Do you believe your posture enhances or portrays your sophistication?Yes it does. Poor posture decreases efficiency in work and maximises stress to the body, whereas good posture increases workplace efficiency and reduces the stress on the body. Good posture keeps your muscles active while you are working. So, just a little change to your posture while sitting or standing can be beneficial for your overall health. .Ergonomics'Ergo' means 'work' and 'nomics' means'natural laws'.Ergonomics is a scientific discipline whichanalyses and enhances health, safety, efficiency, productivity and promotes enjoyment at workplace. Ergonomics takes into account the employee's capabilities and limitations to ensure that they establish a safe and efficient association with the environment, machines and equipment at the workplace; thereby achieving efficiency and productivity. A systematic workplace environment reduces physical and mental stress and better contributes to the growth of the organisation.The goal of ergonomics is to understand and create a favourable environment that fits the employees and the kind of task they perform. Simple matters such as height of the placement of machinery, the type of furniture or the position of the stationery play a crucial role in the physical well-being of a person.Ergonomic studies are performed in more than 20 disciplines and in three aspects. The three aspects are:Organisational ergonomics works on the betterment of man-machine communication in anorganisation and organisational structures, organisational policies, employee disaster training, schedules, working timings and quality management.Environmental ergonomics deals with human interaction with the outer environment of the workplace - climate, temperature, pressure, vibration, light, moisture, air, wind, etc.Physical ergonomics is concerned with the human body's response to the physiological demands at the workplace such as work posture, chair-desk setup, material handling, machine size, workplace injuries and repeated bodily actions such as stooped posture while working every day.To understand physical ergonomics better, it is necessary to focus on:ePostureeChair, desk and computer structureeFitness exercisesPosturePosture is the intentionally or habitually assumed position we take up while sitting, walking, standing and sleeping. Certain muscles of our body regulate our posture every day without our realisation. The muscle clusters such as hamstrings and back muscles are responsible for keeping the body posture upright, against the gravitational pull. On the other hand, ligaments are responsible for holding the skeletal structure of the body against thegravity, while the posture muscles promote movement and actions such as sitting or walking. If the body keeps taking up the same incorrect position every day, the posture muscles get stressed and start growing in the direction of the pressure.This eventually results into bad posture.Posture is basically divided in two parts - static (at rest, e.g. while sitting or standing) and dynamic (in motion, e.g. while walking or running).Causes of postural problemsPre-historic human's ape-like anatomy used to bear all the body weight on both hands and legs. With evolution, the lower limbs were required to bear the entire body weight as the upper limbs developed to perform complex tasks. This transition has also dramatically changed the back (core) bio-dynamics (movement of secondary curves). But now a days, due to the changing lifestyle, human beings are again going back to an ape-likeposture which is increasing the incidences of postural problems.Pros and cons of chair-desk set upSitting on a chair has a lot of advantages like:e It is more hygienic.e Lesser muscular fatigue (especially with back support, foot rest and arm rest)The chair-desk set up is however a double edged sword. It has multiple advantages but has more disadvantages that cannot be dismissed. Sedentary lifestyle and prolonged sitting can lead to a poor posture and problems like:1.\tObesity:It is caused due to calorie saving and lesser physical activity2.\tFlabby abdomen/paunch: Slouching or stooping decreases the distance between the sternum and the pelvis, which hampers the normal breathing pattern. Also, there is disuse of the abdominal muscles which eventually leads to obesity.3.\tBack muscles weakness: A comfortable chair can lead to prolonged seating in a reclined position. This could lead to numbness in the back. Also, inactivity can lead to back muscle exhaustion due to prolonged sitting.4.\tExcess pressure on the spine: Obesity, slouching and back muscle weakness can exert excess pressure on the intervertebral disc which leads to medical conditions like herniated (slipped) disc, spondylitis etc.5.\tLower back pain and tightness: The entire weight of the upper body falls on the lower back region, hip flexor and hamstring muscles. Contracting and shortening in these areas causes low back pain\t.6.\tPedal oedema: Pedal oedema means swelling in the feet, caused due to hanging feet (not rested on the ground) and inactivity in the lower limb muscles for a prolonged time.7. Decreased ventilation/oxygenation: Prolonged seating could lead to pooroxygen exchange in lungs which leads to decreased ventilation.8. Vision problems: Constant looking at the monitor causes headache, eye strain, reduced distant vision due to stiffness in ciliary muscles (smooth muscle fibres responsible for lens adjustment in the eyes) which decreases the distant focus of lens9. Forward head position: Forward head position leads to strain and causes pain in the neck, head and shoulder area while standing and sitting. For every inch that the head moves forward, it increases the weight of the head on the neck by four to five Kg. Also, the pressure on the neck and upper back muscles increases by four to five times as they have to stay tight to support and hold the neck Wall test to check postureIt is to check at home if you may be developing any postural problems. Stand with your back against a wall, with your heels touching the wall. You should be able to easily touch your pelvis, mid back,shoulders and your head against the wall without applying force to the body. If you are unable to do this easily, you may have started to develop postural problems in your body.Tackling postural problemse For weak abdominal muscles and flabby abdomen: Consciously pull in your abdomen often. Hold it there at least for 10 seconds and relax. Practice this for three times a day and five repetitions each. Sit upright while performing this exercise.e For excess pressure on the spine: Sit upright. Do abs exercises, back stretching and strengthening exercises.e For lower back pain and stiffness: Stretching exercises for back muscles help in core strengthening. Also yoga and pilates are highly recommended for flexibility and core strengthening.Static (sitting) work decreases the blood circulation in the body which damages the metabolism of the muscles ultimately leading to an insufficient supply of nutrients and causing poor collection of wastes especially acids. This leads to soreness, stiffness and pain in the muscles. Dynamic work (physical activity) is considered healthy. There is contraction and relaxation of the muscles. Movement and activity is necessary for health and fitness of the muscles, spine discs as well as the whole body.So it is necessary to be active. Walk to your workplace if it is near by your home and incorporate some stretching exercises in daily life.