How often do you consider the connection between the health and wellbeing of your team at work, and their level of productivity? Studies have proven that the connection between the two is significant. It’s also been reported that employees returning to work after a significant illness or injury are more than likely to require ergonomic support.
Improving muscle strength, warming up joints/tendons and addressing our personal health all contribute to engineering a stronger physiology, reducing risk of injury and staying safe on the job. To solve the problem of injury – and likely re-injury – in the workplace, here are a few tips to help you recognize and mitigate risk for you and your co-workers:
- Educate about ways to stay strong and healthy while at work – Whether it’s regular exercise, healthy eating, weight management or the cessation of smoking, there are plenty of ways for us to improve out physical and mental health for optimal performance at work.
- Plan the job to address ergonomic risk – Job planning can include job specific lifting strategies, understanding when additional support is required, assuring work stations are ergonomically sound, and more.
- Warm up properly before shift, mid-shift, and after breaks – To do so, execute stretching and strengthening exercises that reduce risk of cumulative trauma, increase range of motion to achieve the strongest, most injury resistant state.
- Stretch and foam roll injured or sensitive muscles – Recovering sensitive muscles can be over or under active. Stretching will give them an opportunity to relax and let the appropriate muscles work as they should.
- Strengthen the body – Injured muscles can be weak and may require training to support other muscles near the injury.
- Get proper nutrition and hydration – Eating well and drinking enough water ensures that you maintain energy throughout the day and your muscles are less likely to fatigue.
- Prioritize rest and recovery – Your body needs time to recovery from daily task. Also be sure to get your 6-8 hours of sleep so your body can repair itself.
PRO TIP: Drinking water helps keep joints lubricated and reduces risk of trauma while maintaining strength in the muscles.