PT Weekly: How physiotherapy can improve productivity at work

Many people believe if ones’ role does not require physical labour, it’s almost impossible to injure oneself at work. However, researches has shown over the years that desk workers get just as many musculoskeletal problems, caused by sedentary behaviour, physical inactivity and other lifestyle factors.

Tackling the issue requires an understanding of which workplace habits are causing problems and how to remain in good health. Our physiotherapists can help your business identify the causes of MSDs and provide short- and long-term improvements for employees which in returns enhances work productivity.

Common causes of work related injuries includes but not limited to:

  1. Poor ergonomics
  2. Repetitive, forceful or prolonged movements
  3. Heavy lifting, pushing, pulling and carrying heavy objects.
  4. Prolonged faulty postures
  5. Exposure to vibration or an unsafe work environment.

PCA offers workplace assessments for Employers to ensure a safe and appropriately designed workplace for their employees. We assess the worker’s environment, working habits and posture and make recommendations on training needs and modifications where necessary. Work Injuries can often cause severe and debilitating symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling, etc. These often lead to reduced worker productivity, lost time from work, and temporary or permanent disability.

Our Work Place Assessment entails:

  1. A detailed assessment of the employees complains
  2. Ergonomic set up
  3. Job responsibilities and tasks
  4. Injuries prevention
  5. Safety return to work and potential risk management.

Physiotherapy specifically restores, maintains and maximizes strength, function, movement and overall physical well-being, as well as improves movement to decrease pain and dysfunction. This can prevent injuries from occurring, increase energy levels and endurance, and improve performance of mental and physical tasks, exercise and sports.

Physiotherapists who work to improve the health and wellbeing of workers so that they can do their jobs efficiently and effectively are called occupational health (OH) physiotherapists.

They work in diverse settings including manufacturing, the service industries, offices, retail, healthcare, ergonomics consultancies, public sector and private practice. They have a role in proactively promoting health and well-being in the work environment and can improve the safety, comfort and performance of the working population. This reduces accidents and sickness absence, and helps to enhance productivity and performance.

They provide a wide range of services to both employers and employees, these include and not limited to:

  1. Physiotherapy treatment and rehabilitation of work-related injuries. This treatment is provided on site or in an off-site treatment center.
  2. Return to work planning.
  3. Improving an employee’s tolerance to work gradually.
  4. Educating others on injury prevention in the workplace
  5. Ergonomics workplace assessments.
  6. Job task analysis and advice on modifications.
  7. Occupational and vocational rehabilitation
  8. Functional capacity evaluations.
  9. Helping employers meet their obligations.
  10. Advice on compliance with Health and Safety obligations; specialist knowledge of manual handling and physical ergonomics in the office and workplace.
  11. Communication and reporting in order to facilitate return to work.

There are significant benefits for both employers and employees in having a well trained and experienced visiting physiotherapist in the workplace. By tackling problems or potential problems early enough, reduces the likelihood of them becoming long lasting. This improves the health and wellbeing of the working population, helps people stay in work and can result in costs savings for companies.

Our physiotherapists are trained in the rehabilitation and recovery from musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory injuries, including workplace injuries, sports injuries and chronic pain. Our workplace physiotherapy programs can be customized for your work environment to prevent common workplace accidents and injuries, promote healthy lifestyle changes, and treat existing issues, such as:

  • Body pain
  • Postural dysfunction
  • Soft tissue dysfunction or inflexible muscles
  • Nerve injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and “sciatica”
  • Rehabilitation of shoulders, elbows, wrists/hands, hips, knees, ankle/feet
  • Fractures, dislocation, sprains, and strains
  • Chronic pain
  • Headaches/ dizziness/ vertigo

Focusing on healthy employees is an investment every employer wants to key into, because of the enormous benefit in it for the company. If you are interested in a workforce that is healthier and more productive, contact us at Physio Centers of Africa (PCA) on 0813 028 0496!

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