HomeNews & Media CentreArticlesCorporate HealthWhy looking after our spines is the backbone of overall wellbeing

Why looking after our spines is the backbone of overall wellbeing

Many of us will remember constantly being told to sit up straight when we were kids. Our parents and teachers were right, slouching puts pressure on our spine – and we need to take care of our spine because it is the backbone (pun intended) of our overall wellbeing.

What is the function of the spine?

The spine is our body’s central support structure. It keeps us upright and connects the different parts of our skeleton to each other: our head, chest, pelvis, shoulders, arms, and legs.

Why should you care about looking after your spine?

Your spine is also responsible for protecting your nervous system, the master control centre of your entire body. If you have a spinal problem that isn’t being properly managed, the function of vital organs and systems could be affected which may lead to further pain or health problems.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, about four million Australians – or 16% of the total population – have back problems.

What are some tips for a healthy spine?

The Australian government’s Health Direct website says exercising and maintaining good posture are the best ways to keep our spines strong and healthy. Low-impact exercises that strengthen the muscles that support our spines are important. Maintaining a healthy weight also reduces pressure on our spine, as does not wearing high heels! And, of course, we should always practice safe lifting.

How Rehab Management can help

Protecting our spines is important – especially at work. At Rehab Management, our highly skilled experts offer detailed ergonomic assessments and provide training to ensure safe and healthy workplaces for all staff.

Our services include workplace ergonomic assessments, training and support for both white collar and blue collar workplaces – from establishing desk set-ups that are safe, to ensuring proper lifting and manual handling procedures are in place.

In the office environment, a good ergonomic assessment involves not only looking at employees’ seating arrangements, but also their behaviours such as how often they stand, their posture, equipment (including computers, keyboards, and machinery) use and working environment. Rehab Management can send an expert allied health professional into a workplace to conduct ergonomic assessments for all employees. We also offer onsite training for individuals or groups that can be tailored to a business’ specific needs.

Outside the office, our manual handling training provides employees with the education and skills to reduce the risk of injury by ensuring they are working safely, comfortably, and productively. Our training is provided by a qualified occupational therapist, physiotherapist or exercise physiologist, and all participants receive a certificate of completion and additional course notes about manual handling.

Again, our assessments and training are tailored to the business needs, depending on the industry and size of the workforce. We offer individual and group training.

When it comes to good manual handling practices, to help reduce the risk of injury:

  • Remember your feet positioning
  • Brace your stomach muscles
  • Bend your knees
  • Maintain the curves of your back
  • Use your large leg muscles
  • Avoid twisting your back – nose and toes
  • Keep the load close to you
  • Avoid jerky movements

At Rehab Management, we help employers and employees to understand and comply with workplace health and safety legislation. Adjusting the work environment to suit individual employee needs will reduce the risk of injury and lower overall health costs.

And of course, if an injury does occur, we have provide rehabilitation management services to support people to recover and return to work safely, as soon as possible.

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