Learning About Position-Posture

By: Leon Groom

The word Ergonomics is derived from the Greek words "ergon" and "nomoi". Ergon means work, and nomoi means natural laws. Ergonomics is the study of the way human beings work; the way their bodies move and sit at rest in relation to certain tasks and activities. The study of Ergonomics is like an employee who sits all day at a desk as to a factory worked who is in constant motion. These two states of activity put different stresses on the human body that have to be addressed and studies in different ways. On the one hand the height of the computer at the desk or the shape of the chair could negatively or positively affect the way in which the first worker feels at the end of the day. On the other hand, the factory worker might need to hold his body in a certain way or move from side to side differently in order to maximize their comfort. One of the most important aspects of Ergonomic health is the dedication to and maintenance of excellent position-posture.

The emphasis on position-posture comes from the idea that there is a right way and a wrong way to hold the human body. The right way makes the body stronger and more able to withstand stress; the wrong way will increase the negative effects of stress on the body and cause the individual to have discomfort or sometimes severe pain. Position-posture is important whether you are standing, sitting, supine (lying down, face up) or prone (lying down, face down). Good position-posture creates an alignment in the body that is preferable to the misalignment of an uncontrolled stature.

Though improved position-posture would greatly increase not only employee comfort but also employee output, it is a difficult improvement to implement as the average person does not have the ability to identity and rectify misaligned stances and bad position-posture on their own steam.

There are techniques to increase the likelihood that workers will be able to correct their own position-posture and increase their comfort and productivity. Techniques such as the Alexander Technique, teach these skills to the average person who may not otherwise be away of the ways in which they are holding their bodies. External programs like the Alexander Technique are necessary in order to educate workers about the ergonomic principles at work while they are doing their jobs and the immense benefit that good position-posture and joint positioning can bring to their own comfort.

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