Tradies' Health

Being a tradesman is a physically demanding job, placing a lot of strain constantly on the body.

Work Safe Australia conducted a study which revealed that the highest percentage of serious musculoskeletal disorders claims come from labourers. The majority (63%) of serious musculoskeletal claims are due to body stressing which occurs when muscles, tendons, ligaments or bones are placed under stress. Most body stressing claims (73%) result from muscles stress when lifting, carrying, putting down or handling objects.

The everyday lifting, bending and twisting that the job of tradesmen requires can have long-lasting effects on their bodies and lives. Ignoring those aches and pains could result in reduced quality of life and for many results in early retirement or need to find another job.

Therefore if you know a tradesman or are one yourself, here are some tips to keep your back healthy.

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Stretch at the beginning and end of the day

It is important to stretch especially before and after work to get the joints moving and warmed up. It only takes a few minutes to stretch to increase flexibility, circulation and range of motion of your joints. This will help loosen up the muscles and prepare your body for physical activity.

Stretching at the end of the day will help relax those muscles you have been using all day, and get the oxygen circulating around your body.

 

Posture

It is important to always be aware of your body’s posture, whether you are working or even while relaxing. Having poor posture and staying in an awkward position for long periods can put strain on your spine. If you find yourself slouching or hunching over, try to straighten up.

 

Check your lifting technique

Lifting even lighter objects still requires energy and muscle effort, and if done incorrectly it can cause stress on your muscles, ligaments and tendons, therefore increasing the forces on your spine.

Before lifting any object do a quick safety check. Check for any hazards that need to be removed and also check if there are any assistance tools such as a forklift or wheelbarrow. This can help you move heavy objects without risking strain and injury on your body.

Correct lifting technique: both feet in a stable position, bend at the knees and lift using your hips and knees, not your back. Minimise the distance between your body and the object you are lifting. Where possible, break items into smaller quantities and also try to have breaks and stretch in between.

 

Exercise

With the physically demanding nature of a tradie’s job, they often feel they don’t need to maintain regular physical activity. However it is important to work towards a healthy and strong body which is equipped to these work conditions. It is important to keep doing other forms of physical activity so your body experiences a variety of movements. Simple exercises including going for a walk or swim.

 

Don’t ignore the pain!

Early intervention and treatment makes a big difference. It will prove beneficial in the long run as it will give you a chance to address health concerns early on and resolve problems before they progress.

It is not sensible to ignore aches and pains as these often become more pronounced over time and can cause significant health problems. If something does not feel right, see a health professional such as a Chiropractor.

For more information contact us at Body Care Health and Chiropractic on 0409 712 075 or email felicity.chiro@gmail.com. Prevention is the best approach to a healthy body.