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18 TALKBACK RESEARCH

In 2011, Alexander Technique (AT) teacher and researcher, Mireia Griso led a search for AT in the workplace. Her research, funded by the Foundation for the Prevention of Occupational Risks in Spain, explored international precedents where AT was being applied for the prevention of workplace musculoskeletal disorders. Here, we present her research summary, abridged.

Alexander Technique in the workplace Introduction

Back pain is the world’s leading cause of disability and with several million working days lost to back pain in the UK every year, there is substantial impetus to address the problem. The Alexander Technique (AT) is founded on a psychophysical model of human functioning and brings a new understanding of how the physical and mental habits of a worker impact his/her performance and health. In this context, the general aim of AT is to enable the worker to acquire the tools to change his/her habitual approach to posture, movement, stress management and general co-ordination. Rresearch shows that AT is successfully being used to ward off musculoskeletal symptoms in the long term.

Methodology

The research was carried out in five phases between February and November 2011. Phase 1: There was an exhaustive search for precedents of AT as a tool to prevent occupational risks, and every teacher affiliated with AT associations

ORIGINS OF THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE

The Alexander Technique (AT) was developed more than 100 years ago as a means of promoting performance. It is commonly taught to performers such as actors, dancers, musicians, athletes and public speakers, but today it is most commonly sought as a treatment for back pain. Indeed, medical research has demonstrated the effectiveness of AT in the treatment and management of chronic back pain.

TALKBACK l ISSUE 3 2014

worldwide was invited to contribute. This created a database referencing more than 130 books, videos, company reports, scientific studies, pilot studies, case studies, and web pages. Precedents were then verified with the teachers. Phase 2: Precedents that met one or more of the following five criteria were included in the analysis:

1) recent or current precedents (from 2000 onwards) 2) more than 50 workers had been trained in AT 3) a documented evaluation of the implementation 4) a significant level of quality in the training methodology (those involving only an introduction to AT were discarded)

Table 1 Victorinox

Swiss knife company

Unicible

IT company

Siemens AG

AG electrical engineering company

Treuhand GmbH

Accountancy practices

Ville de Lausanne

Town services

D.E.V.K.

Insurance company

Steuerberaterverband Schleswig-Holstein

Tax consultancy

Alliance Insurance Corporation

Insurance company

Chevron-Texaco

Energy company

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Hospital

Israeli Air Force

Army

BBC Bristol

Communications company

Commonwealth Department of Parliamentary Reporting Staff

Australian government department

Holsteiner Catering

Restaurants

Kampovsky

Windows factory

Zurich Financial Services

Insurance company

Palau de la Música Valencia

Orchestra

Kommunal

Trade union

NHS UK

National Health Service

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union

Independent non-profit making financial co-operative

Fundació Collserola

School

CEIP Fontanelles

School

De Hartekamp Groep

Foundation for handicapped people

TalkBack, Issue 3 | 2014 (BackCare)  

TalkBack is the quarterly magazine of BackCare, serving those with a personal or professional interest in back pain with news, views and edu...

TalkBack, Issue 3 | 2014 (BackCare)  

TalkBack is the quarterly magazine of BackCare, serving those with a personal or professional interest in back pain with news, views and edu...