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Are Static Postures Damaging Your Health and Productivity?

Nov 2, 2021 | All Articles, Ergonomics, Productivity, Custom Solutions

Static postures are commonly seen in sedentary jobs in manufacturing and fulfillment operations. Prolonged sitting can cause heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and even cancer. Similarly, prolonged standing also puts you at risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). You can reduce static postures by using the right type of workstations and accessories. It also helps to stay active and take frequent short breaks.

Finding the proper balance between sitting and standing at work is critical.

When you become passive, the muscles stop moving and lose their ability to keep your tissues stretched and vascularly open. As a result, acids, toxins, and other wastes accumulate in the tissue, causing pain and damage.

Don’t worry, though.

This article will discuss the ergonomic risk factors and give solutions to keep you healthy and productive.

Let’s dive in!

What is static posture?

Static posture refers to the condition of staying in the same posture or position for long periods, usually while working. It can inhibit blood flow and cause muscle damage. In addition, static posture can affect the nerves, ligaments, blood vessels, and tendons. It is one of the ergonomic risk factors that could cause WMSDs.

Jobs that require employees to remain in one position for long durations can result in aching muscles, backache, or leg cramps. In the long run, you may damage your ankle, knee, and hip joints.

You could also experience severe pain in your wrists and hands, elbows, forearms, neck, and shoulders. As a result, carrying out daily routine tasks can get difficult.

From tight muscles to injuries, your work area can pose some severe ergonomic risks. Ouch!

Let’s dive deeper.

Effects of static postures

Occupations that require prolonged sitting or standing accompanied by repetitive movements can cause soreness and fatigue. Further still, the back, shoulders, neck, legs, and wrists can experience stiffness and discomfort, depending on the posture, work duration, and exertion level.

Let’s see how prolonged sitting and standing can affect your health.

Prolonged sitting: health risks involved

Prolonged sitting at a workstation can result in many health complications.

The muscles need to hold the body, neck, and shoulders upright when sitting. This exertion compresses the blood vessels in the muscles.

As a result, insufficient blood supply makes the muscles liable to cramps and injury. It also contributes to the degeneration of the spinal discs.

You can experience the following side effects from too much sitting:

Neck and shoulder pain

Improper posture can cause muscle tension in the neck and shoulders, which can result in strained muscles.

Moreover, the blood vessels in your arms can become slightly constricted.

Hence, you can suffer from painful neck and shoulder muscles due to improper blood supply.

Back pain and degeneration of spinal discs

Prolonged sitting is among the leading causes of back pain. The resulting stress on the lower back leads to an imbalance in the lower back muscles.

When the lower back muscles are weak, they cannot hold up the heavy abdominal organs. This effect causes the organs to sag forward, putting more pressure on the spinal discs.

As a result, the spinal discs deteriorate faster than average.

The spine is like a coiled spring. When you sit or stand for long, the muscles in the back get weak, and the spine loses its elasticity. This imbalance can cause degeneration of spinal discs.

Poor blood circulation

Prolonged sitting slows down blood circulation. So, you can suffer from painful leg cramps and numbness in the feet.

A chair that is too high can put pressure on the underside of the thighs. As a result, your legs could get stiff or swollen.

Muscle degeneration and osteoporosis

When you sit for long, you also use less energy which lowers your metabolic level. This, together with poor blood circulation, may result in muscular degeneration and osteoporosis.

Prolonged standing: health risks involved

Standing consistently for long durations at work results in fatigue and stiff muscles. It also hampers blood flow to the lower limbs, causing pain in the legs, thighs, and lower back. Prolonged standing also puts tremendous pressure on joints like the hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Eventually, it makes walking challenging.

You can experience the following side effects from prolonged standing:

Varicose veins

When you constantly stand for a long time, blood gathers in your feet and legs, resulting in inflamed veins. Over time, you may develop painful varicose veins.

Heel problems

Standing for extended periods in one place puts tremendous pressure on the feet. As a result, you can develop plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. You can also get painful bunions and corns from the pressure of your shoes.

A wrong posture can be painful, even if it’s just for a while.

Don’t let a wrong posture destroy your health. Let’s look at the right ergonomic equipment for static postures.

Solutions

Employers can consider many ergonomic guidelines to promote good posture for employees. For instance, they can put adjustable working tables compatible with their employees’ height in a well-designed and organized workplace. Workers must also have sufficient room to move around and change positions. Greater flexibility will improve blood supply and consequently reduce stress on muscles and joints. These factors will help to reduce static posture damage.

Workplace health solutions can reduce ergonomic risk factors for improved employee health and productivity.

In this section, we dive into ergonomic solutions for static postures.

Improve your workspace design

The first step to help prevent musculoskeletal disorders is the correct layout of the workplace.

Placing tools, supplies, and other components in proper reach zones will help minimize awkward body positions such as reaching, stretching, twisting, and bending.

A suitable workspace will also provide employees room to move around and use different muscles.

Choose the right workstations

Selecting the right workstation type will permit workers to sit or stand in different positions and change postures frequently. This strategy will distribute the load across the muscles being used in a particular task.

Electric height adjustable workstations can be set at the optimal height for each operator in a sitting or standing position. Quick and easy switching between positions at the touch of a button encourages movement. It is non-disruptive to the workflow with minimum non-value-added motions.

From manufacturing companies to warehouses, electric height adjustable workbenches allow workers to get more done with more comfort.

Use appropriate accessories

Adjustable accessories make sure that you stay in neutral body positions whatever postures you assume at work. Here are a few examples.

  1. Pneumatic height adjustable monitor arm: provide optimum flexibility to move the monitor into a position that fits you and your posture
  2.  LED magnification lamp: add additional light and magnification for detailed tasks; can be adjusted to your position
  3. Footrest: build-in or free standing to allow workers to shift body weight from one leg to the other while standing and maintain neutral body position when sitting
  4. Articulating bin holder: place small items within reach where needed and swing out of way when not in use

Take mini-breaks

Employees should take a minute to stretch during their day, take a small break from intensive work, or have a set exercise schedule that is easy to do at their workstations.

During a strenuous day of hard work, a few simple exercises can help alleviate the stiffness of sore muscles.

Switch between tasks

Switching between tasks is essential to prevent static postures. This way, you can rest different muscles, improve posture, and reduce fatigue over time.

The rotating schedule will relieve muscle tension and encourage well-being. Switching tasks also keeps the mind sharp.

Conclusion

Prolonged sitting or standing while working and performing repetitive actions can cause work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Static postures and repetitive movements put pressure on muscles and joints. They also reduce blood flow resulting in fatigue, acute pain, and health risks. A well-designed workspace with appropriate accessories can help prevent these problems.

Your employees spend a lot of time in the workspace, so why not invest in their well-being? BOSTONtec offers the right ergonomic solutions to help your most valuable asset stay healthy and productive. Reach out to our team today to get started.

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