Injury can happen even in the most “harmless” situations. One minute you are leaning over to pick something up, the next you are grimacing in pain from a strained muscle. Or, you realize after a long day sitting in front of a computer at work that it’s difficult to move your neck in a certain direction. Playing sports is another activity that can cause aches and pains. The truth is that we are all vulnerable to becoming injured. Thankfully, we can take measures to protect ourselves from everyday injuries.
9 Ways to Prevent Injury at Work and Play
Injury prevention is something most people never think about. It is time this changes. Below you will find nine ways to prevent injury. The first four tips apply to situations in which you are confined to a desk at work; the rest relate to sports. If you implement a couple of these tips, you may find that minor injuries become a non-issue:
1. If you sit all day at work, take regular “standing” breaks. This will improve circulation, warm up your muscles, and prevent strains.
2. Prevent eye strain by looking away from your computer or other device every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds. When you do this, fix your gaze at an object 20 feet away.
3. Reposition your keyboard. Monster.com contributor Larry Buhl wrote, “You shouldn’t have to change your seated posture or angle your hands to type. The keyboard should come to you. If it doesn’t, adjust your seating position or ask for a keyboard tray.”
4. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, wear a headset
5. Warm up before a workout, and cool down afterwards. 5 Tips for Preventing Sports-Related Injuries advised individuals to do “some light walking or jogging before you start your exercise and then again afterward to help your muscles cool down slowly. Another important way to prevent injury is to increase your flexibility. This can be done by stretching before and after a workout…but it is best to do so once the body is already warm.”
6. Get your 8-plus cups of water a day by investing a few dollars in a measured water bottle. This will help ensure you get all the fluids you need to prevent dehydration.
7. “Take time off (from sports/training),” stated the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2017 Sports Injury Prevention Tip Sheet. “Plan to have at least 1 day off per week and at least one month off per year from training for a particular sport to allow the body to recover.”
8. If you are in pain, sit down. Do not push yourself to play through the pain. If pain persists, visit a physiotherapist.
9. See a physiotherapist for an evaluation. Anyone involved in sports through to those seated at a desk job, whether they struggle with pain or not, would benefit from participating in a physiotherapy program. A physiotherapist can teach you injury-prevention techniques that are specific to your body, so make it a point to contact a physiotherapy clinic near you.
People accidentally injure themselves everyday, both at work and at play. This can be physically limiting and frustrating. By implementing the tips mentioned above, you can prevent some forms of injury. If you do become injured, a physiotherapist can help you heal and become active again.