• Aliena (Ali) Davis, DC

Injury Prevention 101: Work

Work injuries typically come in two forms: repetitive motion injuries and accidental trauma. Both can cause costly loss of time at work and put you and your employer through the hassle of documenting and resolving the incident. In this post, we will offer tips and advice for avoiding both types of injury.

Repetitive Motion Injuries 1. Ensure that your workstation ergonomics are set up properly for your unique needs. Your needs will vary based on your height, weight, arm length, etc – no two individuals’ work stations will be identical.

2. Take frequent typing breaks. Use a “stress ball” or similar hand exerciser on occasion to maintain muscle balance in your hands and wrists.

3. Practice proper posture at your work station. Sitting for long periods of time with proper posture can be tiring and requires core strength and stability. Incorporate core strengthening into your workout routine if you find you’re having difficulty maintaining proper posture at your desk. 4. Take frequent walking breaks. If you must sit for extended periods of time, choose the more physically demanding options when you do get up to walk somewhere. For example, take stairs instead of an elevator or take a quick walk down the block for your afternoon coffee instead of driving or having it delivered. You may think you’re losing productivity by leaving your desk but you may be surprised to find your productivity might actually increase when you return from a short, brisk walk.

5. Use hands-free phone options. In this age of modern technology, you should never have to crane your neck to hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Bluetooth or wired headphones, or even speakerphone if you have a private office, are all better options for avoiding work-induced spinal injuries.

Accidental Trauma 1. Always lift properly. Get heavy items to your “power zone” before lifting. Always bend your knees instead of your back, and avoid lifting items over your head. For awkwardly sized or extremely heavy objects, have someone assist you.

2. Wear slip-resistant shoes, and use caution when wearing high heels.

3. Always use hands-free phone options when driving.

4. Eat regular, healthy, balanced snacks and meals. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can make you more accident prone by affecting your balance and your focus.

5. Always use ladders/step stools to reach items on high shelves to reduce your risk of falling. If you have poor balance, ask someone to climb up to reach the item for you or at the very least have someone with you to help make sure you don’t fall.

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