Posture and Exercises

The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Laboratory Ergonomics. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Laboratory Ergonomics (online CE course)
Posture and Exercises

Being aware of your posture is important for prevention of MSDs. These are postures that should be avoided:
  • Prolonged or repetitive bending at the waist
  • Prolonged standing or sitting without shifting position
  • Keeping an arm outstretched for a prolonged period of time
  • Holding or turning your head consistently to one side
  • Remaining in an awkward position for a prolonged period of time
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends several exercises that are beneficial for the prevention of MSDs (Table 2). These recommendations are included as a resource. A partial representation of the exercises are demonstrated below.
Table 2. Ergonomic Body Positions.
Cable Stretch
  • While seated with chin in, stomach in, shoulders relaxed, hands relaxed in lap, and feet flat on the floor, imagine a cable pulling the head upward
  • Hold for 3 seconds and relax
  • Repeat 3 times
Sidebend Neck Stretch
  • Tilt head to one side (ear towards shoulder)
  • Hold for 15 seconds
  • Relax
  • Repeat 3 times on each side

Diagonal Neck Stretch
  • Turn head slightly and then look down as if looking in your pocket
  • Hold for 15 seconds
  • Relax
  • Repeat 3 times on each side

Shoulder Shrug
  • Slowly bring shoulders up to the ears and hold for approximately 3 seconds
  • Rotate shoulders back and down
  • Repeat 10 times

Executive Stretch
  • While sitting, lock hands behind head
  • Bring elbows back as far as possible
  • Inhale deeply while leaning back and stretching
  • Hold for 20 seconds
  • Exhale and relax
  • Repeat

Foot Rotation
  • While sitting, slowly rotate each foot from the ankle
  • Rotate 3 times in one direction, then 3 times in the opposite direction
  • Relax
  • Repeat
© Chyna LaPorte, 2023, All Rights Reserved