Apart from our homes, the workplace is where we spend most of our time. Most of the tasks we are conducting at work are repeat tasks – Sitting at a desk, driving a vehicle, lifting boxes, hammering nails or a countless list of other duties that make up our day to day work life. The danger lies in repeat movements and sedentary postures. As benign as they may seem, patients with workplace injuries would tell you otherwise.
Nearly 100,000 claims for workplace injuries were accepted in 2009. Over 50% of these injuries are attributed to back and other body strains. Most, if not all of these accidents are preventable if we take the time to stop and be considerate about our workplace environment and situations. Do you feel alert and ready for work? Have you taken a few moments to “warm up” before lifting boxes or conducting other physical activity? Do you have the right equipment available for a safe day at work, including an ergonomic chair or keyboard? If these questions bring up concerns, it may be time to address them with your employer. Happy, healthy employees are productive employees – all good things that your employer benefits from.
Of course posture, taking frequent breaks and stretching before work are all excellent preventative methods. Perhaps the most important prevention step of all is simply stopping to think about your actions before you start. Is it really a surprise that the day you have a huge deadline and are flustered with the details is the same day you accidentally sent an email to the wrong recipient? It could also be the day that you reach for that box in the mail room that is on the highest shelf and hurt your back. Not allowing yourself enough time to consider your plan of attack can be hazardous. There are no deadlines in this world that are more important than your safety.
All of us are guilty of “not thinking” at one time or another and chances are it has resulted in an injury. If you do find yourself in a bit of a sore spot [pardon the pun], it is a good idea to talk to your family chiropractor about recovery options. Injuries that are caught early are less likely to become chronic. Let’s not forget, what affects us at work is going to follow us home and impact the activities in life that we enjoy.
Getting hurt also gives us pause to stop and think about how we can work safer. Remember, the things that you do to make your workplace safer benefit everyone, including the families of those who are injured. Now, are you ready to speak with your boss about getting you that ergonomic keyboard?