April 2, 2013 — Doctors of chiropractic are ready to provide key support to patients who are trying to create healthy working environments, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). This reminder comes as communities across the country this week observe National Public Health Week (NPHW), which promotes creating a healthy workplace on Wednesday, April 3.
The theme of NPHW 2013 — “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money” — promotes the value of prevention and the importance of well-supported public health systems in preventing disease, saving lives and curbing healthcare spending. For more than 100 years, the chiropractic profession has promoted prevention as a key component of health and wellness, and a growing body of research shows that chiropractic services reduce healthcare spending.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 musculoskeletal disorders made up 33 percent of all work-related injury and illness cases. When considering the impact of proper ergonomics on workplace safety, ACA stresses three basic principles:
When lifting, the largest muscles in the area should perform the task. The larger the muscle or muscle group used for lifting, the lower the stress on smaller, more vulnerable muscles.
During any work activities, people should be able to comfortably assume a number of different postures and not remain in one position for an extended time. Muscles will fatigue and be more prone to injury when assuming a particular posture, especially a poor one (e.g., partially bent forward at the waist).
When performing tasks, it is important to keep the joints either in their neutral posture or approximately halfway into the range of motion. Working with your joints at the extremes of their ranges of motion for prolonged periods places abnormal stresses on them and can cause repetitive stress injuries.
“Our bodies are not designed to maintain the same posture for long periods of time or to repeat the same motions endlessly,” said ACA President Keith Overland, DC. “Stretches and exercises can help prevent pain and injury. There are also natural, cost-effective approaches to treating pain, such as chiropractic services, that can help patients avoid unnecessary drugs or surgery,”
For more information about creating a healthier working environment, please visit ACA’s website for health and wellness tips.
Since 1995, when the first full week of April was declared NPHW by the American Public Health Association (APHA), communities across the country have recognized the contributions of public health and highlighted issues important to improving public health. APHA creates planning and outreach materials that can be used year round to raise awareness. APHA has featured a section devoted to chiropractic and the role that DCs play in public health since 1995.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, acatoday.org