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Wellness programs – can they help to prevent muscle strain?

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Health and wellness has become a hot topic in workplaces as businesses realise the benefits of supporting worker health and creating healthy workplaces. Research shows that healthy workers have lower absenteeism rates, less injuries and increased productivity.

According to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, poor health and lifestyle habits can impact on a worker’s likelihood to sustain an injury and take longer to return to work after an injury.

Research shows that smokers have a 38% higher risk of injury, and that obesity has a similar impact on injury probability and return to work outcomes.

In the ‘Healthy work. Healthy you.’ film series, Dr Nick Gilson, from the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Queensland, says that there are things that workers can do to improve their health by making small changes in the way they work.

  • Alternating between sitting and standing during administrative tasks or toolbox meetings will activate muscles and get blood flowing.
  • Find the time to take a 10-minute walk with a friend during a work break or ride a bike to work once a week.
  • Visit a gym for 30 minutes at least once a week, or do 10 push-ups and 10 leg-squats three times each day.
  • Avoid fried or processed foods high in fat and sugar.
  • Choose fresh foods and a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Aim for 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day.
  • Snacks available at work should include fruit or mixed raw nuts rather than chocolate or chips.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid soft drinks, energy or sports drinks that have high sugar content.

The ‘Healthy work. Healthy you.’ film series shows how workers in the manufacturing, construction, resource and transport industries have made healthy lifestyle choices to improve fatigue and stress and reduce their injury risk.

Last updated
29 May 2017