How to keep your staff healthy – health and ergonomics tips

Ergonomics Kent

Ergonomics Kent

Around half of industrial injuries are thought to be attributed to cumulative trauma or overuse injury. These can range from troublesome annoyances, to severe debilitation. There are a number of steps that employers can take to minimise repetitive strain injury within your workforce.

1. Identify and correct postural problems The aim is to eliminate fixed positions which impose static loads on the muscles of the back, neck, shoulders and arms. Poor or improperly-adjusted equipment, furniture or layout is often to blame.

2. Identify and eliminate forceful movements The worst are those which involve fingers, hands and wrists, especially with bending or twisting. Check tools, knobs, processes, postures. Do things fit? Is maintenance happening?

3. Identify and break up periods of repetitive work The aim is physical variety; use rest pauses and alternated tasks. Consult staff before introducing job rotation.

4. Ensure that any tell-tale early-warning signs are noticed and acted upon Supervisors and staff alike will require training and incentives to do this. It is essential to encourage a climate in which early reporting is encouraged.

5. Educate supervisors in the recognition and correction of faulty workplace set-out and procedures They should then be accountable for managing this.

6. Train staff to recognise and adjust their own workstations properly The benefits of “ergonomic” furniture may otherwise be lost. Be sure to include thorough instruction for all new staff.

7. Identify and control work peaks These can be daily, weekly or even annually; individual work loads need monitoring.

8. Know which staff are most vulnerable to overuse strain New staff (how thorough is your induction?); those returning from leave; jerky or tense workers; staff using hands and fingers a lot.

9. Identify and control sources of individual pressures These may be related to work output requirements, to ‘pacing’ by workmates, to supervisors’ attitudes – or even personal problems. Financial need may push vulnerable staff into harmful overtime. Bonus systems can be bad.

10. Educate managers, engineers and designers in preventive measures Once they know about ergonomics, they should be able to apply it quickly.

11. Require equipment suppliers to conform to your ergonomic specifications

12. Support those who are off work sick Letting people know you care about their welfare and recovery will help them a great deal. Weekly phone contact at least; consider what light duties could facilitate an early return to work.

13. Develop a relationship with treating doctors/physios Let them know you’re keen to help. Ask them to give specific advice to assist even a partial return-to-work. Invite them to visit you.

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10 ways to get active with your kids

Physio Deal Kent

Physio Deal Kent

Children are more sedendary than ever and rising obesity levels means that we are seeing children with musculoskeletal issues at a younger age. See the NHS website for some useful tips on how to encourge your children to be active.

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/childhealth6-15/Pages/Getactivewithyourkids.aspx

10 ways to make exercise fun

1. Walk, scooter or cycle to and from school together as often as possible. Read about the health benefits of cycling.

2. Build a den or treehouse with them in the school holidays. Or, under supervision, encourage them to climb a tree or two.

3. Go roller skating, rollerblading or skateboarding, indoors or outside. In winter, go ice skating.

4. Do an activity challenge together, such as training for a fun run or charity walk. See the parkrun website for free weekly 5K runs near you.

5. Take the dog for a walk. If you don’t have one of your own, ask if you can borrow a friend or neighbour’s dog.

6. Support your kids in sports, clubs or any other activities that may interest them. Joining a weekend club sport encourages them to make a commitment to a team and regular exercise. Find sports and fitness activities in your area.

7. Find time every weekend to do something active with your children. Play frisbee or football in the park, go trampolining, or try indoor rock climbing.

8. Fly a kite. The Kite Society of Great Britain has local groups that meet for special flying days where experienced members offer advice and help. Some also run kite-making workshops.

9. Take a trip to the beach. Beaches offer loads of ways for kids to get active, including games, rock-pooling, swimming, and plenty of running around. Or try an activity-based holiday.

10. The National Parks website has lists of events like guided walks and children’s fun days to give you ideas for active days out.

You’ll find more advice on getting active as a family on the Change4Life website.

Physio Deal Kent

Physio Deal Kent

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Surgery V Exercise

Physio Deal Kent

Physio Deal Kent

Physiotherapy that encourages gentle exercise is better than surgery for patients with degenerative osteoarthritis of the knees, according to new research.

A panel of experts in surgery, physiotherapy and clinical practice worked together to make the judgement that knee surgery is not necessarily the best option for reducing pain and improving movement in patients with the condition over the long term. Instead, gentle exercise, as advised by a physiotherapist, may be a better option.

Professor Mark Wilkinson, a spokesman for Arthritis Research UK, commented: “Previous studies have shown that knee arthroscopy is not recommended for the symptoms of pain and loss of function for people with degenerative knee arthritis …Anyone with pain and loss of function in their knee joints will find benefit from lifestyle modification, exercise, physiotherapy, suitable pain medication or joint replacement when non-surgical treatment becomes no longer effective.”

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DSE assessments Kent

We are experienced DSE/computer workstation assessors and pride ourselves on delivering clear and practical advice at affordable prices. We offer single and group DSE assessments depending on your needs.

What sets us apart from other DSE assessors is the fact that we are physiotherapists. With the knowledge of biomechanics and the musculoskeletal system we can look at workstation not only from an ergonomics perspective but also with a clinical eye.

Each DSE assessment includes;

  • A consultation with the employee at their workstation assessing any issues/queries they may have
  • An assessment of the work carried out i.e. phone use, mouse use, dual screen use and other duties
  • Advice and adjustments to achieve optimal workstation/DSE set up is provided at the time of the assessment
  • A detailed report is then completed and sent to the employee and the workplace
  • One month follow up contact after the assessment.

Employers are required to perform a suitable and sufficient analysis of DSE/computer workstations (Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, updated 2002).

DSE workstations and/or equipment can cause neck, shoulder, back or arm pain, as well as fatigue and eyestrain.

Contact our DSE assessor today;

E: sarah@unitedhealthkent.com       M: 07855 742 402       T: 01304 648967

All of our clients receive a 10% discount on all Osmond Ergonomics products using our discount code UHK136764

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Physiotherapy Deal Kent

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. It can also help to reduce your risk of injury or illness in the future. It takes a holistic approach that involves the patient directly in their own care.

What can we help with?

We treat a variety of conditions. At United Health we specialise in musculoskeletal injuries. This includes sports injuries, whiplash, back pain, sciatica, pregnancy and post partum pain, post surgery and occupational injuries.

Physiotherapy is about education, guidance, exercise and facilitation of the recovery process to restore normal function and PREVENTION of further relapses. It is this holistic approach that is essential to ensure you are empowering your patient to recover as quickly and sucessfully as possible.

If you have any queries about our physiotherapy or ergonomic services please contact us at info@unitedhealthkent.com

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One You – NHS Health Quiz and Support

Check out this free resource from the NHS, there is a wealth of information on various health topics. You can complete a quick quiz to see if there are areas about your lifestyle or health that could be improved.

One You – NHS Health checks

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Ten Top Tips – back pain

Visit:

http://www.csp.org.uk/publications/10-things-you-need-know-about-your-back

or

www.csp.org.uk/yourback

For top tips on how to manage your back pain.

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Keeping Your Workforce Healthy

Musculoskeletal issues are the single biggest cause of health at work issues, with 44% of employers citing musculoskeletal injuries as one of the top five causes of absence.

Work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) represent 41% of all work related illnesses. In 2015, 8.8 million working days were lost due to WRMSDs. That works out at an average of 16 days per case.

Employers should look into ways of minimising work-related injuries and encouraging healthy lifestyles, through more ergonomic workstations, exercise and diet initiatives.

Physiotherapists are well placed to educate employees and employers on how to keep active and prevent injuries. We can offer specialist advice for workplace exposures such as office workstation set up and encouraging moving more in the office with initiatives such as walking meetings.

Early referral for assessment and advice for musculoskeletal injuries can help reduce the length of time an employee is off work or on reduced duties and can help prevent issues turning into more persistant problems.

We can help keep your employees well and working comfortably. If you would like to find out more about how we help local businesses keep healthy email us today.

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Schools – Keeping our Children Healthy

There a lots of resources online with good, evidence based advice for how we can keep our children healthy. See below for some useful references.

Eating well

Teachers Sign up

Healthly Schools London

http://www.healthyschools.london.gov.uk/

See our website for information on ergonomics.

 

 

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Couch to 5K – Live Well – NHS

If you feel like trying to be more active this year why not try this couch to 5K plan from the NHS website:

http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx

 

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Exercises and Prevention of Prolapse

Physiotherapy exercises that concentrate on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles following childbirth can help to prevent prolapse in later life, new research has shown.

Scientists from Glasgow Caledonian University, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Birmingham and the University of Otago in New Zealand conducted a study involving 414 women, who were divided into two groups.

One group was required to attend five one-to-one physio sessions over a four-month period to learn exercises to strengthen their pelvic floor. The other participants were simply provided with a leaflet explaining what prolapse is and how lifestyle factors may increase its risk.

Two years later, it was found that the women who had not taken part in the physiotherapy sessions were significantly more likely to have visited their doctor to be referred for surgery or another kind of therapy to help correct prolapse compared to those who had done exercises to prevent this need from arising.

In total, 14.4% of those simply given the advice leaflet required treatment for prolapse in the future, in comparison to just 6% of the women who did the pelvic floor-strengthening exercises on a regular basis.

As a result, the researchers were able to conclude that physiotherapy can indeed help to prevent prolapse of the pelvic floor.

Explaining the benefits of physiotherapy exercises that focus on the pelvic floor, study co-author Professor Don Wilson of the University of Otago stated: “It has clear benefits with very few side effects, which is different from other interventions – surgery and drugs – used in medicine”.

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Low Back Pain and Sciatica – New Guidelines

NICEThe National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its update for the clinical assessment and management of non specific low back pain and sciatica in adults.

Some key points:

  • Movement and exercise are at the heart of the non pharmacological recommendations.
  • Manual therapy should be part of a combined approach, and a long with other interventions like cognitive behavioural therapy but include exercise and not be stand alone therapies.
  • Nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be considered if no gastro-intestinal risks.
  • Weak opioids should only be considered where NSAIDs are contraindicated.
  • Opioids should not routinely offered in acute low back pain and should not be offered in chronic low back pain.

If you suffer from back pain or sciatica and would like to learn more about how to improve your symptoms please contact us for an assessment.

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Occupational Health Physiotherapy

Did you know that physiotherapists can help keep your staff healthy and improve productivity?

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) including back pain are one of the biggest causes of sickness absence on any given day. Each person with a MSD takes an estimated 17.2 days off work on average.

Early access to physiotherapy ensures:

  • Prompt injury advice and treatment
  • Early return to work or advice on work capabilities
  • Quicker rehabilitation time

Employees are a workplaces most valuable asset. Investment in preventing injuries and helping employees with injuries pays back normally £3 for every £1 invested – that is a pretty good return on investment!

Call us today to see how we can help you.

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Heart Age Calculator

Check out the NHS website for lots of useful health advice. The website has lots if advise about all sorts of health issues and tips for staying healthy. Check out the link below to the heart age calculator.

Heart Age Calculator

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Useful Resources

There are many useful ergonomic tools online including some for manual handling and push/pull forces. Visit the HSE website for further details.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/search/search-results.htm?q=ergonomics#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=ergonomics&gsc.page=1

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Occupational Health Kent – what we can do for you

What is occupational health?

Traditionally occupational health was a ‘medical’ reactive process diagnosing health effects and illness, promoting good health, reducing risks by controlling exposures and preventing ill health. Today it has to justify itself economically and is a service that looks to protect both the employee and the employer.

Over the last 10 years there has been massive change and growth in occupational health and rehabilitation services. This has been due to new legislation, EU Health & Safety directives, DWP government initiatives, the Equality Act, human rights, the working time directive, age legislation, on-going changes in the structure and charging for NHS services, pension issues and rehabilitation initiatives.

It means occupational health has become far more sophisticated. We can help to reduce risks to the employee and the employer, at the same time providing a service that maintains a level of commercial awareness and seeks to demonstrate a return on investment.

 

 

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DSE Assessment Kent

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) is a device or equipment that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of the display process involved; it includes both conventional display screens and those used in emerging technologies such as laptops, touch-screens and other similar devices.

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 aim to protect the health of people who work with DSE. The Regulations were introduced because DSE has become one of the most common kinds of work equipment.

Call us today to see how our expert DSE assessors can help ensure your staff are working safely.

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Physiotherapy Deal Kent – Road or Trail Running?

Both road and off road/trail running have their own challenges and benefits. So what’s best for your workout?

Let’s look into the pros and cons of each.

Road running

Road and inner city running tends to be more predictable than the trails. You do have to keep an eye out for potholes, cars and other pedestrians but generally you can get into your stride and let the miles fly by. Running on a firm surface such as a road or path allows your body to get into a steady pattern and you tend to land in a very similar way each step, which reduces the risk of injuries associated with awkward missteps.

Exhaust fumes and noise pollution can be a bit unpleasant, so taking to the paved trails the coast is a more pleasant option than running on a generic city road.

Trail running

True trail running gives you the opportunity to get out into the fresh air, away from the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy nature at its best. There can be a few more obstacles on the trail though. You’ll need to be on the lookout for tree roots, water hazards, sudden unexpected changes in gradient and wildlife.

All of those challenges come in addition to the task of staying on the actual track and keeping your bearings. It’s easy to get caught up in the scenery, the fresh air and the adventure of what you might discover around the next corner, or at the top of the next hill.

Night trail runs take it to a whole new level of fun. Make sure your head torch is charged, with spare batteries at the ready. The balance challenges of trail running are magnified in the dark and it’s amazing how quickly trees can appear in the middle of the trail, from out of nowhere. Still, there’s really something special about running at night (and you always feel as though you’re travelling at really high speeds).

On an uneven path or trail, you are constantly varying your landing position and stride to adapt to the terrain. Some research suggests that the constantly variable landing positions involved with trail running is good for your body, and helps to reduce your risk of a repetitive load injury. However, on the flipside, there can be an increase in the risk of traumatic injury (like an ankle sprain) due to the uneven surface.

The verdict

It really depends on personal preference and what you’re hoping to achieve from your run. The majority of elite runners will combine both trail and road running into their annual training and racing plan. That’s because you develop different skills from running on different surfaces, so a mixed program is a great way to continually challenge your body.

 

 

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2016 DSE Risk Assessor Training

Our one day comprehensive course will ensure that attendees are competent and efficient in assessing DSE work stations.

Contact us today to see how we can help your organisation support colleagues using DSE equipment.

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DSE training Kent

We offer DSE risk assessor training for managers, health and safety staff or EHS colleagues who which to learn how to undertake DSE assessments for their staff. Our one day training course will equip participants with the knowledge of how to undertake a comprehensive DSE assessment in line with DSE legislation.

Having in house DSE risk assessors ensures that all employees have access to an assessment, helping to solve any issues quickly and thus avoiding the need for potentially costly interventions or staff absence.

If you would like further details please see our website or email sarah@unitedhealthkent.com

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