Part 2 of 2 for Global Employee Health & Fitness Month May is Global Employee Health and Fitness month. Research supports the notion that healthier employees are happier and more productive. When employers encourage healthy behavior and safety at work, they benefit in many ways. For example, in additional to improved job satisfaction and productivity, healthy employees save money by using less sick time, worker’s compensation benefits and health benefits. Deconditioned, overweight employees are more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and are at greater risk for injury. So, use Global Employee Health and Fitness Month as an opportunity to start a health promotion program at your workplace…have a health fair, offer healthy snacks, encourage walking or exercise at lunch, or offer fitness club stipends. Lower back pain, one of the most costly illnesses to employers, is one example of a preventable problem with a good health and safety program. It is widely accepted in the medical community that the best treatment for lower back pain (LBP) is prevention. Keeping fit, (flexible and strong), practicing good posture, and using proper body mechanics are essential in the prevention of LBP. If you missed Part 1 in this series, you can read it here.
When sitting, use an ergonomic chair at work station with a lumbar support and adjustable height. Get close to your keyboard and monitor. Stand up and perform postural exercises every 45-60 minutes.
If you walk or stand most of the day, wear good shoes. Avoid high heels and shoes without adequate support like sandals.
If you drive long distances, use a lumbar support to keep an arch in the small of your back, sit close to your steering wheel to prevent bending forward and stop to stretch using the above postural exercises every 45-60 minutes.
Aerobic exercise will help prevent weight gain and stiffness for a healthier lower back. Perform mild aerobic exercise such as walking 3-5 times per week for 30-45 minutes. Core stabilization exercises: Core stabilization exercises designed to strengthen the abdominal and lower back muscles will help prevent injury. Some examples of core exercises are: (Perform slowly - hold the pelvic tilt 5 seconds, repeat 10 times)
Avoid full sit-ups! Limit repeated flexion and torque on the lower back by using core stabilization techniques to strengthen abdominal muscles.
Weight Training –
Aerobic Exercises –
Balance Exercises –
Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.
NEXT MONDAY – Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum" in the Scranton Times-Tribune.
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician.
For further inquires related to this topic email: firstname.lastname@example.org Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College.