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Why are workplace injuries so common?

When we’re at work, we often find ourselves doing the same task for hours on end. The more specialised our job is, the more likely this is to be true. The human body is designed to move and perform a variety of tasks, and is unaccustomed to repetitive behaviours.

At work we also find ourselves faced with time constraints and tasks that need to be completed immediately. This can lead to lazy postures, lifting objects that are too heavy, or in a way that is rushed and unnecessary risk taking, just to get the job done.

Many injuries occur as a result of simple tasks done repeatedly over the course of several hours. Often these issues begin slowly and take many months to resolve. Here are a few tips to keep yourself pain free in the workplace.

 When lifting:

Assess the risk. Do you need to ask for help or use an assistive device?

Use your legs to power the movement. Your legs are the strongest part of your body.

Never bend and twist. This is terrible for your back and a significant trigger for injuries. Instead, lift and step to turn before putting the object down.

When moving trolleys:

Push rather than pull. This is a much more efficient movement.

Try to push at waist height and keep forces as close to your body as possible.

When doing desk based activities:

Try not to use the same side of your body all the time. Practise using both left and right hands for taking phone calls and mouse work.

Be aware of your posture. Good posture isn’t about having a completely rigid and upright spine. It’s about being able to let your spine sit comfortably in its natural curves and be able to move in and out of this easily.

Stretch to counteract positions you find yourself in for long periods.

Have your workplace set up assessed and corrected by a professional.

None of the information in this newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.