The Back Shop conducts ergonomic assessments focused on pain prevention, based on arranging the work environment to minimize pressure on the spine, enabling pain-free
“Good posture is the most important way of preventing back pain.” (Reference: “Back Care” by The Irish Health Education Bureau).
The Back Shop Ergonomic Advice is:
- Arrange the work around the person, rather than vice versa. (The monitor straight ahead, telephone to hand, etc.)
- Use a footrest. Most desks are approximately twenty-eight inches high. This results in people of average height having to sit with their knees considerably below their hips, resulting in the lower body tending to pull the upper body forward, and thereby helping to bend the spine into the “C” position. A footrest raises the knees, resulting in the spine being tilted backward.
- Sit as close to the desk as possible. This is important, as it is another aid to preventing the “C” position. (It prevents having to bend forward to pick up the telephone, working documents, etc.).
- Adjust the height of the seat so that, with the elbows resting on the armrest, the forearms are gently sloping down to the keyboard/mouse. Avoid too steep an inclination.
- Correctly resting the elbows (on an armrest) results in a large percent of upper bodyweight being taken from the spine and transferred down the arms, thereby relieving stress on the spine, including the cervical spine.
- Work at all times with the spine in its “S” position, fully supported from the lumbar spine to the cervical, and with the elbows supported. Working with the head supported removes all stress from the neck. People who must look down at the keyboard should support the spine at least as high as the shoulder blades. For handwriting/reading use a simple portable lectern, which has an adjustable angle from 60 to 20 degrees. The objective is to bring the work up to the person.