Maintaining correct posture while standing and sitting is crucial to dental practitioners’ health and well-being. Here, we discuss how slouching posture damages your health and how to foster good posture habits for standing and sitting positions.
Working in a Standing Position
Standing is a normal human posture and presents no unique health risks by itself. Regularly standing while working, however, can lead to various health issues, including low back discomfort, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and posture problems. People like dentists whose jobs demand continuous standing often complain about these issues.
The way a person’s workspace is set up and the activities they perform while standing have an impact on their bodies. The body positions that the practitioner can adopt when standing are generally limited by the design of the workstation, the tools, and the way they are used. Due to these limitations, the practitioner has less freedom to move around and less opportunity to switch between different muscle groups. The inability to choose different body positions freely leads to health issues.
What Potential Health Risks Are There?
A significant muscular effort is required to maintain an upright posture. Standing significantly lowers the blood flow to the overworked muscles. Pain in the neck, back, and leg muscles and weariness are brought on by insufficient blood flow (these are the muscles used to maintain an upright position).
Along with muscle pain, the practitioner often has additional discomforts. Standing for extended periods without moving causes blood to pool in the legs and feet. Standing for extended periods without moving might cause vein inflammation.
Over time, this inflammation could develop into painful, persistent varicose veins. The joints in the spine, hips, knees, and feet can also lock or become temporarily immobile due to prolonged standing. As a result of degenerative damage to the tendons and ligaments (the structures that bind muscles to bones) brought on by this immobility, rheumatic disorders may subsequently develop.
If possible, perform the task while switching between sitting and standing. The practitioner must be seated at a height appropriate for the type of task being done. In any instance, a seat should be made available so that the practitioner can take a break from standing-only work. The range of possible body positions is increased, and the practitioner has more freedom thanks to the seat on the job.
More flexibility and a range of body positions have two advantages. Increased muscular involvement in the work equalizes the weight distribution among the body’s various regions. As a result, the muscles and joints required to maintain the upright position are put under less stress. Altering one’s posture also increases blood flow to active muscles. Both outcomes assist in lessening general weariness.
How Might Workplace Procedures Help?
Work practices can make your job safer or more dangerous. You can work more safely if you receive the proper knowledge and training. You should be aware of the health risks present at work. You ought to be aware of the bodily motions and positions that cause discomfort and that short-term mild pain might eventually develop into a chronic injury.
Work practices can make your job safer or more dangerous. You can work more safely if you receive the proper knowledge and training. You should be aware of the health risks and adverse effects of improper posture present at work. You ought to be mindful of the bodily motions and positions that cause discomfort and that short-term mild pain might eventually develop into a chronic injury.
You should be aware that breaks for relaxation are crucial parts of the job. When muscles are stiff or tired, rest periods should be used to stretch them out, move around, and so on. If a practitioner’s job prevents them from changing positions or postures, they should walk during these times.
You should take any discomfort you may be feeling while working seriously. Timely intervention and treatment are crucial in preventing and treating musculoskeletal disorders.
The following are the fundamental rules to observe while working in a standing position:
- Avoid bending, stretching, and twisting excessively.
- Work at an acceptable pace.
- Give yourself enough downtime to unwind.
- Perform a simple set of exercises during your rest breaks.
- When you return to work after a time off for vacation or illness, give yourself some time to adapt so that you can gradually go back to a regular work pace.
- Using elbow height as a guide, adjust the work’s height to fit the measurements of the user’s body.
- Keep your body near the workstation.
- Get an adequate room in your workspace to switch positions while working.
- When working, take a seat whenever you can, or at the very least when the task permits it.
How Do Footwear and Floor Conditions Matter?
The comfort of standing is greatly influenced by the quality of the footwear and the type of flooring. Safety measures should be observed to avoid trips, slips, and falls. Here are some shoe-related dos and don’ts:
- Don’t wear shoes that alter your foot’s form.
- Choose footwear with a secure heel grip. The shoe will slip if the back is too wide or soft, resulting in instability and pain.
- Put on footwear that gives your toes room to wiggle. Shoes that are too shallow or too thin cause discomfort and exhaustion.
- Make sure your shoes have arch support. Inadequate arch support results in the flattening of the foot.
- Wear lace-up shoes.
- Tightly fasten the instep lace of your shoes to prevent the foot from slipping inside the footwear.
- Use pads under the shoe tongue if you experience tenderness over the top of the foot bones.
- Don’t go without a cushioned insole that absorbs impact when working on concrete or metal floors.
- Don’t choose shoes without considering fit and comfort. Before purchasing, try the shoes on and walk a little.
- Don’t wear flat shoes. A small heel can make walking and standing more comfortable and reduce stress on the Achilles tendon.
- Don’t wear high heel shoes. Generally speaking, heels should have a wide base and be between 1.6 inches to 2.4 inches tall.
Here is some advice about office floors:
- Keep your workspace tidy.
- Avoid standing on surfaces made of metal or concrete. Wooden or rubber-coated flooring is suggested for seated work.
- Make sure the flooring is level and non-slippery.
- Use mats to cover metal or concrete floors. Mats’ slanted edges help prevent tripping.
- Avoid using heavy foam-rubber matting. Over-cushioning can make you tired and make tripping more likely.
Overview of Work in a Sitting Position
Long-term sitting-related injuries are a significant occupational health and safety issue. Even though sitting jobs don’t involve as much physical effort, they still expose practitioners to the same risks of injury as more physically demanding jobs. For instance, those who work in a seated posture also experience back pain and muscle tightness and pain. Sitting personnel can experience varicose veins, stiff necks, and leg numbness. Additionally, it has been discovered that inactive time is linked to health issues like metabolic syndrome (which includes diabetes), heart disease, and poor mental health.
How Does the Circulation of Blood Change While Sitting?
Sitting at work may not pose as great a risk for injury or discomfort if the practitioner can vary it with various body postures. The situation is different for individuals with no choice but to sit for extended periods. Sitting still makes you tired even though gardening or floor mopping requires less physical effort. Your muscles work hard to maintain a fixed position for the trunk, neck, and shoulders while sitting.
The blood flow to working muscles is reduced when they are most in need due to the constriction of blood vessels caused by a fixed working position. The muscles become more vulnerable to injury and fatigue more quickly when blood flow is insufficient. The circulatory system is also less active while sitting due to restricted motion. As a result, the heartbeat and blood flow become slower, and blood pools, particularly in the lower leg, due to limited blood flow. Sitting still while keeping an erect posture reduces blood flow even more. An excessively high seat might exacerbate discomfort by pressing against the backs of the thighs. Legs may become bloated or numb as a result, and varicose veins may develop later. Additionally, a decreased blood supply to the muscles accelerates aging.
How can Sitting While Working Damage Your Body?
Decreased mobility increases the likelihood that muscles would pull, cramp, or strain when suddenly extended. It also increases spinal tension, particularly in the low back or neck, and slows blood flow to the back and neck muscles, causing weariness. Prolonged sitting causes the spinal discs to be compressed continually, which impairs their ability to nourish and may speed up the deterioration of the discs. The adverse effects of extended sitting are primarily the result of improper body alignment. Another risk factor is the length of time spent sitting.
What Is the Correct Sitting Position?
Every major joint, including the elbows, hips, and knees, has a range of motion within which a healthy person can find comfortable positions. These positions shouldn’t restrict a person’s ability to breathe or move around, interfere with their ability to use their muscles, or impair their internal organs’ ability to operate normally.
Switching between these positions is the key to “correct sitting.” Therefore, a good sitting position enables practitioners to naturally and frequently vary their body positions within a reasonable range whenever they choose.
How May Task Design Help in the Sitting Position?
When doing visual tasks, the neck, trunk, and pelvis are under stress to keep the body in a position that allows the eyes to attain and maintain the necessary vision for the required time. It is essential to lessen neck strain. When performing manual tasks, both movement and force have an impact on body position. Wrist and arm support may be helpful for simple manipulative tasks. Putting the work surface below the practitioner’s elbow height could be beneficial. The layout of the workstation should enable the employee to work while maintaining vertical alignment of the spine. The practitioner should have the medals immediately in front of their dominant foot to avoid rotating their hips.
What Are the Good Sitting Habits at Work?
If you sit for extended periods, you will experience discomfort, regardless of how beautifully the workspace is built. The first rule of a good sitting position at work is to minimize the time you spend sitting. Your legs may swell with blood if their sitting position is not frequently changed. You can benefit from engaging in five minutes of brisk to vigorous movement, such as walking, after 40 to 50 minutes of sitting. These rest periods are also advantageous since they exercise the heart, lungs, and muscles. Your work should include “activity breaks,” such as work-related tasks performed away from the workstation or easy exercises that practitioners can perform on the working site.
How Can Education Influence Sitting Behavior at Work?
The right kind of education can influence a practitioner’s working habits, particularly their sitting patterns. Learn about the health risks of slouching posture while sitting and how you might improve your working position. Remember the value of rest periods for maintaining your health and how active rest can be more beneficial than passive rest. Such behavioral changes can impact well beyond professional settings, and you can use this information outside of the workplace.
As a final note, posture is a position in which you hold your body while standing, sitting, or lying down. When you have a good posture, you keep your bones and joints in alignment and allow your muscles to work more efficiently. In this post, we have tried to provide you with comprehensive information regarding correct sitting and standing posture.