Home Health & Hospice

Ward off work-related injuries with good posture

Homecare Insider, November 23, 2015

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Good posture means more than just sitting up straight, particularly when it comes to protecting direct care staff from work-related musculoskeletal disorders. How does good posture affect the musculoskeletal system? It ensures that muscles will receive a sufficient blood supply, thereby allowing them to eliminate waste, receive nourishment, and repair damage caused by stress. In other words, good posture helps the body work more effectively and efficiently.
 
Since the body is designed to be in motion, standing or sitting in the same position for an extended period puts strain on the musculoskeletal system as tendons are pulled and joints are compressed. This leads to a reduction of the blood supply to these areas, causing inflammation and pain.
Because bad posture increases the risk of injury, avoid the following actions:
  •  Slouching
  • Pushing the head forward beyond the plane of the shoulders
  • Standing in an awkward position that unevenly distributes your weight
  • Holding the head in an awkward or twisted position
Because good posture decreases the risk of injury, try the following actions:
  • Sitting or standing tall
  • Keeping the ears over the shoulders
  • Keeping the shoulders over the hips
  • Holding the head straight, rather than tilted
  • Positioning the head over the neck
  • Keeping the abdomen and buttocks tucked in
Poor posture can create problems by destroying the balance of the spine’s natural curves. Strain on muscles adds stress to the spine that may harm the discs. On the other hand, good body mechanics keep your spine balanced during movement.

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