Never underestimate the importance of body mechanics in staying healthy. If your staff can learn to have better posture and use stretching exercises to stay flexible, they are less likely to feel aches and pains and will perform better on the job. CM Regent has compiled the following techniques to improve posture, which you can pass along to your staff:
- Sit with a straight back. Slouching causes minimal support of back muscles.
- When sitting, try not to “mold to the chair,” i.e., leaning against the back or resting an elbow on the arm rest.
- When walking, control your strides so you do not lean forward.
- Bend at the knees and hips to pick up objects; the spine should remain straight.
- When picking up objects on the floor, lower yourself to one knee.
- When sleeping:
- Sleep on your side or back, not your stomach. When you sleep on your stomach, your lower back can become arched, which leads to chronic back pain.
- Place a pillow between your knees to alleviate hip tension, and between your legs to decrease lower back tension.
- Avoid using pillows that are too high or too low.
Stretching exercises can go a long way toward keeping your body limber and flexible, and they can prevent injury. Talk to your doctor before beginning any stretching program. The following are a few common exercises you can try:
- Neck stretch: Slowly turn your head to the right until you feel a stretch along the neck muscles; keep your chin parallel to the floor. Repeat steps to the left, up and down.
- Shoulder stretch: Stand facing a wall and lift your upper arms to shoulder height. Bending at the elbows, point your forearms and fingers toward the ceiling, with your open palms facing forward, and attempt to press them into the wall. Hold the stretch
here for 10 to 30 seconds, and then slowly lower your forearms down so your fingers are pointing to the floor and again pressing into the wall, if possible.
- Back-of-leg stretch: Sitting in a chair, extend one leg out in front of you slightly and lift your toes so your foot is resting on your heel. Lean forward slowly from your hips while keeping your back straight. Repeat on the opposite leg.
- Front-of-leg stretch: Stand behind a chair or stable object to assist you with your balance. Holding the chair with one hand, bend one knee and lift the same foot up toward your buttocks to stretch the front of your thigh and hip. If possible, reach with your opposite hand to hold onto your ankle.
For more information about staying safe in the workplace, visit cmregent.com.