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Every Day is Game Day for An Industrial Athlete

Think about the last day that you worked. Did you use your muscles? Did your job require any physical strength, agility, or stamina? If you answered yes to any of these questions than congratulations without even setting foot on a field or a court, you are an athlete. People who spend much of their day using their bodies to work are classified as “industrial athletes”.

Here are some facts about injuries in the workplace:

  • 13% of the total workforce experienced a loss in productive time during a two week period due to a common pain condition, including headache, back pain, arthritis, and musculoskeletal pain. (Cowan, 2011)
  • Over the next 10 Years there is a 673% projected increase in knee replacements and a 174% projected increase in hip replacements. (Patel & Pavlou, 2015)
  • Over 70% of patients with osteoarthritis now can avoid surgery with lifestyle modifications including specifically preventative work. (Bhatia, 2013)

Common problems for industrial athletes stem from the 3 P’s: Position, Power, and Pattern. 

 

Position: How long are you in the same position for? Are you sitting & typing all day? Are you standing all day?

 For example think about dentists. 93% of dental workers have at least one job-related ache, pain, or discomfort. 69.5% of workers complain of discomfort in their wrist and hands, 67.4% upper back and neck, 56.8% low back, and 60% in the shoulder (Atwood & Michalak)

 

Power: How much power are you using for each task? Is that power using the right body parts?

Think about construction workers, hammering at walls at construction sites all day long. They have two options: the first is to stand up and nail a beam in by just reaching up high, using all forearm muscle; the second is to bring a ladder over and stand on that, making the location of hammering at shoulder level and therefore using shoulder and back muscles to help nail the beam in. The first option is less time consuming, but the second option is more beneficial for the body.

Key findings in 2015 data compiled by the Department of Labor indicate that sprains and strains were the leading nature of injury and illness in every major industry sector. More than three out of 10 injuries in 2015 were sprains and strains, most of which involved overexertion. Private industry workers who sustained an muscoskelatal injury required a median of 12 days to recuperate before returning to work in 2015. (BLS, 2016)

 

Pattern: Are you repeating the same pattern over and over again?

UPS drivers repeat the same pattern all day long: Sit, drive, stand, lift, sit, drive, stand, lift…In order to help them stay limber and repeat good body posture through the day, education and reminders are important! Otherwise it becomes very easy to slip into bad patterns and while one bad lift may not hurt you, a routine of bad lifts will make you dread work even more than you may already do!

What can you do to help yourself or others be healthy & successful industrial athletes?

  • Job Demand Analysis: Take a look at the demands of each job and see where the highest risks are.
  • Post-offer pre-employment test: Brief test & screening that looks at the essential and critical demands for the job to determine if the employee is actually able to do the job.
  • Ergonomic Evaluation: See if the work stations are as ergonomically friendly as possible.
  • Work Conditioning: Design workouts to help employees build the strength needed to perform a job safely and successfully.
  • On-site Resources: Hire an onsite certified athletic trainer or massage therapist to help keep L&I claims down and employees healthy through minor issues.
  • Nutrition Counseling: Food & water can help lift emotions as well as all around wellness. Did you know that a deficit of just two cups of water can increase the stress hormone cortisol and negatively affect mood?
  • Stretch & Flex Sessions: Give yourself at least 10 minutes a day to stretch and flex those muscles! Even two exercises here and there throughout the day are enough to help you feel much better at the end of the day.

Successful careers in physically demanding jobs require various degrees of physical effort and sustained activity. The ability of each individual to perform, physically, has a direct bearing on the competitiveness and success of a company– much like the preparation of an athlete directly affects their team.  

Written by: Amanda Schreiber, ATC, ATC/L, SFMA

 

 

 

 

Sources: Atwood, and Michalak. “Musculoskeletal Disorders and Dental Work.” Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc. Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

Bhatia, Dinesh, Tatiana Bejarano, and Mario Novo. “Current Interventions in the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis.” Journal of Pharm Bioallied Science 5.1 (2013): 30-38. Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences. Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Winter 2013. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

Cowan, Penney. “Pain in the Workplace.” Encyclopedia of Pain (March 2011): 1-14. American Chronic Pain Association. American Chronic Pain Association, Mar. 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

Patel, A., and G. Pavlou. “The Epidemiology of Revision Total Knee and Hip Arthroplasty in England and Wales: A Comparative Analysis with Projections for the United States. A Study Using the National Joint Registry Dataset.” The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery (August 2015): 1076-081. The Bone & Joint Journal. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

“Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work, 2015.” Bureau of Labor Statistics (November 10, 2016): n. pag. BLS. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10 Nov. 2016. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

 

Categories: IRG Highlights, IRG News & stuff, Injuries, News, Wellness
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Posted on February 8, 2017

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Every Day is Game Day for An Industrial Athlete

Think about the last day that you worked. Did you use your muscles? Did your job require any physical strength, agility, or stamina? If you answered yes to any of these questions than congratulations without even setting foot on a field or a court, you are an athlete. People who spend much of their day using their bodies to work are classified as “industrial athletes”.

Here are some facts about injuries in the workplace:

  • 13% of the total workforce experienced a loss in productive time during a two week period due to a common pain condition, including headache, back pain, arthritis, and musculoskeletal pain. (Cowan, 2011)
  • Over the next 10 Years there is a 673% projected increase in knee replacements and a 174% projected increase in hip replacements. (Patel & Pavlou, 2015)
  • Over 70% of patients with osteoarthritis now can avoid surgery with lifestyle modifications including specifically preventative work. (Bhatia, 2013)

Common problems for industrial athletes stem from the 3 P’s: Position, Power, and Pattern. 

 

Position: How long are you in the same position for? Are you sitting & typing all day? Are you standing all day?

 For example think about dentists. 93% of dental workers have at least one job-related ache, pain, or discomfort. 69.5% of workers complain of discomfort in their wrist and hands, 67.4% upper back and neck, 56.8% low back, and 60% in the shoulder (Atwood & Michalak)

 

Power: How much power are you using for each task? Is that power using the right body parts?

Think about construction workers, hammering at walls at construction sites all day long. They have two options: the first is to stand up and nail a beam in by just reaching up high, using all forearm muscle; the second is to bring a ladder over and stand on that, making the location of hammering at shoulder level and therefore using shoulder and back muscles to help nail the beam in. The first option is less time consuming, but the second option is more beneficial for the body.

Key findings in 2015 data compiled by the Department of Labor indicate that sprains and strains were the leading nature of injury and illness in every major industry sector. More than three out of 10 injuries in 2015 were sprains and strains, most of which involved overexertion. Private industry workers who sustained an muscoskelatal injury required a median of 12 days to recuperate before returning to work in 2015. (BLS, 2016)

 

Pattern: Are you repeating the same pattern over and over again?

UPS drivers repeat the same pattern all day long: Sit, drive, stand, lift, sit, drive, stand, lift…In order to help them stay limber and repeat good body posture through the day, education and reminders are important! Otherwise it becomes very easy to slip into bad patterns and while one bad lift may not hurt you, a routine of bad lifts will make you dread work even more than you may already do!

What can you do to help yourself or others be healthy & successful industrial athletes?

  • Job Demand Analysis: Take a look at the demands of each job and see where the highest risks are.
  • Post-offer pre-employment test: Brief test & screening that looks at the essential and critical demands for the job to determine if the employee is actually able to do the job.
  • Ergonomic Evaluation: See if the work stations are as ergonomically friendly as possible.
  • Work Conditioning: Design workouts to help employees build the strength needed to perform a job safely and successfully.
  • On-site Resources: Hire an onsite certified athletic trainer or massage therapist to help keep L&I claims down and employees healthy through minor issues.
  • Nutrition Counseling: Food & water can help lift emotions as well as all around wellness. Did you know that a deficit of just two cups of water can increase the stress hormone cortisol and negatively affect mood?
  • Stretch & Flex Sessions: Give yourself at least 10 minutes a day to stretch and flex those muscles! Even two exercises here and there throughout the day are enough to help you feel much better at the end of the day.

Successful careers in physically demanding jobs require various degrees of physical effort and sustained activity. The ability of each individual to perform, physically, has a direct bearing on the competitiveness and success of a company– much like the preparation of an athlete directly affects their team.  

Written by: Amanda Schreiber, ATC, ATC/L, SFMA

 

 

 

 

Sources: Atwood, and Michalak. “Musculoskeletal Disorders and Dental Work.” Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc. Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

Bhatia, Dinesh, Tatiana Bejarano, and Mario Novo. “Current Interventions in the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis.” Journal of Pharm Bioallied Science 5.1 (2013): 30-38. Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences. Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Winter 2013. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

Cowan, Penney. “Pain in the Workplace.” Encyclopedia of Pain (March 2011): 1-14. American Chronic Pain Association. American Chronic Pain Association, Mar. 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

Patel, A., and G. Pavlou. “The Epidemiology of Revision Total Knee and Hip Arthroplasty in England and Wales: A Comparative Analysis with Projections for the United States. A Study Using the National Joint Registry Dataset.” The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery (August 2015): 1076-081. The Bone & Joint Journal. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

“Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work, 2015.” Bureau of Labor Statistics (November 10, 2016): n. pag. BLS. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10 Nov. 2016. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

 

Categories: IRG Highlights, IRG News & stuff, Injuries, News, Wellness
Tagged In:
Posted on February 8, 2017

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Physical Therapist Tips

Arthritis symptoms include pain, joint inflammation, and swelling. Here is a round-up of more Arthritis facts.

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