Article from EHS today


Great article from flipboard of a Drexel University research review and suggestions.

Link to the Drexel University page:



An excellent article from the Washington Post about poor posture and how it leads to pain. There are also suggestions about how to combat the issue.


Posture and Pain

The Workplace Athlete

I have always admired triathletes. They are some of the most-fit people on the planet. It is so popular that there are varying lengths of courses to fit almost any fitness level. For those of you unfamiliar with the sport of triathlon to includes some distance of swimming, biking and running.The sprint is the shortest typically with swims up to 1000M, biking up to 18 miles and a run up to 4 miles. The longest is the ultra with swim distances up to and over 3.2 miles, over 62 miles of biking and over 18 miles of running all in one event. Let’s take a moment to breakdown these events (stay with me).


Let’s Get Started
First we have the swim. This is typically the shortest distance event. Talking to many triathletes over the years I have found this is the event that most dread. It takes some amount of skill to swim and it requires a lot of effort from the whole body. Traditionally the events are held in the open water which adds another degree of difficulty. Sometimes the water is cold and you need a wetsuit. Goggles are a must and fins are prohibited.

Next up is the bike. This is typically the longest mileage portion of the event, but most people enjoy this part the most.  You’re on a mechanical object with wheels and you can coast some on the downhills to get a break, but the uphill portions can be difficult at times.

Running is the last portion of the triathlon. You’re already wore out at this point, but you have to do it. It is slow and tiresome, but energizing when you pass the people that haven’t trained as hard as you.


What does all of this have to do with sitting at a desk at work? Actually, absolutely nothing! I am setting the stage for a new sport, “the workplace triathlon”. One you can, and should, complete every day. You don’t have to train for it and it will not wear you out when your finished. What I am proposing is the sit, stand, walk triathlon for corporate athletes. Let’s break it down.
SIT. Most Americans sit for the majority of the day while at work. We all know the health benefits for sitting long periods of time throughout the day…wait, there are no benefits. It destroys every fiber of your body and then some. It is detrimental not only to your musculoskeletal system, but also to your cardiovascular system. So, like triathlon, we should make this our shortest timed event. Do this as little as possible throughout the day. We also need to consider our after work behavior. In a survey conducted by Ergotron in 2013, they reported that people sit between 1-2 hours to do other activities at home after work. They report people sit on average 13 hours a day, add in your sleep time and you have personalized your sedentary activity hours.

STAND. Just like the bike, this should be the event that you do the most throughout the day. There are several benefits to your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems when you stand vs. sitting for the majority of the day. In fact, a study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM) by Stanford University showed that workers using sit-stand work stations were 78% more likely to report pain free work days, had less discomfort after 15 days and had increased concentration.

The benefits don’t stop with positive health outcomes, you’re brain gets a boost too. Productivity is shown to increase when standing while performing a task (I am standing as I type this). A study published in the journal IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors showed that after one month workers that stood in a call center had 23% more successful calls than seated workers. This benefit increased with time too. At six months those same employees that were in the standing group reported 53% more successful calls. The study also included position monitors and measured time standing and time seated. The standing group sat an average of 1.6 hours less than the seated group. This appears to be fairly minimal time for a big payoff.

WALK. I could write several pages discussing the benefits of walking. The fidget spinner of two years ago was the step counter. People were counting steps and doing their best to reach the magical 10,000 number. We need to continue that practice. I think everyone has heard this before, but it doesn’t hurt to mention the benefits again. Walking is a safe, easy and cheap way to maintain health. Walking has positive benefits for managing heart disease, blood pressure, metabolic disorders (diabetes), and weight. It also helps to strengthen bones, and gets the blood flowing in the legs (sitting can contribute to blood clots). It can also have benefits for posture, balance and coordination as well as having an overall positive impact on mood. Enough? Lets put it all together.


“The workplace triathlon”

Sit: Do this the least amount of time during the day.

Stand: Increase the number of hours you stand at your work station to complete tasks.

Walk: Walk on breaks. Modify your lunch time so you can devote time to walking. Invite your friends and create challenges for each other.

The majority of Americans are corporate athletes. If possible, we need to exhaust every option to change how we perform that sport to have positive impacts on the health of the workforce. Workers get a chance to live healthier, disease free lifestyles and employers gain more productive pain-free employees. In the end, everyone finishes a winner.

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There are a few studies out there looking at the trend in the market value of a company and comparing that information to the organizations stock performance. One common finding: Companies that are the best to work for have several employee -friendly policies and perks and are very profitable. This allows them to recruit and retain top employees to their organizations.

The following is a link to the Glassdoor study from 2015 on the subject.

Our data from the industrial based massage program shows employees 100% satisfied with the care they receive along with an increase in morale after addition of the program. Contact us to help increase your employee morale and reduce your liability of musculoskeletal disorders.

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting longer and it is becoming increasingly hotter throughout the day. Every year people die on the job from heat-related incidence. Though the majority of these come from the construction industry, it can happen to anyone.

Let’s take it one step further and make sure we follow the same suggestions away from the workplace. Summertime means ball games, days at the lake and other adventures with family and friends. Make sure everyone is drinking enough water, resting often when in the heat and when possible perform that activity in the shade.

OSHA has launched their Water. Rest. Shade. campaign again this year. Click the link below to see their suggestion for keeping cool and safe this summer.

The ART tool was designed by the Health and Safety Executive of the British government. They are our equivalent of OSHA. This is a free tool that can help you in assessing risks to employees that involve repetitive movement tasks of the upper extremity. They have free downloads of the ART tool Read more

In February of 2017 the American College of Physicians issued guidelines for the treatment of acute and sub-acute low back pain. They recommend trying non-drug related therapies first. The list includes massage, heat, acupuncture and spinal manipulation and mindful meditation.

This information supports the goal of BlueChipOCM Read more

OSHA has just published their web page dedicated to Safe and Sound Week June 12-18 2017. The have laid out several steps to take leading up to Safe and Sound Week. The site also provides several suggestions for activities for both management and workers, along with several modifiable options to advertise Safe and Sound Week at your company.
Every successful Health and safety initiative at an organization starts at the top. Visible engagement by leadership in the promotion of these events helps the management Read more