Work-Related Musculoskeletal Injuries: Causes & Injuries
Let us first discuss what are musculoskeletal injuries. Work-related musculoskeletal injuries are the disorders and injuries of muscles, bones, joints, and tendons to which the workplace has contributed significantly. These also include injuries that are made worse due to workplace conditions.
A List Of Musculoskeletal Injuries
Given below is a musculoskeletal disorders list:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Muscle / Tendon strain
- Ligament Sprain
- Tension Neck Syndrome
Cost Of Musculoskeletal Injuries to Employers
Businesses are heavily affected by their employees suffering from musculoskeletal injuries in the form of absenteeism, higher labor turnover, lost motivation and productivity, and increased medical care. According to research, work-related musculoskeletal injuries negatively affected businesses more than any other average non-fatal injury or disorder. This is why workplaces need to identify risks and solutions for musculoskeletal injuries.
Types Of Musculoskeletal Disorders
Here is a list of the most common musculoskeletal disorders types explained:
- Muscle pain: These include muscle spasms, cramps, and other muscle injuries.
- Bone pain: This can be caused by a bone being bent awkwardly for some time or simply being in the same position for a long time.
- Joint pain: Joint pains are caused by spasms, overuse of a joint, or by other illnesses.
Causes Of Musculoskeletal Injuries
To prevent musculoskeletal injuries at workplaces, we first need to look at what causes them. Below is a list of factors that can contribute to musculoskeletal injuries at work.
Bad work postures and movements
Anybody's posture can turn into a bad posture if maintained for too long. For example, standing alone does not pose a health risk, but there are a lot of health risks from standing all day. Standing for too long without proper breaks can cause your legs, feet, and back to ache. Similarly, putting too much pressure on or stretching a body part, such as bending your wrists while typing or bending forwards while on your computer, can also cause musculoskeletal injuries.
Repetitive work in which you have to repeat an action repeatedly for long periods can also cause musculoskeletal pains. This is because it involves the use of the same group of muscles time and time again. This puts too much pressure on those muscles and increases the risk of injuries.
Force of movements
Force refers to the effort your body makes to accomplish a specific task. Tasks requiring more force to be applied have a longer break period to allow the worker to recover. When this time isn't given, it causes the worker to be at risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
Solutions For Musculoskeletal Injuries
Work-related musculoskeletal injuries can be very dangerous if not given the right treatment. They may lead to other serious health issues. Furthermore, they can prove to have an adverse impact on the workplace itself. Therefore, it is very important that they are treated, and measures are made to try and prevent them.
Given below are some measures for preventing musculoskeletal injuries:
Adopting the correct sitting posture
The correct sitting posture refers to a posture that allows your back to relax while you work. This posture should not put any pressure or stress on your back. You might need to get an adjustable or reclining chair to accomplish this. Both of these chairs will help you find a comfortable position to work in.
Working all day while sitting can cause lower back pain. You must learn the best sitting position for lower back pain to fix this. This can be done by finding the best sitting position for your body and then getting a comfortable chair.
Adopting the correct standing position
Studies have associated a lot of health risks with working while sitting all day. These include the risk of back pain, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. To prevent these, you can start working using a standing desk.
A standing desk allows you to work while standing and move around as you work. There are a lot of health benefits of standing desks. These include improved circulation, lower risk of obesity and heart diseases, and improved mood and motivation.
However, there are also health risks of standing all day. It can cause muscular discomfort, back pain, leg and feet pain, and neck and shoulder tightness. To prevent this, you need to fix your posture at the standing desk. You need to stand straight and should switch between sitting and standing. It would be best if you also moved around a bit while working.
Adopting the correct typing posture
When typing, wrists should be kept in a neutral position instead of bent up or down. Your keyboard should be kept below elbow level, and your elbows should be open at an angle of 90-110. This will lead to less pressure being put on your shoulders and elbows.
Your feet should be placed flat on the ground, and your back should also be straight. Remember, the correct typing posture is only possible with the correct sitting posture.
Your monitor should be kept away from your eyes, and the top of it should be at level with your eyes.
Furthermore, it would be best if you kept everything that is in frequent use, like the mouse, keyboard, your mobile phone, within easy access. This will protect your wrists from any possible strain. Lastly, you should also use wrist support for typing.
Musculoskeletal injuries pose a lot of risk to both the employee and the employer. This is why these must be identified and treated in the first instance. Furthermore, measures should be taken to prevent musculoskeletal injuries from happening in the first place. Both employees and employers should be educated on the causes and risks of musculoskeletal injuries. This can help create a safer and healthier environment at the workplace.
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