chair or backrest.
     
  • Stretch your fingers, hands, arms, and torso.
     
  • Stand up and walk around for a few minutes periodically.

These four are examples of body posture changes that all provide neutral positioning for the body. 

Estimated working days lost due to work-related incidents

Note: average sampling variability +/- 9% on the total

Working days lost

During the last decade the total number of days taken off work due to work-related illness and workplace injuries has fallen.

The latest information from the Labour Force Survey for 2011/12 shows:

  • Around 27.0 million working days were lost in total, 22.7 million due to work-related illness and 4.3 million due to workplace injuries.
  • On average, each person suffering took around 17 days off work, 21 days for ill health and 7.3 days for injuries on average.
  • The number of working days lost has fallen over the past decade.
  • Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 10.4 and 7.5 million days respectively.
  • The average days lost per case for stress, depression or anxiety (24 days) was higher than for musculoskeletal disorders (17 days).

Information taken directly from the Health and Safety Executive. You can visit the site and read further information when you visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/dayslost.htm

Call Hudson's Office Furniture free on 0800 298 50 92 and arrange a posture class. Our expert will call out to your premises and demonstrate correct posture. The advice will be on the seating used by individual operators and their working environment. A full and comprehensive report of the findings will be made available to your company after the call out.