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The impacts of body posture on office workers health: heart rate and blood pressure

Author: 
Hussein G. Bakheet and Hani H. Alnakhli
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

Recent data has shown increasing rates of disorders among the working community. These health-related complications are considered to be amongst the leading causes of disability within modern office workers. Many of these disorders are commonly caused by improperly accommodated or designed workplaces. However, these related disorders have not yet received the required attention in the Saudi Arabian working community. The importance of this study surfaces around the challenges that might be faced during the implementation of Saudi vision's 2030. The study aims to detect and prevent office related health issues by investigating their associations with improper workstation ergonomics. This was conducted within the framework of studying the current situation of office ergonomics with focus on sitting postures and mental workload. Proper design and healthy practices of the workstation were then advertised to minimize disabilities. The study conducted two randomized crossover trials (within-subjects trials) consisting of twenty-four individuals. These trials hypothesized that there will be significant variations of the subjects' heart rates and blood pressures in accordance with different sitting postures and mental workload. After filtering and analyzing the collected data, sitting posture was found to have a statistically significant effect on both the heart rate, and mean arterial pressure; their averages were decreased after the intervention by 4.08bpm and 7.42mmHg, respectively. Also, the mental workload was found to have statistically significant effects on the studied vital signs, as the average heart rate, and mean arterial pressure of the subjects differenced by 4.25bpm and 3.14mmHg. In conclusion, raising the awareness of the population regarding the importance of workplace ergonomics is proposed; after highlighting the risks of awkward sitting postures and psychological comfort. It is worth mentioning that the appropriate employment of office ergonomics requires the cooperation of both; employees and employers. Only by this alliance, ergonomics will contribute in increasing productivity, maintenance of healthy individuals, and maximizing organizations profits.

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