POSTURE TIPS, STRETCHES, and LIFTING TECHNIQUES IMPROVE YOUR WORK DAY!
Common Causes ofNeck and Back Injuries • Poor sitting and standing postures • Improper body mechanics/lifting techniques • Stressful living and working habits • Loss of flexibility • General decline of physical fitness
The Spine • Disc located between two vertebrae • Disc is like a jelly donut which absorbs shock • Ligaments provide stability and flexibility • Nerves attach to the spinal cord and exit the spine between the vertebrae
Balance is the Key • Maintain good postural balance • Poor postures include flat back, rounded shoulders, forward head posture, sway back
Sitting • Sitting—like standing—is one of the most technically challenging things we do. Most of us are unaware of how to sit well. • In order to stabilize your spine in a neutral position, you have to get organized while standing by following the bracing sequence. • Once seated, you need to keep at least 20% tension in your abs to maintain a rigid spine.
Braced Neutral Maintain the position while leaning forward or back.
Standing at Work • Use a MAT to prevent leg and back fatigue • Gradually increase your hours to allow for tissue adaptation • Wear appropriate footwear…NO HEELS! • Keep your wrists straight and elbows at 90 degrees • Place the monitor directly in front of you at arms length away
Neck Stretch Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Sit on a chair while holding the bottom with your right hand. • Drop your head forward onto your chest. • Side bend and rotate the neck away from the right side, bringing your chin towards the opposite armpit. • Bring your opposite hand up onto the side of your head to assist the stretch. • Return to the starting positionand repeat.
Posture Stretch Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Sit in a chair, tuck your chin in and stretch the crown of your head towards the ceiling.• To do this movement, bring the shoulders back and picture an imaginary string attached to the top of your head pulling you up.
Upper Back Curl Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Sit with your arms straight forward, forearms crossed, and fingers interlaced. • Drop your head down forward to curl into the upper back, then reach your arms and shoulders forward to curl the mid back. Focus the motion to the stiffest region. • Return to the starting position, then repeat.
Wrist / Forearm Stretch Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Extend one arm out in front with the elbow straight and palm facing down. • Use the other hand to grasp it at the side of the thumb and bend the wrist downward. • Turn wrist towards the small finger to increase the stretch. • Repeat with the palm facing up.
Side Bend Stretch Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Stand straight with feet hip width apart and look directly ahead of you. • Lift one arm up above your head and slowly bend sideways while reaching down with the opposite hand, until you feel a stretch at the side of your trunk. • Maintain the stretch without twisting or leaning forward. Slowly return to initial position.
Lumbar Flexion Stretch Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Sit in a chair with your feet firmly on the ground. • Bend forward and grab the front of the chair legs with opposite arms. • Slowly arch your trunk up to round your shoulder blades. • Maintain the stretch and slowly return to neutral position.
Upper Trapezius Stretch Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Stand and put your arm behind your back. • Bend your neck to the opposite side and lower the shoulder until you feel a stretch on the top of the shoulder in the trapezius muscle or in the side of your neck. • Hold the stretch for the required time.
Hip/Buttock Stretch (internal rotation) Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Sit on a bench or chair. • Cross one leg over the other. • With both hands, pull the knee toward the opposite shoulder and hold when you feel a comfortable stretch.
Hip/Buttock Stretch (external rotation) • While sitting, place your ankle on the opposite knee, turning your hip out • Keep your back straight and lean forward to feel a stretch and hold Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day
Hamstring Stretch Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Place one foot forward while pressing your heel into the ground and toes towards your shin. • Keep your back straight as you hinge forward from the hips and position your butt in the air. • Place your hands on the thigh above the knee for support. • Lower the torso until there is a slight pull in the back of the front thigh. • Repeat with the opposite leg.
Quadricep Stretch Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Stand in front of a chair and hold on to it with one hand. • Grab the top of one ankle with the hand and pull your foot towards your buttock until you feel a gentle stretch in front of the thigh. • Hold the stretch, keeping your lower back neutral.
Calf Stretch Repetition: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Stand and place both hands on a wall, with your feet about half a meter from the wall. • Place one leg behind the other and lean your body forward without bending the back knee until you feel a stretch in your back calf.
Lumbar Extension Stretch Repetition: 3 Hold: 5 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Stand with your chin tucked in and place your hands on your buttocks. • Bend your back backwards, arching the lower back and keep your chin tucked in (look forward).Return to the starting position and repeat.
Full Squat Repetition: 3 Hold: 2 seconds Frequency: 3 times per day • Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead. • Keep your back straight and push your knees 3-4cm in front of your feet, keeping the knees over the second to third toe of each foot. • Lean forward, sit back on your heels until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Do not let your back bend until the thighs are below parallel.
Proper Lifting Technique • Proper lifting technique uses leg muscles which provide power to the lift • Prevents harmful stress on the spine • Maintains the “Braced Neutral” spinal posture
Keep these tips in mind • Place your feet in a stable base position-wide apart or one foot in front of the other for weight transfer • Squat to bend at the hips and knees; half kneel with one knee on the floor; semi-squat • Lift with your legs • Keep the load close (short vs long lever) • Do not twist-Move your feet
Let’s watch this video on proper lifting in the workplace • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9KgJWkVcIE
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