Preventing Injuries in the Workplace
Injuries in the workplace can be a huge issue going relatively unnoticed. In this blog we break down some key facts & ways to cut down easily avoidable & common injuries in the workplace
Before we jump in to preventing injuries in the workplace, a few fun facts to set the scene:
“2.5 million people in the UK suffer from back pain each day” taken from GPCD
“On average 31 million working days are lost each year to musculoskeletal issue such as back pain.” taken from the National Archive
Is sitting the new smoking?
I recently had a conversation with a business owner and asked him what he felt his most important asset in his business was. He replied his brand new Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) System. It would take his business to the next level.
I replied and what about your employees are they not possibly your companies most important and valuable asset. A great discussion about employee wellbeing followed. In my opinion a driven, healthy and productive employee is the heart beat of any company.
Daily life is becoming more sedentary. Stop for a moment and work out how many hours a day you spend sitting, driving or on public transport and multiply by 365. They are some scary numbers indeed. Of course we cant constantly be active but this is not good for our bodies.
Modern work environments are not normally conducive to mobilising with many workers stationed at a desk with their computer.
The Problem: A Desk Job Can lead to Back Pain
Sitting for longer periods leads to tightness of the muscles especially around the hip and low back pain. Prolonged shortening of muscles means that they reduce in length and subsequently place extra stress on the joints over which they run.
Have you ever had neck or back pain yourself?
Indeed research has been completed on the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle from a greater health perspective also. When we are on the move, the discs between the vertebras of our backs are receiving fresh blood supply and nutrition. However, when we sit down for long periods, these disks are compressed, causing muscles and ligaments to become strained and weak.
I want to outline some simple strategies to help you and your colleagues to
reduce the risk of developing back pain
- Consider Standing Desks: The option to move between sitting to standing at the workplace can help to reduce incidences of low back pain.
- Review the potential for exercise rooms. We often teach our corporate clients how to foam roll, which is a great way to reduce tension especially in the back area. It can also improve mood and increase productivity.
- Set some office targets. Tracking activity on simple free apps like those automatically installed in your I phone will indicate your activity levels during the day. Perhaps a stand up and a walk every 60 minutes would suffice to start.
- Encourage employees to eat away from their desk to break that static cycle of sitting postures.
- Contact a Local Physiotherapist who deals with Occupational Health. Physiotherapists training means they have a skill set to analyse movement and prevent this
Sitting for prolonged periods of time is not good for your muscles and for your overall physical and mental health. Thus, avoid sitting for too long and try to promote a culture of prevention rather than curative approach to issues such as back pain.
Try to change your sitting posture every 45-60 minutes. Staff can feel more relaxed, productive and indeed happier in the workplace. If you wish to find out more or would consider an audit to help reduce your workplace absence through prevention and early intervention please contact Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly here for a free consultation or alternatively you could get in touch with us from one of our social media accounts: