People generally talk of posture as being static—that is, non-moving. This is an illusion—our bodies actually oscillate (repetitively move around a central point of equilibrium), and must work to create stability. Whether sitting or standing, our bodies are always in movement. Posture is an important element of every movement. Any series of movements is a succession of coordinated postures, and all of this is controlled by the brain and the central nervous system. This information comes to the brain through proprioception and exteroception.
Proprioception provides the brain with information on the movement and relative positions of the parts of the body. It also senses the strength of effort being employed in movement. It is provided by proprioceptors in muscles and tendons, along with the fibrous membranes found in joint capsules. Exteroception is how the body positions itself in space, guiding us in navigating our environment using the sensory organs.
Movement and the subtle variations in posture help maintain comfort, balance, and readiness for the next movement. Better movement actually means that the body is more efficient and that it will be easier to relax and transition into the next movement with a minimum of effort or strain. With posture, we are counteracting the force of gravity to hold ourselves upright. This is a complex, coordinated operation involving virtually every muscle in the body. The majority of the more than five hundred muscles in the body exert a direct or indirect mechanical force on the spine. This force is balanced and countered by contractions from other muscles in the body. Because of the intricacy of muscle interaction, no single technique or correction to a small, limited number of muscles will solve poor posture habits.
Good posture must allow rapid and smooth transition into the next movement. Depending on what you are doing, the next movement may be very different from the one you’re currently performing. Compare working at a computer, lifting boxes, dodging pedestrians at the mall, or playing football. There is a connection between everyday movements and athletic movements. Our bodies have evolved through natural selection for this. At work, we become industrial athletes.
If we think of ourselves as athletes, then we take better care of ourselves, not only in posture and movement but in the habits that help maintain optimal function. This applies equally to home and work. That’s where DORN Companies services come into play in the industrial setting.
Our Hands-on Therapy addresses myofascial restrictions and muscular imbalances in the soft tissue of the body, increasing range of motion and flexibility, improving posture, and alleviating pain. This effectively reduces injuries and time out of work. Our on-the-floor Coaching and Monitoring, combined with Biomechanics training, reduces injuries, cuts costs, and improves morale.
Our Biomechanics training is based on behavioral changes using the best science available from the fields of rehabilitation and elite sports performance as applied to the industrial setting. This is a universal program, designed to help everyone from the office to the warehouse. It treats unsafe behaviors, known as dysfunctional motor patterns, which contribute unnecessarily to significant numbers of occupational injuries. A dysfunctional motor pattern means the brain and body do not work together optimally, decreasing efficiency of movement and function. This leads to the knee, back, and shoulder injuries that occur for many employees in industrial environments.
Biomechanics exercises in our Pre-Shift Conditioning program actually change behavior patterns. They help organizations transition away from traditional stretch-and-flex programs, which merely stretch commonly injured areas. Our programs restore functional body movements, create optimal biomechanics and ergonomics, correct posture, and enhance durability. Once employees relearn correct motor patterns, safe behaviors can be maintained with a gentle 4-8 minute daily routine. These series of movements energizes the nervous system and reinforces functional movement patterns, warming up the body and preparing it for safe task performance.
Our Technique Training classes in proper lifting, standing, pushing, pulling, and carrying are taught to small groups of employees with commonly used equipment. Classes are customized and job-specific. This training teaches employees effective and efficient movements, leading to safe performance of job tasks.
Through an integrated approach, we alleviate pain and discomfort while addressing the behaviors that helped cause the pain in the first place. This combination of focus on Body and Behaviors, when married with an Environmental review for safe working conditions, significantly reduces injury risk, including warding off the potential risks of fatigue. Our overall goal as a company is to address the issues involved in safe, efficient, and pain-free movement for all employees.