Awkward Posture

Last Updated: June 30, 2019

Definition - What does Awkward Posture mean?

Awkward posture is a body position that deviates from neutral posture. This term is often used in ergonomics assessments. When a part of the body is in an awkward posture the bones, muscles, and tendons are not in their natural alignment. Working while maintaining an awkward posture increases the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

WorkplaceTesting explains Awkward Posture

Awkward posture is characterized by an unnatural movement or positioning of the body. When work is performed with awkward posture, muscles cannot operate efficiently, and injury is more likely to occur. Reaching beyond the employee's work reach zone, bending, and twisting all involve the use of awkward postures.

Examples of tasks performed using awkward posture would include an employee reaching above shoulder level to turn a switch, tilting his or her neck to hold a phone receiver in place, or bending over at the waist to pick up an object. Awkward postures also compress and put strain on joints and tendons, and may result in accidental injury by disrupting a worker's balance.

Awkward posture may be prevented by altering the workspace, job design, or work practices to conform to a better ergonomic design. Employees should be trained in mitigating procedures and provided with appropriate tools in order to avoid injuries resulting from awkward posture.

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