About occupational health
Every year thousands of New Zealanders are injured at work, or suffer from a work-related disease. If you experience an injury at work then a physio working in occupational health can provide assessment and rehabilitation to help you remain at work, or return to your job. While the workplace is the main focus a physio can also look at your ability to function at home and in your community.
Preventing injuries at work
There are a number of ways to prevent injuries at work and a physio can help you identify these via workplace assessment. A few simple tips to think about include;
- If you use your hands a lot (such as typing) then give your hands and wrists a quick break every 30 minutes
- Report any hazardous equipment or areas such as slippery floors or loose carpet
- Help prevent back injuries by learning the correct way to lift (lift with your legs) and using appropriate lifting equipment where necessary
- Practice good posture at your desk and consider an ergonomic chair
- Create a free health and safety tip sheet for your workplace at http://www.worksmarttips.co.nz/
How can physiotherapy help?
There is a range of physiotherapy services that can help you be better at work including;
- Workplace assessments and recommendations
- Analysing work tasks and recommending changes to prevent injury
- Education about injury prevention in the workplace, including back care, manual handling and prevention of occupational overuse syndrome
- Treatment of work related injuries
- Return-to-work planning
- Stress management and relaxation therapies
- Pain management.
Tips for a healthy workplace
Sit less and move more! Did you know a study in the British Medical Journal, shows that sitting for more than three hours per day can reduce your life expectancy by up to two years?
10 tips for sitting less in your work day
- Take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Try a standing meeting or a walking meeting.
- Fill up your water bottle – on another floor of your building.
- Stand up when you speak on the phone.
- Get to work the active way; walk, bike or get off the bus at an earlier stop.
- Walk over to a colleague and pass on a message instead of emailing.
- Head to the gym in your lunch break or just take a walk around the block.
- Try some quick exercises at your desk such as relaxed breathing, arm and neck stretches.
- Invest in a pedometer and see how many steps you can do in a day.
- Set up your desk as a standing desk
Related information/tip sheets