One simple thing you can do to increase your injury prevention at work is to take micro breaks throughout your workday to change position, stretch, or rest. This allows for increased blood flow to tight, overused muscles while activating underused muscles. Tight muscles are more prone to injury.
A micro break need not last longer than 15-30 seconds to be effective, which you can perform throughout your work shift.
- You may perform one to three simple stretches – while seated or standing – wherever you feel tight or sore.
- Hip and low back stretches can be performed within one micro break, so can neck and shoulder stretches.
- Stretch within your comfort zone, don’t push it!
- BREATHE! Take 5-10 deep breaths while you stretch, breathing in through your nose and out through pursed lips.
- You should feel refreshed and ready to continue working after a micro break.
If your job requires you to sit – get up and move whenever you can! An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking (Mayo Clinic).
Here are some ideas to get you out of your chair:
- Ask your supervisor for a sit-stand work station. You should stand at least 15 minutes every hour that you sit.
- Stand up to take phone calls.
- Stand up during virtual meetings.
- Move some occasionally used items to the other side of your work area or office, requiring you to stand up to get them.
- Print items to a printer down the hall, requiring you to walk to get them.
- Walk down the hall to talk to a co-worker instead of calling them.
- Walk to the water cooler to refill your water bottle throughout the day.
- Drink plenty of water, therefore you will have to take more bathroom breaks! Pick a bathroom far away from you.
- Walk around your area and take 5-10 deep breaths, moving your arms while looking out a window or at a picture on the wall. This will give you a visual break as well.
Follow these steps and you will help assure your Injury Prevention at Work. You can learn more through our page at PDRWorks.com.