My mum told me to sit up straight but the Physio said I can slouch!!!!
A recent viewpoint led by Diane Slater and published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) discussed the current research around posture and pain. A common misconception is that pain and posture are closely associated. The evidence tells us otherwise. This is an important point for everyone involved in decreasing injuries in the workplace. It would seem that the often-relentless focus placed on attaining an “ideal” posture in the workplace is misplaced and sometimes detrimental.
Numerous studies have now looked into this area and almost all have found little or no correlation between back and neck pain and posture. Some of the results of these studies include:
· Sitting at work is not associated with low back pain (Hartvigsen 2010).
· A systematic review of 99 studies looking at occupations that involve awkward postures, lifting, bending and twisting found there was no strong evidence between these jobs and back pain (Kwon 2011).
· Occupations that routinely require heavy lifting are associated with increased risk for back pain, but the effect size is modest (Waddell 2001).
Diane Slater’s recent publication states
· There is no correct way to sit nor is any one particular posture better for you than any other.
· It is safe to bend your back and for the vast majority of people lifting with a bent back is the most efficient way to lift. Saying otherwise can lead to fear of movement and disability.
· Sitting for more than 30 minutes is not dangerous although regularly moving and being physically active is good for your back.
At Good Country Physiotherapy, we will be promoting these great messages during the month of August, which is “Tradies National Health Month”. We are visiting local businesses in Keith, Naracoorte, Kaniva and Bordertown to help promote this information. The best way to prevent low back and neck pain in the workplace is staying active and fit.
The best way of decreasing your existing low back pain or neck pain is getting moving again as soon as you can - “motion is lotion”!
The vast majority of neck and back pain rectifies itself, as long as you keep moving. If you can’t quite manage this by yourself, then our experienced physiotherapists at GCP are qualified to help you over any hurdles you encounter.
If you are looking at ways of decreasing days lost to back and neck pain in your workplace this year, why not try something different? Instead of emphasising the same message over and over again of “mind your posture” “ bend your knees not your back” “sit up straight” “ don’t slouch” try a different approach.
Why not organise for GCP to come to your business and give a talk on injury prevention and the importance of staying physically active?
Better still, why not jump start your injury prevention drive this year and organise for one of our physiotherapists to run an exercise class for your admin team/ maintenance team onsite or in our clinic. You never know how much it might help!
If you have any questions about how you can reduce the risk of injury at your workplace give us a call.