Ergonomics and back care tips for teachers

If you have noticed more traffic on the road and a nationwide shortage of lunch boxes, you might have realised that school has started again.

We are commonly asked for advice on how we can help to make teachers more comfortable at work. Whether it’s knee, joint or most commonly back pain, the general consensus seems to be that the teachers see this muscular skeletal pain as ‘part of the job’.

The habits that you pick up and the way that you work on a day-to-day basis can lead to serious long-term complications. We’ve made this guide to show teachers that a good way of working can prevent posture related problems, ease current symptoms and re-affirm that pain in any workplace isn’t just” part of the job”.

The issue

Unfortunately there is disparity between the classroom vs a traditional office or workplace. Although you still might spend the majority of your day using a screen, you also need to shift your focus to tasks at low height so that you are on the child’s level. In order to compensate for this, you will need a height adjustable chair that sinks down lower than usual and offer a better level of support instead of hunching over to work at a child’s eye level. One great solution that we have come across is the Kiga chair. We installed this in a local school and received some rave reviews. You can read more about it here.

Kiga chair | Primary school teachers chair | Posture People

Although teachers do have a varied job role, we would strongly recommend conducting a Display Screen Equipment assessment to make sure that their workplace is safe and fit for purpose. We’ve made a guide to everything you need to know about DSE that you might find helpful!

Our top tips for teachers­­­

The cost to the workplace

Like any job we think the best working tools and working environment will enable happy, healthy and more productive staff. Beyond the wellbeing of teachers, there is a serious issue with the amount of working days lost to musculoskeletal issues. HSE reported that 9.9 million working days were lost to work related MSDs (musculoskeletal disorders) in 2013/14 with the average worker taking 15.9 days off work in a 12 month period. When you factor in sick pay packages, and substitution, absences in school can start to become a costly affair and not just to the students themselves. Loughborough University reported that ‘75% of Primary school teachers surveyed suffer from ongoing discomfort and pain due to back shoulder and neck problems’ . If you can ensure that your teachers are working safely, then you can directly help to prevent musculoskeletal disorders than are contributing to the 9.9million working days lost and ensure better wellbeing for the whole team.

If you would like to know more about how to set up a teacher’s workstation correctly, please get in touch with us directly on 0845 313 1503 or email your query below. We are always happy to help!

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