June is National Safety month and Medcor continues to raise awareness of workplace hazards and injuries. This year, one of the dedicated weeks designated by the National Safety Council is awareness about musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs. Keep reading about MSDs and learn how to stay healthy!
What is a musculoskeletal disorder?
MSDs are soft-tissue injuries caused by sudden or sustained exposure to repetitive motion, force, vibration, and awkward positions. Overexertion from carrying, lifting, pushing, and pulling has been a leading cause of work-related injuries and illness in the U.S. One example of an MSD is arthritis, which effects the joints, causing pain and inflammation. Carpal tunnel syndrome is another MSD commonly contributed to poor working habits, along with lower back strain and tendonitis.
Who is at risk for developing a MSD?
Some industries with the highest risk of developing MSDs include:
- Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
These are all physically demanding jobs, and using improper form or poor technique further increases the risk of injury. But work-related musculoskeletal disorders aren’t only experienced by manual laborers. Even when you work at a desk, repeatedly using bad technique can be harmful to your musculoskeletal health. Everyone needs to be aware of MSDs and how they can decrease their risk of developing issues with healthy habits at work.
What should I do about MSDs?
Thankfully it has become more important for companies to raise awareness about the risks of MSDs and provide wellness initiatives for employees. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, is a leader in MSD research. They have developed ergonomic guidelines for various industries and determine how to modify environments to lower risks.
Medcor has many remote workers and encourages ergonomic practices when setting up your home office. Use a chair that supports your lower back and allows your feet to be flat on the floor. Check your posture often and consider using a standing desk option. We encourage short breaks to stretch and rest your eyes to prevent eye strain. Every worker deserves to go to work in an environment where risks for developing MSDs have been assessed and minimized, even if that is in your own home.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Research at NIOSH | Blogs | CDC
Musculoskeletal Health Program | NIOSH | CDC
Working from Home: How to Optimize Your Work Environment and Stay Healthy | Blogs | CDC