Ergonomic and postural assessment

Absenteeism and litigation are not just caused by manual tasks. Poor posture is considered the root cause of most musculoskeletal disorders that people manage on a daily basis. In case you are sitting at a work-station, it’s essential that it be well-adjusted to fit you. An employee required to work in a poorly-designed ergonomic work space is predisposed to injury.

What is postural advice?

Posture can be defined as the way in which someone holds their body. Poor working posture can often be the underlying cause of many pains and aches. In addition to heavy workloads and repetitive tasks, it can lead to heightened risk of workplace injuries.

Postural health assessment and correction is typically carried out along with ergonomic assessment. It therefore forms a component of a patient’s physiotherapy assessment and treatment. A postural assessment is suitable for all workers with an interest in ways their posture may be having an impact on their musculoskeletal health and wellbeing, as well as their overall productivity at work.

The physiotherapist observes the way one sits or stands and then makes suggestions and offers hints and tips on how you can best correct your posture to alleviate your pain and also prevent recurrence in the future. Failure to change poor posture is likely to result in poor outcomes following physiotherapy. Therefore, it is very essential that one follows any postural instruction given if they wish to see good long-term improvements and make the best of their physiotherapy sessions.

Ergonomic Workplace Assessment

Ergonomics is today recognised to be among the most important elements in the workplace health and safety environment. Ergonomics can be defined as the study of how to best utilize a work space and the equipment used there for comfort, safety, efficiency, and productivity. Our bodies generally respond to the movements we repeat and the positions we sustain. Often musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction is related to aberrant posture. An ergonomic workplace assessment is able to identify these risk factors through a variety of risk assessment and data capture tools used.

A physiotherapist may not able to visit your workplace, but through consultations, they can try to direct you on-how best to manage the environment of your workstation with the goal of reducing postural stresses and thereby minimising pains, aches and injury. As therapists, they are trained to assess your work space, seating and work-related tasks and give suggestions to reduce effects of repetitive motion, prolonged harmful positions, and stress to muscles and joints. By undertaking an ergonomic assessment, a physiotherapist can help you reduce the risk of accidents and injuries to your employees, boost productivity and improve organisational well-being.

The ergonomic and postural assessment is conducted fully-clothed and will require consent for postural observation and evaluation photographs to be captured. These photographs are then utilised by posture analysis software tool and are for-the purposes of providing the-postural measurements and detailed reports only. This assessment may allow for instant analysis of posture and the detailed report can then be send electronically to the person immediately following the assessment. An ergonomic workplace assessment should be performed by fully-qualified and practicing physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, and osteopaths with extensive understanding of the current legislation.