Monday, November 12, 2007

Posture at work

A multi-discipline approach to posture ...

"You probably first heard the words when you were a little kid: xxxx “Stand up straight.”

“Put your shoulders back.”
“Lift your chin.”

It was good advice but, if you’re like most kids, the words didn’t mean much. Now that you’re a grownup and you spend your working life sitting at a desk, or standing on your feet, or carrying things around, you might want to consider those childhood instructions. It might even cure some of those aches and pains.

“We’ve been hearing ‘Stand up straight’ forever — that’s all people know,” says Rob Williams, a Vancouver kinesiologist with a passion for good posture. “People know what posture is, but they don’t have any idea how important it is, and they’re not getting enough education about it.”

Williams is determined to remedy the situation. This week, he opens his Performance Posture clinic next to his two-year-old personal training facility in downtown Vancouver.
His idea is to integrate several health-care professions — chiropractic, physiotherapy, podiatry and massage therapy — into one clinic and focus on improving people’s posture at work and play and in the rest of their daily living. If they also want to develop their body strength, the fitness-studio trainers can help.

Good posture improves every system in the body, Williams says. It also increases productivity at work and reduces fatigue and injury-related absenteeism. For instance, teaching people to hold their heads in a neutral position reduces muscle tension in the neck and upper body, relieves headaches and improves breathing. Holding your shoulders in proper alignment improves range of motion in the arms and prevents rotator-cuff problems.

“If you can reduce muscle fatigue, you improve performance,” Williams says. “It’s not enough to get people sitting well at their desks without teaching them to stand as well.
“It’s not as simple as standing up straight. Good posture is being in a neutral, balanced alignment and it’s a little different for everybody.”

Anna-Kristina Arnold, an ergonomics lecturer with Simon Fraser University’s kinesiology department, says the posture clinic’s multidisciplinary approach is an interesting new concept.
“It’s definitely good to focus on posture,” she says. “We need to train people about posture, teach them to pay attention, but we also have to have work environments that support good posture."    (Continued via The Telegram)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Working on Posture - Ergonomics

Working on Posture

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