My Healthy Workspace – Standing
If your work demands standing for extended periods, safety should be your top priority. Numerous professions require employees to stand for extended durations, and proper posture is crucial to prevent chronic conditions such as lower and middle back pain. Here is what you need to know about maintaining a healthy workspace when standing for long hours:
Health Implications of Prolonged Standing
Extended periods of standing demand significant muscular effort and can impact workers physically and psychologically if not managed correctly. Potential health issues include neck and shoulder stiffness, low and mid-back pain, leg swelling and pain, circulation problems, low blood pressure, varicose veins, joint issues (ankles, knees, hips), foot problems, muscular fatigue, and tiredness.
Maintaining a Healthy Spine and Wellbeing at Work
Prevention is key to avoiding workspace injuries. Workers who stand for extended periods can follow these simple steps to minimise the impact on their spinal health:
1. Maintain Good Posture
- Stand tall and relaxed with a straight back and shoulders back.
- Lightly engage your abdominal muscles.
- Find the upright ‘position of ease,’ avoiding excessive rigidity.
2. Avoid Prolonged Looking Down
- Keep your head up and face forward.
- Avoid looking down at your phone; hold it in front of you to align it with your shoulders.
3. Take a Balanced Approach to Standing
- Stand evenly on both feet with shoulder-width apart.
- Shift your body weight from toes to heels and between feet regularly.
- Avoid locking your knees.
- Keep your hands and arms relaxed at your sides.
4. Choose Appropriate Footwear
- Wear comfortable, sensible shoes suitable for your task, avoiding high heels.
- Opt for shoes wide enough to allow toe movement, with arch support and secure heels.
- Consider insoles or orthotics for additional support.
5. Warm Up Before Work
- Incorporate gentle exercises and stretches into your daily routine.
- Calf and leg stretches, squats, and heel raises can improve circulation and strengthen lower limbs.
6. Establish Good Habits
- Alternate between standing, moving, and sitting every 30 minutes.
- Avoid overreaching beyond your comfort zone.