- Your spine is at work 24 hours a day.
- It takes part in almost every move you make.
- Because of its workload, your spine is prone to injury.
- Are extremely painful.
- Are difficult to heal.
- Are frequently recurring.
- Affect everything you do.
- Preventing spine injuries is a major safety challenge.
- For those who suffer from spine injury:
- Only 3% receive training in preventing spine injuries.
- 97% receive medical treatment.
Learn the Right Moves:
- The best way to prevent back injuries is to learn the right moves:
- Practice good posture – maintain your back’s natural curves.
- Practice good body mechanics and work techniques good habits reduce the strain placed on the back.
- Maintain physical fitness.
- Have a Good Posture
- Stand or sit up straight.
- Keep knees slightly bent while standing.
- Keep your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles in a straight line while standing.
- These curves counterbalance and allow the spine to remain balanced over the center of gravity.
Have a Good Posture:
- When posture is good, all the organs can function properly without interference.
- Also, your nervous system ability to monitor and control the whole body’s function is enhanced.
- Conversely, improper posture leads to gradual degeneration of the spine.
- It will result in misaligned vertebrae which can irritate nerves and ligaments and muscles stretch unevenly.
- Always practice good posture when sitting, standing, sleeping and lifting heavy.
Body Mechanics & Work Techniques:
- Keep your weight equal on both feet.
- Change positions often.
- Keep head high, chin tucked in, toes ahead.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes with good support.
- Body Mechanics & Work Techniques
- Sleep on a firm mattress.
- Sleep on your side with a pillow between your bent knees or on your back with a pillow under knees.
- Never sleep on your stomach, which can twist your neck and strain your back.
- Sit up straight, firmly against back of the chair.
- Keep both feet flat on the floor.
- Keep knees at or slightly lower than the level of your hips.
- Protect your lower back with a lumbar support (or rolled-up towel).
- Adjust car seat so your knees are just below hip level.
- Sit up straight.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel.
- Use a lumbar support (or rolled-up towel) to support your lower back.
- Keep the keyboard directly in front of you.
- Place the screen at a comfortable distance.
- Adjust the top of the screen to be at eye level.
- Maintain your back in neutral posture.
- Avoid extended reaches.
- Keep forearms and hands horizontal, with your elbows vertically under your shoulders (no angle at the wrist).
- Adjust the chair’s height so that your knees are level or slightly below your hips and both feet are flat on the floor.
- Remember your BACK when lifting:
- B. Back Straight
- A. Avoid Twisting
- C. Close to the body
- K. Keep the lift smooth (do not jerk)
- Always lift with your legs!
- Decrease the weight lifted by:
- Holding objects close to your body.
- Distributing the weight of the load evenly.
- Using lifting teams (ask for help).
- Using lift assist devices (e.g., carts, dollies, forklifts, cranes).
- Body Mechanics & Work Techniques
- Improve effectiveness of your work space by:
- Ensuring clear and easy access to load.
- Turning by moving your feet and your whole body.
- Minimizing bending, twisting, and reaching below mid-thigh, above shoulder height, and beyond 50 cm.
- Minimize frequently repeated and lengthy tasks that are the most tiring by:
- Alternating heavy tasks with lighter ones.
- Using larger muscle groups (e.g., thighs).
- Reducing the number of times a load is lifted.
- Reducing the pace of the task.
- Maintain Physical Fitness
- Poor physical fitness can increase the likelihood of a back injury.
- Strengthens back and abdominal muscles.
- Promotes weight control.
- Keeps bones healthy and strong.
- There are a few exercises that can be done at your desk that will help emphasize proper posture.
- Pinch your shoulder blades together as hard as you can for 15 seconds. This should be repeated 3 to 4 times.
- Tuck your chin in like you are making a double chin. Hold this for 15 seconds as hard as you can and repeat 3 to 4 times also.
- Both of these strengthen the postural muscles and make it easier to keep in the proper position.
- When working long hours at the computer it is important to take mini-breaks. Lean back in the chair and extend your arms out and away from your body.
- These breaks should be done every 30 minutes and you should get up from your chair and move around for at least 5 minutes every hour.