Ergonomic Tips for Teachers
Teachers are just as susceptible to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) as office workers are. Teachers are constantly standing up, walking around, and bending down to low tables, which can cause serious strain to their bodies.
- 73% of teachers have experienced neck and shoulder pain.
- 53% have experienced knee problems.
- 33% have experienced hip problems.
- 82% experience pain from MSDs at least once a week.
Pinpoint the pain
If you suffer from pain or discomfort that is affecting your ability to work, then it’s important to figure out what the trigger is. Keeping a log-book of every time that you start to feel pain could be useful. Doing this could remind you to adjust the way you do certain activities or movements in order to avoid the pain. As well as this, it could be worth getting a DSE Assessment.
A DSE Assessment can help point out what is causing such pains and aches, and the DSE assessor will provide a detailed overview of the working conditions and challenges faced by the teacher, and give any necessary recommendations to help alleviate the issues.
These issues could include:
- Incorrect desk height
- Incorrect computer/laptop height
- Having a chair that is not suitable for your ergonomic needs
- Using a keyboard that is not suitable for your ergonomic needs
Sit down, relax!
Office workers are constantly being told to stand up from their chair and get moving to prevent any risk of MSDs or aches and pains, but for teachers who are walking around from classroom to classroom, and standing up for hours on end, it is important to sit down and rest your legs! As a teacher you may find that when teaching a lesson you spend most of the time stood up, this could lead you to standing in an awkward position that could be detrimental to your posture.
- Spread your weight evenly across both feet
- Keep your knees slightly bent
- Keep your feet shoulder width apart
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled back
If you are a teacher you may find you are bending down to low tables, this could cause strain on your back and neck. To prevent this, use an ergonomic chair and pull this up to a classroom table rather than leaning over in an uncomfortable position.