Back Posture

Last Updated: June 30, 2019

Definition - What does Back Posture mean?

Back posture in ergonomics refers to the neutral position of the back. The spine naturally curves into an S-shape. Work that requires deviation from this natural curvature can lead to strain, fatigue, and injury. Back posture is often referred to as simply posture.

WorkplaceTesting explains Back Posture

Back posture reflects the natural bearing of the body when standing, sitting, or working. In a neutral position, the back should be straight but not stiff. The back should not be slumped over with an exaggerated curve either, though a slight S-curve along the spine is natural.

When the back posture is correct, the muscles and joints of the back are aligned and can function properly. Poor back posture may result in fatigue, pain, or stiffness.

Repeated exposures to tasks using awkward back posture can cause permanent musculoskeletal damage. Being aware of proper posture and performing exercises to improve the back's muscle strength can help prevent injuries related to back posture. Frequent recovery periods and micropauses to allow the spine to return to a neutral position are also useful.

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