Hesperian Health Guides

Use your body more carefully

As you make workstations more ergonomic and change working conditions to reduce strain on the body, you can reduce some of the strain of work by improving your posture.

a worker sitting with her head bent toward a sewing machine.
A rounded back and neck pull at back and chest muscles and cause muscle strain.

Change your posture several times during the day. Stretch your body in ways that are the opposite of your work movements. Use any moment you can during the day, such as breaks, shift changes, process changes, or other regular occurrences as a reminder to change your posture:

  • Straighten your back, keeping it relaxed.
  • Push your chest out.
  • Relax your shoulders and pull them down.
  • Bring your head up above your neck. Keep your neck straight and relaxed.

Move differently at work

How you work becomes a habit very quickly. Even when you want to change, it can be hard to remember to do things differently. But don’t give up! Make small changes where and when you can to improve your posture and how you move as you work. The more you repeat the new ways, the more natural they will feel. It takes time and practice to change old habits.

Change the way you move at home

Chores at home can also add to pain from strain and overuse at work. When women do housework after working in the factory, they further injure their already tired and stressed muscles. If you have pain from work, ask your family to help more in the home. Men and boys can do housework, too! See the activity What do you do in a day?

This page was updated:28 Feb 2021