About WorkSpace Week
For WorkSpace Week the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA), turns our spinal health and wellbeing focus towards preventing workspace injuries and minimising the impact work-related musculoskeletal disorders have on Australians so we can all work well anywhere.
National WorkSpace Week (the first week of National Safe Work Month), is dedicated to reducing work-related musculoskeletal disorders across a wide-range of industries and professions to minimise the long-term, debilitating effect these injuries have on both the physical and mental health of Australians that impacts their overall quality of life.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare around 7 million Australians suffer from a musculoskeletal condition with work-related musculoskeletal disorders the leading Work Health and Safety issue in Australia that costs the economy around $50 billion annually.
Those most at risk include community and personal service workers such as healthcare, aged care, childcare, NDIS and disability service workers; while machinery operators, drivers, labourers, technicians and tradies are also among those with the highest rates of physical work-related injuries.
Body stressing caused by poorly executed lifting, pushing, pulling or bending, using computers in non-ergonomic workspaces (in an office or at home), poor posture, driving a vehicle and repetitive strain injuries can all cause work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Mental stress in the workspace can also impact workers physically and if left unchecked, can trigger neuro-musculoskeletal disorders.
Prevention is better than cure. During WorkSpace Week, the ACA is encouraging employers and workers to focus on maintaining a safe working environment by taking a proactive approach to reducing workspace injuries and hosting a #StraightenUpAustralia Challenge to help prevent injuries, build team spirit and improve the overall spinal health and wellbeing of workers.
By working together, we can help minimise work-related musculoskeletal disorders and improve the overall spinal health and wellbeing of Australian workers while reducing the cost to our economy.
Thank you for joining us in this important community health initiative.
National WorkSpace Week aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians by reducing workspace injuries among those most vulnerable to work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
Your participation in this significant public health awareness campaign will help educate employers and workers on the importance of taking a proactive approach to injury prevention.
By working together, we’ll help prevent workspace injuries across a broad range of industries and professions and minimise the impact injuries have on the spinal health of workers across Australia.
Register today and we’ll email you a link to download a range of free campaign resources.
You can also host a #StraightenUpAustralia challenge – a simple three-minute activity using ACA’s Straighten Up App to promote working well anywhere and then share video and images of their #MyHealthyWorkspace to help minimise work-related musculoskeletal disorders and improve overall spinal health and wellbeing.
Together we can help prevent workspace injuries and encourage early intervention to minimise the long-term impact work-related injuries have on the lives of millions of Australians.
ACA members can access all WSW resources by clicking here.Register Your Support Now
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are not limited to workers who do lifting, pulling, pushing or carrying.
WorkSpace Week Ergonomic Checklist
Computer use in non-ergonomic workspaces, poor posture and the lack of effective exercise programs to improve spinal health and stabilise core muscle groups can lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders including back pain, neck pain, shoulder stiffness and headaches, among others.
Download the free Ergonomic Checklist today and learn how to maintain a healthy spine when working using computers at home, at work or anywhere.
My Healthy WorkSpace – Sitting Well
If your work requires you to sit for extended periods of time, you must do it safely.
Sitting for long periods of time is common to a wide range of professions and occupations in Australia. A lack of physical activity in the workspace can cause a range of health problems including cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, mental health issues and musculoskeletal disorders that can lead to headaches and chronic neck, shoulder and back pain.
Download the free Sitting Factsheet today to learn how to maintain a healthy spine and overall health and wellbeing when sitting at work.
My Healthy WorkSpace – Standing Well
If your work requires you to stand to perform your work, you must do it safely.
A wide range of professions and occupations require workers to stand for prolonged periods of time. If you find yourself or a colleague in a job that involves continuous standing for over an hour without shifting, or lasting more than four hours per shift, it’s crucial to manage how to stand correctly. Neglecting these aspects could potentially lead to chronic conditions including lower and middle back pain.
Download the free Standing Factsheet today and learn how to maintain a healthy spine and overall health and wellbeing when standing at work.
My Healthy WorkSpace – Lifting and Bending Well
If you need to lift and bend to perform your work, you must do it safely.
A wide range of professions and occupations require workers to lift and bend at regular intervals during their workday. Moving or lifting objects that are large, heavy, bulky, awkward or difficult to handle can put employees at risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. These disorders can occur suddenly or develop over time and include sprains, strains, fractures and soft-tissue injuries to the back, hips or shoulders.
Download the free Lifting/Bending Factsheet today and learn how to maintain a healthy spine when bending and lifting at work.
Are headaches holding you back?
If you or someone you know are among the 7 million Australians who suffer from tension headaches or the 4.9 million who suffer from migraine causing lost social activity, concentration and work capacity; chiropractic healthcare can provide effective, drug-free pain relief to headache and migraine sufferers.
Download the free Headache Factsheet today to learn how to maintain a healthy spine and overall health and wellbeing while at work.
My Healthy Workspace Poster
A all-year-round workspace resource designed to promote safety and wellbeing. The My Healthy Workspace Poster is an investment in your team’s wellbeing and productivity. By promoting a culture of safety and self-care, you’ll create a workspace where employees can thrive.
Five simple stretches you and your team can perform regularly for a healthier, happier, and more efficient workspace.
Download the free My Healthy Workspace poster today and display in your workspace year round.
When working at a computer in an office or at home, it’s important to work using an ergonomic chair rather than just a normal chair. Unlike a normal chair, an ergonomic chair supports the spine, lower back, and pelvis and promotes good posture. An ergonomic chair also allows you to adjust the seat height, seat width, and depth.
One of the most important elements of an ergonomic chair is that it offers lower back support through its lumbar adjustment. This lumbar adjustment is crucial to supporting the inward curve of the lower back. This is because sitting for long periods of time without proper support (for this section of your back) can not only lead to slouching – but also strains the vertebrae in the lower part of the spine3.
Your ergonomic office chair should allow you to have your elbows level (to the height of the work surface) with your shoulders and forearms relaxed when working at your computer or laptop.
If you cannot reach the floor, use a footrest for added support4.
Adopting a safe and correct sitting position when working is vital to maintaining a good posture and a healthy back and spine. Sitting in incorrect positions can cause misuse or even overuse of specific muscles, ligaments, and tendons and can adversely impact your postural health5.
This is why it’s important to sit with an upright posture, with your shoulders relaxed and your feet flat on the floor.
It may feel good to slouch slightly as the day progresses, however, hunching can cause the muscles in your chest to contract and shorten, which contributes to not only a stiff neck- but a stiff back as well6.
Knee & Hip Position
When you’re sitting at your desk, it’s important to adjust your chair so that it allows your knees to be slightly lower than your hips! This is because if you sit in a chair that’s too low, forcing your knees above your hip – that can place a lot of unwanted pressure, weight, and stress on your spine and the lower part of your pelvis7.
Similarly, a chair that is adjusted too high can lead to increased pressure on your knees and decreased blood circulation8, 9.
So while working throughout the day, take a moment to check your knees and hips are positioned correctly.
Computer Set Up
No matter what location you work from, an office, at home, or in any other location, it is important to adjust your monitor or laptop screen to the correct height to avoid placing unwanted strain on your neck. If you tilt your head too far up or too far down, this can place a lot of extra stress on your neck and result in neck pain over time. Your monitor (or laptop screen) should be placed directly in front of you. If you have two monitors, position yourself between them whilst working.
The most important point to remember is to have your monitor height (or laptop screen) at eye level and approximately one arm’s length away from you10. If you need to adjust your monitor or laptop height you can use any solid object, with a wide enough base to prop up your laptop. So, get creative! You can even have several books piled up on top of each other.
When you are working, your keyboard and mouse should be on the same level, also directly in front of you, and positioned at least 10 to 15cms away from the edge of the work surface – to allow for good forearm support when operating the computer or laptop.
You also want to place your mouse parallel to your keyboard, with your elbows bent at around 90 –100 degrees. Also, try to keep both your arms close to your body to avoid unnecessary neck and shoulder pain.11
Standing desks offer a flexible and healthy alternative to the traditional sitting all-day desk setup. Standing desks also allow you the opportunity to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day12. There are two common types of sit-to-stand workstations, the first being a whole desk unit that is manually, or power-operated to adjust to the preferred height.
The second option is a modular type of desktop unit that sits on top of one’s desk and is usually adjusted manually or with a set of lever locks. Although you can purchase custom-built standing desks, you can also convert a regular desk into a standing desk at no cost by elevating your computer.
Not only does the stand-up desk mitigate extended periods of sedentary sitting, but it also increases metabolic function, decreases blood pressure, and provides lower back pain relief13. Not to mention, a stand-up desk also provides greater musculoskeletal comfort14. Finally, standing desks have also been shown to improve productivity and mental focus – so get standing!
Breaks & Stretching
Sitting for long periods of time can be harmful to your spinal health, so make a conscious effort to take breaks by scheduling in mini-breaks every 30 minutes to keep your body moving throughout the day.
Taking regular breaks allows you to reset, recharge and refresh! Sitting for hours a day places a lot of stress on the natural curvature of the spine. So, if your back starts to feel tight and uncomfortable from sitting, completing a few stretches will help to relieve any build-up of pressure and tension on the spine. Stretching also promotes increased blood circulation and acts as a great form of stress release.
Consult a Chiro Podcast
The Consult a Chiro Podcast is dedicated to providing valuable health and wellness information. Gain insights from experts, explore the latest research, and uncover practical tips for improving your health and wellbeing.
Learn about the benefits of chiropractic care and how chiropractors can be a valuable part of your healthcare team.
Listen to the Consult a Chiro podcast today.
Straighten Up App
While your chiropractor can’t be there 24/7 correcting your posture, the Straighten Up app can! Designed to act as ‘Your Pocket Chiropractor’, this app aims to address the growing posture issues and back pain problems faced by Australians.
Some of the features of the app include setting reminders to receive notifications about sitting right, stretching, taking breaks and improving your posture. The app also includes a 3-minute exercise program designed to improve spinal health, stabilise core muscle groups and more. The app also shows a list of local ACA chiropractors to help you find a chiropractor near you.
Download the Straighten Up app today.
Straighten Up Challenge
During WorkSpace Week, Australians are being encouraged to host a #StraightenUpAustralia Challenge using ACA’s Straighten Up app in their workspace to promote working well anywhere and to share video and images of their #MyHealthyWorkspace to help minimise work-related musculoskeletal disorders and improve overall spinal health and wellbeing.
So get your team moving with the #StraightenUpAustralia Challenge today.
- Download the ACA’s Straighten Up app: Perform one of the exercises from the app.
- Download the #StraightenUpAustralia poster to promote your challenge.
- Share Your Challenge: Post a pic or video of you doing the challenge using the hashtag #MyHealthyWorkspace. Encourage others to join in!
Make it fun, be energetic, get creative and be part of #StraightenUpAustralia during National WorkSpace Week!
Consult a Chiro
Early intervention is the best protection against work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
ACA chiropractors, Australia’s leaders in chiropractic healthcare, can help prevent work-related spinal health conditions caused by physical or mental stress.
ACA chiropractors can provide advice on how to prevent work-related back and neck injuries, how to set up an ergonomic workspace, improve posture and manage stress. They can tailor exercises to help improve spinal health and stabilise core muscle groups and provide lifestyle and dietary advice to promote overall health and wellbeing to help Australians work well anywhere.
But should workspace injuries occur, it’s important to seek early chiropractic healthcare to help prevent deterioration of an injury, improve recovery, reduce severity and prevent long-term implications including depression and overuse or reliance on medications for chronic pain that can be harmful.
To consult a chiro to help prevent workspace injuries or to treat work-related musculoskeletal disorders, find an ACA chiropractor near you.
For a full set of references, click here.
For interviews with Australian Chiropractors Association representatives and case studies, please contact Insight Communications.
02 9518 4744
Clare Collins | 0414 821 957 | [email protected]
Alice Collins | 0414 686 091 | [email protected]