All workers have a physical limit to which they can safely push themselves. After going beyond this limit, workers may sustain an overexertion injury. Overexertion injuries are common in the workplace. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), over one in three work-related injuries are the result of overexertion. So, how can you lower the risk of overexertion injuries in your workplace?
Use Good Posture
Improving your posture can lower your risk of overexertion injuries when working. Posture refers to the way in which you carry yourself. Slouching, for example, is considered bad posture because it forces your spine to bend unnaturally. Instead, you should stand upright when walking and standing so that your spine maintains its natural curvature.
Change Your Position
You can lower your risk of overexertion injuries in the workplace by changing your position. By definition, an overexertion injury is any type of physical injury that's caused by performing the same task over and over. Changing your position allows you to rest some of your muscles while using other muscles, instead. It's not a foolproof way to prevent overexertion injuries, but changing your position is still useful in lowering the risk of overexertion injuries.
Avoid Sitting For Long Periods
Another tip to protect against overexertion injuries in the workplace is to avoid sitting for long periods. Even if your job requires you to work in front of a computer or desk, you should make a point to stand periodically throughout the day. Sitting for long periods can place you at a greater risk for overexertion injuries. Sitting compresses your spine, which can manifest as back pain and other forms of spinal discomfort.
You'll be less likely to sustain an overexertion injury if you keep yourself hydrated while working. Water helps to lubricate your joints so that they can support the motion of your bones. If you are dehydrated, you may experience joint pain from an overexertion injury.
The way in which you lift objects while working can affect your risk of sustaining overexertion injuries. Many workers make the mistake of lifting objects with their back. If an object is on the ground, they'll bend their back to pick it up. Unfortunately, this isn't the correct way to lift objects. To protect against overexertion injuries, you should bend your legs -- rather than your back -- to lift objects.