Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) are common and costly in the workplace. According to the Department of Labor Statistics, nearly 40% of all loss-time injuries are MSDs and cost roughly $50 billion a year for US companies. While those numbers may be staggering, there is good news when it comes to MSDs; they are entirely preventable.
Proactive injury prevention is always better than reactive treatment. Employees avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort while companies save money. When it comes to MSDs, a few simple exercises that can be done daily significantly decrease the risk of injury.
How Does Exercise Prevent Injury?
Injuries typically occur when muscles are overloaded with stress. This stress can be caused by a variety of factors including trauma, lack of conditioning, or overuse. In the workplace, the most common injuries are due to the stress of overuse. Adding simple exercises into your daily routine can help reduce the overuse stress and prevent the injury from occurring in the first place.
Injury Prevention Exercises You Can Do at Work
Dynamic stretching is one of the best ways workers can incorporate injury prevention into their daily office routine. Research shows that stretching not only reduces the risk of injury but also helps joints move through their full range of motion and enables muscles to work most efficiently, improving performance and reducing fatigue.
Office Stretching Exercises for Desk Job and Sedentary Workers
- Hold your arms straight in front of you.
- Flex one wrist so your fingers point towards the ceiling. Use the other hand to slightly pull the tops of the fingers back towards your face. Hold for 10 seconds. Release.
- Now point fingers towards the floor in a counter-motion. Use other hand to slightly pull fingers towards your face. Hold for 10 seconds. Release.
- Repeat with other wrist.
180-Degree Neck Turns
- Sitting with your feet on the floor and back straight, look to the left. Try to look over your shoulder. Hold for three seconds.
- Rotate head 180-degrees to look over your right shoulder. Hold for three seconds.
- Repeat 5 times.
Tennis Ball Squeeze
- Hold arm straight in front of you.
- Grip tennis or squeeze ball for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Release. Repeat with other hand.
- Sit with feet flat on the floor and back straight.
- Place hands on the underside of your desk with palms touching the desk.
- Press up on the underside of your desk with both hands.
- Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Release.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Stand in front of your chair, feet slightly wider than hip width apart.
- Without using your hands, sit back down in your chair, then stand up again.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Stand next to your desk.
- Roll shoulders forward 10 times. Next roll shoulder to the back 10 times.
- Make a fist with hand and point the thumb towards the ceiling.
- Create resistance in your thumb by clinching your muscles in your hand.
- Using your other hand, gently pull back on your thumb. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with other hand.
- Stand next to your desk.
- Keeping your upper body straight, step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are at a 90-degree angle.
- Stand up and bring foot back to align both legs. Repeat with other leg.
- Complete 10 lunges with each leg.
- Stand next to your desk. Spread legs to be hip with apart.
- With a slight bend in the knee, bend forward and touch your toes. If you cannot reach your toes, rest hands on your shines or knees. Hold for 15 seconds.
- Stand with hands high above your head and fingers clasped together.
- Drop hands behind head to try to touch your upper back while keeping your hands clasped together.
- Keep your elbows as close to your ears as possible. Hold for 15 seconds.
- Stand with your hands clasped behind your back, palms together.
- Keeping your arms straight. Bend forward at the waist and allow your arms to raise behind your back until you feel a stretch in your bicep. Hold for 10 seconds.
Injury Prevention Training Programs
Early intervention is a proactive way to identify early warning signs of a musculoskeletal disorder and help put controls in place to prevent the injury from occurring. Stretching and exercising are vital components to an injury prevention program enhancing the overall effectiveness of the program.
Briotix Health offers comprehensive injury prevention programs with our 360-degree approach. From onsite and virtual ergonomic assessments, education, and management training, our solution has proven effective with 94% of cases resolving prior to becoming a workers’ compensation claim.
To learn more about our comprehensive approach or to schedule a free demonstration, contact Briotix Health today. We are here to make it better.