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Forced Position

Viimati uuendatud: 25.02.2017

Forced Position

A forced position is when an employee must remain in one position (sit, stand) or work in a physiologically unnatural (uncomfortable) position and under constant muscle pressure (crouching, reaching, kneeling). Forced positions are more common among people whose work tasks involve standing or sitting behind a computer for more than 5-6 hours a day (office staff, drivers, hairdressers, sewers).

In a forced position, muscles must function statically or without the possibility to relax at times. This quickly causes fatigue and overstrain. If the same forced positions repeat daily and nothing is done to decrease their hazardous effect, the overstrain in muscles deepens.

First, the overstrained limb or area begins to feel uncomfortable and the ability to work decreases, then complaints about moderate pain follow. When the workload decreases, the pains can quickly pass, but when continuing work, the ability to work constantly decreases as it is uncomfortable to fulfil one’s tasks with aching muscles and joints. Next, indicators of illness process might appear – pains in problematic areas, swelling, sensitivity disorders, weakening of muscles. Then, characteristics of chronic illness become evident, leading to the constant decrease in the working ability and terminal disability (radiculitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic back pains, neck stiffness, etc.). Damages brought about by forced positions may be located in neck and shoulders, lower back, elbow joints, forearm, wrists, palms, hips and knees.

To decrease the harmful effect of forced positions, work must be organized so that employees must not work in uncomfortable positions – the workplace and equipment must be suitable for the employee’s height and body measurements. The workplace must be adjustable and muscles under great strain should be strained as little as possible. To prevent discomfort, employees must change their working position from time to time, make regular breaks and do some muscle relaxing exercises.

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