Your Posture and Ergonomics

Joint and muscle problems are the most common result of unsuitable working conditions and can include a sore neck, painful shoulders, headaches and low back pain.

Did you know that in 2019/20 there were 480,000 cases of work-related joint and muscle problems in the UK resulting in 8.9 million working days lost?

37% of cases were back-related, 44% due to upper limb and neck problems and 19% due to lower limb issues.

To avoid becoming one of those statistics you need to look after your body and one of the easiest ways to do that is to make sure your working environment is set up correctly.


Girl doing backflip

Most of us work with a computer and whether you are in an office or working from home a poorly set up workstation can lead to the development of neck, shoulder or low back problems (not forgetting headaches or pain in the wrists, elbows and hips etc).

Simple things that you can do to minimise the risk of developing joint and muscles problems include:

  • Avoid crossing your legs while sitting.
  • Look away from the screen and focus on distant objects to reduce eyestrain (Apply the “20 20 20 rule” – every 20 mins, focus the eyes on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds).
  • If you spend a lot of time on the telephone, don’t cradle it in your neck get a headset.
  • TAKE REGULAR BREAKS AWAY FROM YOUR DESK!!! (very important this one hence the capitals – take a minimum 5 minute break from your desk every 45-60 minutes).
  • Rather than emailing or calling someone go and see them.
  • Eat your lunch away from your desk and go for a walk during your lunch break.
  • Do some stretches when you are taking a break.
Woman slouched over laptop

Following the above will help you to avoid those aches and pains, but if you develop a problem that improves when you are not working then it is likely to be work-related.

Thanks to the implementation of the Health & Safety Display Screen Equipment Regulations in 1992  your employer has a legal requirement to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal problems developing while using your workstation in other words if you identify a problem they are legally obliged to resolve it.

If you think your problem is related to your computer work you need to inform your line manager, who must then take action to identify and correct any areas that could be causing the problem.

If you need any advice on your workstation set up, contact us as we have a lot of experience of workstation assessments and treating the problems that can be caused when they are set up incorrectly.

For more advice on posture related pain, or to book an appointment please call us on (01604) 532853

Bob was able to recognise the issues and put my mind at ease to provide the best course of action to undertake to try and prevent future discomfort. I was happy that the issues were identified quickly and re-assured that there was some basic steps that I was able to take to rectify the cause of the pain. Following the advice given , I have altered my lifestyle , i.e my seating position at work , exercises to prevent pain and pre/post exercise stretches.

Colin Clayson