Static Posture

Last Updated: August 28, 2020

Definition - What does Static Posture mean?

Static posture refers to a worker assuming the same position or posture throughout an exertion. Maintaining a static posture during a task can lead to muscle strain or fatigue and is a musculoskeletal risk factor. The duration over which the position is held, the awkwardness of the posture, and the level of exertion employed will all affect the degree of injury risk.

Static posture may also be referred to as static loading.

WorkplaceTesting explains Static Posture

When the body holds a single position for an extended period, or shifts position but fails to allow the muscles to return to a neutral position, comfort and performance are impaired. Static postures increase the load on muscles and tendons compared to dynamic postures. These static positions may reduce blood flow to the muscles, thus preventing the body from engaging in the natural process of restoration and repair.

Holding an extreme or awkward position exacerbates these effects. Musculoskeletal harm from static exertion may range from fatigue and cramping to inflammation or nerve damage. Often these injuries are referred to as cumulative trauma disorders because they result from prolonged exposure to harm.

Static posture can cause wrist or arm injuries to workers who must hold a tool in the same position for extended periods. Dentists may suffer from static posture-related back injuries caused by sitting in the same position for several hours while performing dental procedures.

To avoid injuries related to static posture, a job's design should include recovery breaks and micropauses that permit the body's muscles to assume a neutral posture and relax momentarily. Stretching exercises can also mitigate the risks of static postures. The design of an employee's workstation and work practices should be also modified to eliminate sustained static exertions.

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