Base Level of Fitness Goes Beyond Injury Prevention
Whether working construction, waiting tables, cleaning houses, cutting hair, or working at a computer an overall general level of fitness can prevent injuries, whether work related or other.
If individuals haven’t been physically active in the past, a conditioning program is a great place to start. As a consultant and trainer, I often hear people tell me “I haven’t done anything over this past year!” This means, likely, these folks have lost important physical fitness levels in cardiovascular fitness, strength, stamina and range of motion and jumping into activities that are physically demanding could lead to fatigue and injury.
Since fitness levels didn’t decline over a couple of weeks, they are not going to return that quickly either and it’s important to understand this. We need to be persistent and patient with ourselves while starting up a fitness routine again in order to make consistent gains without getting burned out or hurting ourselves. Many smart employers also see the importance in conditioning the body to prepare for the day’s work, this is especially important for those who have not been as physically active recently. ErgoFit Consulting has worked with many clients over the past 20 years on developing programs that have significantly lowered injury rates and we have recently created new programs that address worker deconditioning levels. A good work conditioning program includes the following:
- Strengthening and stabilizing joints and lower back
- Increasing range of motion
- Strengthening core and deep postural muscles
- Dynamic movements to improve circulation and joint hydration.
- Steady state movements to improve aerobic capacity and endurance
The most important thing to remember is to start slow and increase activity gradually and listen to your body. Pain is always an indicator that something is wrong and should be addressed. The good news is our bodies are very resilient and will adapt to our new (or old!) activities as long as we engage in them carefully.