Modern furniture designed and made for commercial environments is both practical and comfortable. Built for comfort, one of the benefits of ergonomic office desks and chairs is the reduction of back pain as a result of improved posture. Office workers are just as likely to suffer back injury over a long period as a result of poor posture and working practices, as workers with more physically demanding roles.
Work and comfort – not exactly good bedfellows
To say that office furniture has come a long way in its evolution over a short time is to make an understatement. Go back fifty years or so ago and desks and office chairs were pretty much as they had been for two or three centuries. They were not built for comfort; work and comfort were not good bedfellows. It wasn’t until the introduction of a framework of health and safety legislation in 1974 that matters began to improve.
The intricate structures of the spine and musculature have long been known. It has also been understood that good posture when sitting down results in less back pain and other skeletal and muscular issues later in life. Back and shoulder support as well as head position when sitting down can reduce the potential for back pain exponentially.
Issues caused by poor posture
Poor posture in a sitting down position isn’t a cause for concern if it is occasional. However, if poor posture is a regular occurrence, especially for extended periods such as at work, long term problems with health can and frequently do manifest. In the main the issues are solely associated with skeletal/musculature.
In addition to long term damage caused to muscles, tendons and discs in the spine, it isn’t unusual for individuals so affected to suffer headaches, fatigue and referred pain elsewhere on the body. Back pain is notorious for causing pains in the buttocks, lower leg and feet. Often a numbness and/or pins and needles can ensue, a sure sign of tissue and/or nerve damage.
Other health issues resulting
Poor posture can result (and frequently does) in the individual suffering breathing and/or cardio vascular issues and issues with other major organs. Good posture is basically keeping all working and moving parts of the body in line for as often and as long as possible. This will result in less wear and tear, cumulating in fewer health issues as the individual grows older.
As we grow older, damage which occurs becomes more acute. The body is less able to make allowances and repair itself as it was once able to when it was younger. Damage can become irreparable leading to a life of pain and discomfort. Maintaining good body posture while sitting down is essential; in the work place however, it is more important as the body is generally exposed to longer periods sitting.
Ask anyone who suffers back, shoulder and neck pain what it is like and they’ll probably tell you a few home truths about it and why they wished they didn’t suffer from it.