VDT Posture Checklist - A worker's posture checklist, including workstation and fatigue control.

Short Workstation Ergonomics Checklist - 12 tips for an ergonomic computer workstation.

Physical Contents, Links

Illnesses Contents, Links 



The skeletomusculature health and functioning is vital for energy and for maintaining the body.

There are two factors, a bit intermingled, in maintaining this health:  Ergonomics and posture.

Ergonomics - An applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.  In plain terms this means do I sit forward out of balance to see the screen or tense up or hold certain muscles in tension while I am doing things.

Posture is the position or bearing of the body. 

In skeletomusculature health it is important that the spine (and bones) carry the load rather than just the muscles, which must exert alot more energy to keep things in place.  If one is stooping over, for instance, the body must compensate by using muscles that offset the force of gravity.

If I am standing straight and stacking myself right over the middle of the body and the spine, there will be little muscle effort required.  The same for sitting straight.

However, if my back is arched, as most of us do, then I do not have a straight path for the force to go down, as it goes along the shape of the arch.  Instead, the arch should be lessened more toward a straightened back into a neutral position where there is only a slight S.  See Back Care and the discussion of finding the "neutral position".

WHAT IS "GOOD POSTURE" - "Stack...or strain."

As above it is "stacking one's spine and any supporting bones up straight to handle the primary gravitational forces".   Basically, you will be standing or sitting as if there is a string pulling straight up on a hook on the top of your head and also going straight down the body to one's lower sphincter.   You're centered and stacked up in the middle between right or left and between forward and back, requiring no holding to compensate for any out of balance. 

In this, your lower pelvis is tilted slightly forward (straightening out most of the arch in the back and your belly button is moved more in close to your back.  (If you look at any back exercise book, you'll find that most of your exercises should be done with this slight pelvic thrust [lower pelvis thrust forward.

And your head and neck are in complete alignment stacked straight on top of each other and on top of the spine.  (If you're leaning forward to see the computer screen, you are putting tremendous stress on your back and neck - and the effects will show up at some time!)

And your legs are relaxed,  Your shoulders are relaxed and down (not raised at all). Your stomach and back muscles are not tight and are relatively relaxed. 

It is helpful, when sitting at a desk to be able to alternate one foot onto a slight raised footrest. 

You are not sitting forward at all.


__ Feel no musculature tension (back, neck, legs)
__ Stacked up, head, neck, spine on top of each other
    __ No forward or backward tilt
    __ No sideways tilt
__ Only a slight S curve in your back (pelvis thrust forward, belly button toward back)
__ Breathing easily and freely, relaxed diaphragm
__ Point your foot in the direction you are to go; no twisting
__ Strong stomach and back muscles (via exercise) to help the stacking to stay in place
__ Lift with one's legs (proper use of force against the opposite force of gravity)
__ Tighten one's core muscles to lift back to a neutral upright position 
__ Sitting
    __ Nothing that curves your back much either way, so can sit up relatively straight
    __ Not in a position where you have to hold your head up (i.e. where it is not
         stacked up correctly)
    __ Back, lower back all supported (something there to hold it in place)
    __ Not leaning forward or sticking neck out to see the screen or book
         __ Don't read a book leaning head down, holding book as high as comfortable
              but only adjusting eyes to see book (not the head and neck!)
__ If muscles are tight and holding, straighten up first and relieve by
    __ Stretching them, not abruptly or extremely but feeling the stretch, in a sustained
         manner, preferably 30 seconds or more
    __ Pressing to "standable pain" on the pressure points of the stuck muscles (feel
         around, with pressure, until you feel some extra tightness, a knot, or some
         rigidity or pain, and press for 23 seconds, releasing rapidly and feeling the
         release; then feel around the general area until you have released all the points)
    __ Drink lots of water
    __ Use the exercises to relieve back pain that are in the Back Care piece (hanging by
         arms or upside down, reaching high, stretching the tight muscles).
__ Don't sit in one position for anymore than 50 minutes, get up and move around,
    assuring more flexibility (stretching, rotating, etc.)