You would have heard the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ many times before. Well at Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick, we stand by it! In today’s blog, we discuss how this saying relates to you and your job, whatever that may be.
When asking the question ‘are you physically fit for your job?’, two things come to mind. Firstly, are you doing the right type and amount of exercise to prevent injuries at work? Secondly, are you able to pass pre-employment fitness testing and/or ongoing fitness testing to uphold employment?
Let’s take a closer look at these two questions.
Preventing Injuries at Work
Did you know that ‘body stressing’ as a mechanism of injuries at work, made up 38% of serious claims in 2016-2017; according to the Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics Report 2016-2017*
Body stressing injuries, for example, could be the result of overexertion in lifting, lowering, pushing or pulling, repetitive activities, sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time, or working in awkward positions.
In certain situations, injuries can be unavoidable. However, more often than not, it is a lack of physical conditioning that puts people at a higher risk of injuries at work. The good news is, work-related injuries can be prevented through regular strength and aerobic training, that is specific to the requirements of your job. Just like an elite swimmer cannot competitively swim in a race if they only step foot in a pool on race day, a labourer or paramedic, for example, will not be able to safely perform strenuous tasks if they do not train for it.
Likewise, office workers are at risk of musculoskeletal disorders from prolonged sitting time and repetitive use of the hands. For example, a common problem caused from a lot of sitting is shortened hip flexor muscles and weak glute muscles. Lengthening the hip flexors and strengthening your glutes is one important aspect for preventing issues such as low back pain, hip pain and poor posture.
Adding these simple tips into your working day will also help reduce your risk of injury:
-Use of desks that allow you to sit or stand
-Change the layout of your office so you have to stand up to reach files, the printer, telephone etc.
-Take a walk around the block in your lunch break
-Plan a heavy lift before you begin and ask for help if it is too heavy for you.
-Take frequent breaks from any sustained positions every 20-30 minutes. Set an alarm to stand up from your desk. Do a stretch, go for a walk, or do 10 squats.
– Drink more water so that you have to get up and walk to the bathroom regularly.
Work-Related Fitness Tests
There are many jobs that require employees to undergo fitness testing to assess whether they can adequately perform the tasks required within their job role. Depending on the job, fitness testing could include tests such as a 20-metre shuttle run (or beep test), push ups in 1 minute, 2-minute plank hold, or lifting a heavy object from the floor to waist height or overhead. Testing will be job-specific and vary from different professions. Regular strength and aerobic training are crucial to being able to confidently pass these tests.
The Accredited Exercise Physiologists at Longevity Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick can ensure you are strong and fit enough to pass your work fitness tests by delivering tailored exercise programs. We can also help you prevent injuries at work by managing your exercise and lifestyle habits. We prefer to help people be proactive and prevent injury rather than help people in the rehabilitation process.
To find out how Longevity can help you prevent injury or a lack of physical fitness from setting you back on your chosen career path, give us a call on 1300 964 002.
Written by Courtney Maher