Groundhog Day and Your Body: Ways to Avoid Overuse Injuries at Work and at Home
Anyway who has watched Bill Murray waking up each time and experiencing groundhog day, will not only have laughed at what is a very funny movie, but they might also have considered the idea that what they do every day at work, is a real-life version of an iconic comedy.
If you have ever been involved in an accident at work and had the need to claim compensation under the Work Cover scheme, you might well consider that you injury had something to do with doing the same tasks every single day.
If you use the same muscles repeatedly to carry out a regular task at work, you could very easily suffer an overuse injury, such as repetitive strain injury.
The composer of the musical version of Groundhog Day, Tim Minchin, could conceivably suffer a repetitive strain injury (RSI) if he spent all day at the piano without taking any breaks or precautions against injury, although you would expect that he would take steps to avoid that happening.
RSI is no laughing matter though, for those that suffer an overuse injury as a result of the regular work duties that they have to carry out.
There are a number of myths, assertions and even accusations aimed at some of the people who are affected by RSI. If you are unfortunate enough to experience a repetitive strain injury yourself, you will undoubtedly proclaim that the symptoms are very real indeed, and can have serious consequences for your long-term health and even your ability to work.
Whatever job you do
If you are employed to do a specific job, there is a high chance that you will be asked to carry out the same tasks on a frequent basis.
This can vary greatly depending on what industry you are working in and what type of work you do. It could be that you spend your day fitting auto parts on a production line or you might spend most of your day staring at a computer screen. Both these examples could lead to the same result, which is RSI.
That is why you need to take health and safety guidance at work and be aware of how your own body is coping with the work you are doing, if you want to avoid suffering from an overuse injury such as RSI.
Getting worse in stages
The problem with RSI is that the symptoms build up over a period of time, so you need to be vigilant and be aware of the various stages of an overuse injury.
The first thing you will notice is that you experience some discomfort in the affected area. This will get progressively worse and the pain will also become more prolonged, until eventually, you will probably be experiencing pain and discomfort on a continual basis.
Always try to be aware of how your body is coping with regular tasks that you are doing at work and take regular breaks when possible, as well as following health and safety guidance issued by your employer.
Suffering from RSI is like your own version of Groundhog Day, but it is nowhere near as funny.
Samuel Cooke works as part of a risk assessment team and often writes about keeping safe at home and at work in his articles. He is Father to twin boys who are coming up to 4 years old.