If you are a manual worker you are probably at risk of joint and muscle injuries if you do not take the correct procedure for establishing a healthy, safe work regime. Here are some top tips to help you protect your joints.
Follow Health and Safety Guidelines
All businesses have a health and safety charter that they must follow. A copy of this should be kept on site. Be sure to read this to be aware of the equipment that should be provided in order for you to perform your job to the best of your ability without damaging your health.
Lift Heavy Objects Correctly
If it is unavoidable to lift a heavy object, be sure you use the correct lifting technique to protect yourself. Be sure to stretch before beginning manual labour to warm up your muscles. When lifting bend from your knees and hips rather than your back. Lift using your leg and arm muscles rather than your back muscles.
Use any lifting equipment provided, such as a fork lift truck or a trolley. This will enable you to manage heavy loads with ease. If none are available use your common sense to deduct if they should be provided and ask a manager to organise them. Alternatively, simply ask for assistance in moving heavy items.
Don’t Rush Work
Be mindful in how you perform your work. Rushing anything will lead to accidents and mistakes. As you approach a new task, pause. Spend a few minutes thinking how you can perform it while protecting your joints. Rather than trying to lift a heavy load that you are struggling to carry, make a few trips. Struggling will cause injury.
Take Regular Exercise
If you do manual work it is important to do regular exercise to give your body an even distribution of muscular exercise to stay well. You may think if you work as a builder that you get plenty of exercise lifting or shovelling. You probably have strong biceps and shoulders, but your core muscles may be weak. All your muscle groups need regular exercising to provide proper support.
Swimming can be an excellent exercise to help keep your whole body healthy without straining your joints. Yoga is also an incredibly good form of exercise for joints. It is practiced by men and women alike. Research any local classes in your region and try one class to discover muscles you have that you never knew existed. If you are too shy to attend a class, many yoga dvds are also available.
Wear the Appropriate Shoes
Wearing the right shoes can help to support you as you work. The right shoes will provide a firm foundation so that you can lift and twist easily. This will help to protect your joints and back muscles as you work. Ensure you wear the right size of shoe, that the laces are properly secured and consider inserting insoles so that your foot is properly cushioned. You may want to consider steel toe boots for added protection.