“Sit up straight, don’t slouch” our moms kept telling us during our whole childhood which we never listened. I guess she knew during our adulthood we will definitely face some postural problems. Look at us now; we are already slouching and having some or the other pain like we are already into the old age.
So what exactly is this good posture? Is it really essential to maintain?
A healthy posture is nothing but a state of muscular and skeletal balance which protects the supporting structure of the body against injury or progressive deformity. Faulty posture is from muscle imbalance which increases strain on supporting structures which can lead to any kind of pain. Let it be sitting, standing or sleeping gravity is always acting on our body hence it’s very important to create a good muscle balance.
Information technologies (IT) have become indispensable in the office environment, which has led to intensified computer use and hence the long hours of sitting. It has a lot of influence on spinal postures. As we are engrossed into the work in front of us, we end up putting our head forward and the whole body starts following it. Now that awkward posture is maintained and the micro trauma to our body starts building up. Body starts adapting because there is no correction and permanent changes sets in. This suggests how important it is to take frequent breaks during work to break this vicious cycle.
Most common postures adapted while working on computer are Forward head posture, rounded shoulders and thoracic kyphosis etc which can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (most common shoulder, neck and wrist and back)
Musculoskeletal disorders are soft tissue injuries of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels or spinal discs and results from gradual exposure over a long period to low level harmful agents call risk factors.
Postural risk factors like awkward and static postures are the most important factors which needs constant attention
It’s a myth that maintaining a correct posture means making your body erect and keeping all the muscles tight. Ideally you should practice poised posture.
Now a days desk workers have started using posture corrector belts, how advisable are they? It’s nothing but a passive support to your muscles which makes them even weaker as they are not working efficiently. Hence we strongly discourage using such external supportive devices.
Prevention of MSDs
b. Use proper work practices
c. Follow proven ergonomics
2. Micro breaks: 20:20 rule i.e. 20 seconds break after every 20 minutes.
3. Work stretches: Practice this stretches which will take hardly 5 minutes
Dr. Rucha Deshpande (PT)