Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Workplace fitness

Photo shows office workers using the stairsFor many modern professionals, there’s a frustrating irony to their hard work--their fast- paced, high energy jobs actually prevent them from being active and healthy. While one might think high stress would equal high energy output--and thus, a fine-tuned physique--the World Health Organization says that modern, urban lifestyles are leading to a problematic increase in sedentary living.

For many other professionals, another counter-intuitive dynamic is at play--physically demanding jobs frequently lead to physical injury. In Texas alone, say Tate Law Offices, “thousands of...workers suffer work injuries” every year. Hard work, it seems, breaks bodies as often as it strengthens them.

Whether you’re in an office or on the docks, the grass over yonder often looks greener. So what’s the modern worker to do? Here are a few tips you can use to keep fit and safe, no matter where you work.

Get active at the office

If you work in an office, you’re already aware of how much time you spend sitting at chair, neglecting your health. With these small stops, you can get your blood pumping and your body moving.

  • Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Bike or walk to work. Take the stairs to meetings. Use break time to try these office exercises. Even light exercise can add up over time, or least acclimate you to an active lifestyle.
  • Get your coworkers involved. Keeping healthy is easier to do if you have encouragement. Start an informal fitness group at the office. You can try your office exercises together, start a “biggest loser” competition, or swap nutritious recipes. Doing so may build your teamwork, too!  
  • Pack a lunch. Eating out of the vending machine or the fast food place across the street is a nasty habit. Think ahead, pack complete meals the night before. Snacking on walnuts or fresh fruit throughout the day will help keep you perky and productive.
  • Keep your head up. Improving your health is hard work. Don’t get discouraged when things don’t work out immediately. Moping about small mistakes will prevent you from achieving your goals. Get focused, get on top.

Physical work, the right way

If you’re doing physical work, do it right. Raw effort isn’t enough. You need to move with focus. Use your head as well as your muscles to keep yourself in working condition.

  • Follow safety guidelines. Your workplace should have safety tips posted around the site. FOLLOW THEM. Simply remembering to lift with your legs, not your back, can save you from countless hours of pain.
  • Read OSHA’s tips. Even if your site manager’s materials are subpar, you can find the knowledge you need online. OSHA’s website lists an enormous variety of workplace hazards and how to deal with them. Whether you’re operating marine equipment or cleaning up odd molds, OSHA will have expert safety advice for you.

Know your limits. No one likes a showoff, and your company won’t be excited about potential lawsuits. If your work is hurting you, stop and alert your supervisor. You may be briefly embarrassed, but pride is fleeting. Your health is with you forever. Don’t waste it.

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