What You Can do to Prevent Injuries at Work
Ergonomics is defined as the study of how people work in their environment. Ergonomics also has to do with workplace design factors that are intended to maximize productivity by minimizing employee fatigue and discomfort. While offices and other workplaces and job sites strive for optimal ergonomics for their employees, many still suffer from workplace fatigue and injuries.
In fact, according to OSHA in the Repetitive Stress Injuries Handbook for Education Support Professionals by the National Education Association (NEA):
- Musculoskeletal disorders account for 35 percent of all workplace injuries.
- Nearly 1.8 million workers each year suffer from ergonomic injuries.
- Approximately 50 cents of every dollar spent on medical costs will be for treating repetitive stress injuries.
- Workers’ compensation claims have nearly tripled in the last two decades. An estimated 60 percent of this increase is attributed to inadequate ergonomic conditions in the workplace.
So, despite your employer’s best efforts at providing an ergonomically correct work environment, how do you prevent yourself from becoming a statistic? There are several things you can do to prevent some of the more common workplace injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, tendinitis, bursitis and neck pain or headaches, and at the top of the list is stretching at least once every hour.
Here are a list of stretches to help avoid workstation injuries and fatigue from Dr. Todd Goldman at Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness in Medford:
- General: Stand up and stretch your arms over your head while standing. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds, and repeat two to three times.
- Chest and Back: While sitting or standing put your hands on your lower back, pull your elbows as far back as you can and gently arch your back. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds, and repeat two to three times.
- Upper Back: Tuck your chin into your neck as you slowly bring your head upright. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
- Neck: Gently ease your head to the side, guiding it with your hand. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds, and repeat one to two times on each side.
- Arms: Relax your arms at your side and then raise your shoulders, rotating them up and back in a circular motion. Repeat a few times.
- Wrists: Gently rotate your wrists so your fingertips form circles in the air while you hold your hands in front of you. Repeat a few times.
- Fingers: Clench both fists for five seconds, then release. Next, spread your fingers as far as you can, holding for five seconds. Relax and repeat a few times.
- Eyes: Periodically rest your eyes by looking into the distance and/or closing them for a few seconds at a time.
Stretching can reduce your chance of workplace injury, but if you’re experiencing back or neck pain, headaches or other workstation injuries, then give Dr. Goldman a call at (631) 447-2299 today.
Dr. Goldman follows evidenced-based chiropractic care treatments that begin with diagnostic exams to determine the precise cause of your pain. The adjustments he provides his patients are based on his diagnostic findings and address the underlying musculoskeletal misalignments triggering a patient’s pain, rather than simply “hiding” these symptoms with medication.