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Top 7 Tips To Prevent Back Problems On The Job
By Raymond Lee
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Back problems present a unique set of concerns for workers. It is possible to avoid or reduce most of these. The special problems that sometimes accompany back pain in the work setting can be managed. Here are some tips that you can consider to improve your current situation.
- Physical Fitness
As an employee, you should take whatever precautionary measures are possible to prevent back problems. First, strive to stay physically fit. If your legs are not strong enough to lift something from the floor, you will be inclined to bend your back and jerk the object, possibly causing back injury or a flare-up. Similarly, if you are not very flexible, you are at increased risk of straining a muscle, ligament, or tendon. You will also be less able to use a good body mechanics. Even if you are strong and flexible, a lack of endurance may cause you to have pain due to fatigue or to be injured late in the day. On the other hand, becoming physically fit can enable you to keep up with the normal demands of your job and minimize the risk of injury when you exert yourself during emergency situations.
- Pace Yourself
Pacing yourself is also helpful. Many people are fatigued by the end of their work shift, and injuries are more likely to occur at such times. Try to pace yourself throughout your workday so that you are not exhausted and accident-prone by the end of it.
- Modify Your Work Tasks
Some workers may be concerned about being reprimanded or losing their jobs if they ask for help or take extra time to perform a task using a safer method. In most cases, if you are a good worker overall and a responsible employee, your employer will not complain about the time you take to prevent injury. After all, injuries cost companies money, both in time lost and medical expenses. On the other hand, some jobs simply cannot be modified enough to make them easy or safe enough for someone with back pain. If you find yourself in this situation, you may need to make the difficult but important decision to look for another occupation.
- Recognize Your Limits
Recognize your limits and stay within them. If you are not sure whether you can lift something without hurting yourself, do not try. If you can separate a load into smaller items, do so. Or ask for assistance or equipment to make the lift easier and safer.
- Alternate Activities
Another strategy for avoiding back problems at work is to change your activities frequently. Even people without back problems will get back pain after riding in a car all day or after 2 hours of weeding a garden without a break. You are more likely to have back pain if you do any one task for too long. If your job entails sitting at a computer terminal all day, get up at least every 30 minutes to stretch, get a drink of water, or just walk around. If your job involves several different activities, alternate them instead of finishing one task before moving on to the next.
- Body Mechanics
Another measure is to be aware of your body mechanics and posture while on the job. Carefully consider your work environment and the duties you need to perform to see if you could make any modifications that can reduce your risk of injury and pain flare-up.
- Manage Anger And Stress
Finally, work to control your level of anger and anxiety in the workplace. When you are angry, rushed, or under a lot of stress, you are less likely to take the normal precautions of asking for help when you need it, working within your limits and using good body mechanics. If you become angry at work, be sure to cool down before performing any risky activities. Even when you are working under time pressure, allow yourself to take few extra moments needed to ensure your safety.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: November 06, 2007