Written by Bloon Paris


Gesture and posture at work: The right reflexes to adopt

Your gestures and postures at work have a significant impact on your health and well-being. This is why, to prevent back pain and musculoskeletal problems, you must adopt good reflexes by adopting good posture, setting up an ergonomic workstation and integrating exercises into your routine.

I - Consequences of poor posture at work

Health consequences

Bad gestures and postures at work can have a bad impact on health. Among these harmful consequences on health we have chronic pain in the back, shoulders and neck which can develop into (MSD) musculoskeletal disorders such as tendinitis, lower back pain and neck pain. Bad gestures and postures at work can also lead to increased fatigue and lower your energy.

Impact on productivity and general well-being

Bad gestures and postures at work also have an impact on productivity and general well-being. Pain can affect employee productivity and overall well-being. Fatigue leads to a loss of concentration and efficiency as well as stress and reduced motivation. In the long term, this can lead to a general feeling of dissatisfaction and a decline in the quality of professional and personal life.

II - Gesture and posture at work

The basics of good posture

Adopting correct posture is important to prevent pain and musculoskeletal disorders. Good posture consists of the correct alignment of the spine, keeping your head straight, shoulders back and lower back slightly arched. Imagine a straight line running from your ears to your shoulders, then to your hips and knees. Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest, with your knees at a 90-degree angle, and avoid crossing your legs. The arms should be close to your body, with the elbows at a 90-degree angle or slightly greater, and the wrists should remain straight, without bending or twisting.

Sitting Posture

To have good sitting posture, you must arrange your workstation correctly. To start, your office chair or chair should support your back well and allow your feet to be flat on the floor and your knees to be at hip height. If your feet do not touch the ground, you can use a footrest. Next, your computer screen should be positioned at eye level, about an arm's length away so that you do not have to lower or raise your head to look at your screen and so as not to damage your eyes.

Standing posture

When working in a seated position for long hours take breaks to alternate between sitting and standing, you can also opt for a seated standing desk. When working standing, using anti-fatigue mats can reduce pressure on the feet and legs. To relieve pressure on the legs, we recommend changing positions regularly and performing light movements, such as rocking from one foot to the other, which helps improve blood circulation.

Posture and gestures for lifting heavy loads

If you have to lift heavy loads at work, you need to adopt proper techniques to avoid injury. Use the strength of your legs and not your back to lift objects, keep your legs straight and bend your knees as if you were doing a squat, and keep the load close to your body to reduce the strain on your back. Use assistive equipment like hand trucks and carts to transport heavy loads.

If you would like to know more about good posture to adopt on a daily basis, consult our article: How to adopt good posture on a daily basis.

Solutions to prevent pain

Ergonomics of the Workstation

To adopt good gestures and posture at work, having an ergonomic workstation is essential. A good workspace layout should allow easy and comfortable access to all necessary equipment. You should place your keyboard, mouse, and phone so that you don't have to extend your arms or bend uncomfortably to reach them. You can use ergonomic accessories such as a lumbar support for your chair, a wrist rest for your keyboard and mouse, and adjust the height of your screen to be at eye level, to maintain good posture naturally.

Exercises and stretches at work (Related exercises for back pain)

Here are 2 simple stretches to do during breaks

Neck stretch : In a seated position, back straight, feet flat on the floor. Gently tilt your head toward your right shoulder and hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. This will help relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.

Back stretch : In a seated position, place your hands behind your head and slowly lean forward, slightly rounding your back. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. This stretch helps loosen back muscles and improve flexibility.

Exercises to strengthen the back and neck

Back extension : Lie on your stomach with your arms at your sides. Slowly lift your head, shoulders, and chest off the floor while keeping your feet on the floor. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 10 times. This exercise strengthens your lower back muscles.

Scapular Retraction : While sitting or standing, squeeze your shoulder blades together as if you were trying to hold a pencil between them. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, then release. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times. This exercise strengthens your upper back muscles and improves shoulder posture.

Relaxation and breathing techniques Incorporating relaxation and breathing exercises into your routine can help you reduce pain and relax. You can practice deep breathing at the office or at home. Inhale through your nose, filling your lungs, then exhale slowly through your mouth, emptying your lungs. Repeat 5 to 10 times to reduce stress and tension.

If you want more exercises for back pain, stress and to stay active at the office, you can consult our article: 10 exercises with a ball at the office: For an active and balanced life.

Finally, to preserve your health at work, simply adopt good posture, integrate stretching and muscle strengthening exercises into your routine, stay active and have an ergonomic workstation if you work in desk.