No job is without it’s challenges and stress, but some are more likely than others to require physical therapy. Physically taxing jobs in industries like waste management, construction, and landscaping can often lead to musculoskeletal injuries, but so can jobs that require standing or sitting all day. Hair stylists, servers, and even office workers can suffer pain that requires physical therapy. Check out these tips on preventing work injury and decide what is best for you and your job.
The most common workplace injury for physically taxing jobs is overexertion. Just like weightlifting or sports training, overexertion can be associated with poor form, lifting heavy loads, or fatigue from lack of rest or energy. To combat fatigue, it is important to get enough sleep. Although the amount of sleep you require will differ greatly depending on age and lifestyle, the average healthy adult needs between seven-and-a-half to nine hours of sleep to function at their best. Your diet will also affect the amount of energy you have throughout the day. A healthy combination of carbohydrates for energy and protein for endurance will stave off fatigue. Don’t skip breakfast! Getting some healthy energy in to start the day will help you go stronger and longer. Whole grain breads and cereals, fruit, and eggs are all excellent options for a nutritious breakfast.
Just as important as the rest and fuel for your body is curating the fitness level necessary for the work you do. If, for example, you are a trash collector, you spend your whole day jumping on and off the back of the trash truck and lifting heavy loads. Regular weight lifting and calisthenics will help keep you fit and therefor less likely to strain yourself hauling trash.
Finally, it could go without saying that a desk job is not in the same physically taxing category at construction or landscaping, but you may still find yourself seeking physical therapy if you’re not careful. Incorrect posture and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to considerable back pain. Try including physical activity into your daily routine, preferably spread out through the week. Exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, which can have a huge impact on the stress placed on your back. Aerobic activity and weight training will help strengthen the muscles in your abdomen and back.
Finally, don’t slouch! Invest in an ergonomic chair that promotes good posture while sitting. You want your feet to rest flat on the floor with your knees level will your hips. Your desk chair should support the curve in your lower back, but if not, buy yourself a small pillow.
Follow these steps and listen to your body! If you find yourself in pain, make an appointment today for your physical therapy consultation! To learn more about different physical therapy techniques and what our certified Physical therapists can do for you check out the Foothills blog. Happy holidays!
Image: Seattle Municipal Archives