Tag Archives: Health


We all have the right to feel safe and secure in our workplace, whatever line of work you are in. Although all employers are legally obliged to take precautions to minimize health and safety risks in the workplace, we also need to take personal responsibility for our own safety.

The good news is that you don’t need to wrap yourself in bubble wrap and constantly wear a crash helmet to keep yourself safe, it is mainly basic common sense. These are a few tips to help you protect yourself whilst at work-

  • Communication is vital, not just for your safety, but your colleagues and customers as well. If you notice that equipment is getting worn or something looks faulty, notify your supervisor or health and safety representative as soon as possible.
  • Familiarize yourself with your company’s health and safety procedures. Every employer needs to conduct a risk assessment which will include ways to avoid hazards and the correct, safe way of performing tasks to avoid injury. You should also be made aware of the location of emergency exits, evacuation assembly points and first aid boxes as part of your orientation.
  • If you ever out on the road as part of your job or spend time working alone, consider downloading a personal safety application on to your smart phone, such as the personal safety app from Lookout Call. These have features that ensure that you get a speedy response if you are in danger and to locate you if you break down in the middle of nowhere.
  • When you are in a profession where you have to enter stranger’s premise, for example if you are an electrician or plumber, you can sometimes get a bad vibe straight away. Always trust your gut instinct and arrange for somebody to call you so that you have an excuse to leave if you feel unsafe. If this isn’t a viable option, try to get a personal safety app for your phone with features that autodial for you or that will raise an alarm if you don’t respond to a prescheduled call.
  • Don’t use any machinery or perform any tasks that you have not been trained to do. If you have been trained but can’t remember the correct or safest way to do it, don’t be nervous of asking your supervisor or trainer for some refresher training.
  • It may sound very basic, but ask anybody entering your premises, such as delivery or repair persons for ID. If you work in a space by yourself, for example in a petrol station or cleaning in the evening, try not to let anybody in that you are not expecting.
  • When you have to travel for work, make sure that somebody knows where you’re going and what time you are expected to be there so you can arrange ‘check in’ calls.
  • If you work with hazardous chemicals always read the bottle and act on any safety precautions the manufacturer’s advice, such as the use of gloves and ensuring you have ventilation.

It is very easy to keep safe at work as long as you maintain good communication with your employers and colleagues and don’t take unnecessary risks.

BIO: Katie Matthews is a manager within lookout call, a  loneworker applications and safety specialist in the UK.  Katie has worked in the technology industry for a number of years and has reviewed and written about a number of technology niches.





Saturday, April 28th is International Workers Memorial Day.  It is a day when unions around the world campaign for improvements in workplace health and safety.  Started by the Canadian Union of Public Employees in 1984, and adopted by the Canadian Labour Congress the following year, the day has been officially recognized by more than twenty countries, including the USA and the UK.  The Canadian National Day of Mourning is also observed on this day.   The U.N. adopted the day in 1996. 

The following  information comes from r@w news, in Australia.  This day is one to remember workers who died, were injured or fell ill due to unsafe, unhealthy or unsustainable work and workplaces around the world.  The most updated information shows that there are almost 360,000 fatal occupational accidents in any year, and almost 2 million fatal work-related diseases.  Every day, more than 960,000 workers get hurt because of accidents, and on average 5,330 workers die because of work-related diseases.  April 28th should be commemorated for those who have lost their lives or their health at or because of their work; to raise awareness about the risk of disease, injury or death for workers in all sectors and countries; and to engage all workers and unions in a positive action day for dialogue, transformation, and progress on occupational safety. 

We checked out other announcements from countries that also commemorate this day, such as our own country, the United States.  The IAFF is encouraging its affiliates to observe Workers Memorial Day and National Day of Mourning on April 28, remembering those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe workplaces.  In 1989, April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the day OSHA went into effect.  OSHA protects workers by instituting occupational health and safety standards that cultivate safe working environments and remove recognized hazards that may cause death or serious harm to workers.  The theme for the AFL-CIO for this year is “Safe Jobs Save Lives.” 

UNISON Scotland, Scotland’s biggest and liveliest trade union’s theme is “Cuts Cost Lives – Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living.  In the United Kingdom, IOSH feels that this  is the most important day of occupational safety and health calendar on the horizon.  They are encouraging persons to send in snapshots of themselves and their co-workers and describe “What does Workers’ Memorial Day Mean toYou?”  The images will then be uploaded to IOSH’s Twitter and Flickr accounts to give people around the world an insight into the real meaning of the Day. 

For your information, here are the countries that observe and promote this day around the world: Argentina, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Greece, Luxembourg, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, U.S.A., Ukraine and the United Kingdom.  In addition to which the Andean Community of countries has adopted this day on behalf of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and their associate member Venezuela. 

Whether you are union or non-union, chances are every one of us has known someone who died on the job.  We must do everything possible to encourage employers to make jobs safer for workers around the world.  Pause and be thankful on this day that is set aside to honor those who lost their lives simply doing their job.


A large portion of the United States suffered a devastating drought this past summer.  As the old saying goes, “It’s either feast or famine!”  In addition to the results of little or no rain, this year’s drought caused a huge loss of wildlife and property because of wildfires throughout the state of Texas.   The drought we experienced made us realize how much we needed water for our tanks, lakes, and livestock, as well as our daily lives.  This past summer, there were small communities that ran out of water, and what they were going through was unbelievable.  In other areas of the U.S., there were floods, tornadoes, and other natural disasters.

We in America are very fortunate that we have clean, readily available water.    We need to appreciate our clean water and do all we can to get clean water to those who don’t have it.  Imagine watching a mother take her child to a muddy waterhole – one that is polluted, and see that child drink from it.  People over the world are dying, because their water is full of pollution and disease.  

The Importance of Water Conservation 

We Americans waste billions of gallons of water with no regard to the fact that many other people in countries across the world would fight over the very water that we waste.  We would probably all think a little more about water that is wasted, if we had to drink the water that other folks do.  Some are losing their lives because they have no water at all.  

Here are  ways that you can help the with conservation issue:

  • Take short showers.  If you run a little water for it to warm up, catch it and use it to water your plants.
  • If people leave water bottles around, and don’t finish drinking it, you can also use that to water plants.
  • Stop running the water while you brush your teeth, wash your hands or hair, and shower or bathe.
  • Most people don’t need a huge bathtub; it’s a nice luxury, but you get just as clean in a regular-sized one.
  • If you are fortunate enough to have a swimming pool, keep it covered, to keep out the dirt.
  • You might pay attention to the amount of water you use on your yard and try to cut down. 

The Importance of Water to Our Bodies! 

You cannot be truly healthy without the proper hydration of the body.  We should drink half our body weight in ounces, minimum each day.  If you weigh 200 lbs, you should consume 100 ounces of water.  Every organ in our body heavily depends on water to function properly and to its capacity.  According to an article posted by Bob McCauley, the human body is 69% water, the brain is 85% water, bones – 35% water, blood – 83% water, and the liver is 90% water. Also:

  • In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
  • Mild dehydration will slow down metabolism as much as 3%. 
  • The biggest trigger of daytime fatigue is lack of water.
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, breast cancer by 79%, and bladder cancer by 50%. 

Remember, you are not what you eat; you are what you drink.  Water is immensly important to your health.  If we change the way we drink, by drinking pure, natural water that is good for our health, we can help our pocket book and environment at the same time.  A common-sense theory by years of study by Dr. F. Batmagheldj, shows that water works well in keeping us healthy and pain free.  Even some illnesses can be cured by water, the basis of all life, especially, your body.  Our health truly depends on the quality and quantity of the water we drink.  If you sincerely want to have a healthy lifestyle, make drinking enough natural water a regular habit in your life.  You will feel the benefit in a short time.  Water is a free investment for your long-term health. 

With that, I am going to go fill up a tall glass of ice water; and cut my shower short tonight!  Let’s all think about conserving water, the elixir of life!


Working under state and federal regulations requires that workplace health and safety posters must be posted on the worksite.  These regulations govern what work safety posters must be on display in the workplace, but employers should think about posting other information in addition to the ones that are required, to promote a safe and healthy workplace environment.  First, a business must know which federal and state OSHA health and safety posters that are required to be on display.  There is a poster that allows you to select your state to view the required posters and order them directly.  Workers must be able to learn what employer obligations are and the employee rights pertaining to safety and health. 

Workplaces are also wise to share information about general healthy habits that can be promoted within the workplace.  If the posters are updated on a regular basis, a variety of tips on how to maintain a healthy and safe workplace will be noticed by more persons than if the same old ones stay up.  Keep a supply of different topics to change occasionally. 

Did you know that employers could be subject to state or federal fines and penalties if the required safety information is not on display?  Your place of business has its own specific health and safety concerns, so those topics should be addressed.  It’s a good idea to remember past accidents that have occurred, which would be helpful reminders to your employees. Many times posters that contain exact data and statistics of past accidents or incidents will catch the attention of the employees.   Posters alone won’t educate employees, but they exist to remind your workers that their safety is important to the company. 

Different posters apply to every type of work environment.  Regardless of the workplace being a factory, fleet of vehicles, warehouse, or an office, a certain amount of risk is involved, more in some than others.  Posters that promote good attitudes are excellent motivators for teamwork.  A poster that promotes healthy lifestyles, and exercise would be fitting for an office setting.  For those who do lots of heavy lifting, posters on the proper methods of lifting and the results of wear and tear on the body.  If there’s a danger of debris or cuttings getting into workers’ eyes, there are all types of safety glasses posters.  Don’t forget about places that are extremely loud, and the importance of hearing protection.  There are posters for just about every hazard; that’s why it would be a good idea to have several different ones and change them often. 

Employees’ rights are explained on the state and federal posters, but one wonders how many people stop to read them?  By doing this, workers can ensure their company is providing the proper safety instructions and protective products that keep them safe.








We all need little reminders that our hearts must be healthy in order to keep us going.  Every day stress, at work or home, can add to health problems.  If we keep in mind the numbers everyone should know, such as goals for heart health, hopefully, we can continue working and being productive.  After retirement, we also want to be healthy enough to enjoy other activities, or part-time work. 

It is important that you know your numbers, and these are important ones:

  •          120/80 or under is normal blood pressure for adults.
  •          Less than 200 mg/dl is a desirable cholesterol level.
  •         Less than 100 mg/dl is an optimal level of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.
  •         More than 40 mg/dl is a desirable level of HDL, or “good,” cholesterol for men; women’s should be at least 50.
  •         Less than 150 mg/dl is a desirable level of triglycerides.  This blood fat, like LDL, can make your arteries harden or narrow.
  •         Between 18.5 and 24.9 is a normal body mass index (BMI).  A higher BMI can increase your risk for heart disease.
  •         Less than 35 inches for women, and less than 40 inches for men, is the best waist size.  Too much fat around the waist increases heart disease risk.      To  measure your waist, put a tape measure around your midsection, just above your hips, and breathe out.
  •          Zero is your ideal exposure to tobacco, including secondhand smoke.
  •          At least 30 minutes most days is how much to exercise.  Regular exercise can lower your resting heart rate.  According to a recent study in American Heart Journal, a resting heart rate higher than 90 doubled the risk for heart disease.

If you don’t know how much your body mass index is, here are some explanations on how to figure it.  First, you can use a free body mass calculator online, or if you prefer, we have some instructions on how to do it yourself.

Established by the federal government as a standard to determine obesity, Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. A Body Mass Index between 18.5 and 25 is ideal. People with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are overweight and a BMI greater than 30 indicates obesity. Being overweight increases the chances of serious health risks like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. But Body Mass Index is not a foolproof measurement. Though muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue, BMI calculation doesn’t recognize the difference between muscle and fat; an aggravating footnote for people who spend a lot of time at the gym. For those who lead more sedentary lives however, BMI can be a useful first indicator of general fitness.

Use Discovery Health’s free BMI calculator to find out what your body mass index is. Simply put in your height and weight, and let Discovery Health’s free BMI calculator work for you.

Here are instructions in case you prefer to figure your BMI yourself:

         First you will need to know what your height is in inches. This is quite simple, just take your height and multiply it by 12 and add the inches. For example if your 6’2”, take 6 feet times 12, which is 72. Then add the 2 extra inches, which is 74 inches. Simple enough. Write this number down.

         Next in figuring your BMI, you will need to know your weight in pounds. This can be done on any scale measured in pounds. Write this number down.

         Now we are ready to calculate. Take your height and multiply it by itself. So in the previous example, just multiply 74 x 74, which is 5476. Now multiply that result by 703. This number is fixed. It’s always the same when calculating BMI. Continuing with our example, we take 5476 x 703, which equals 3849628.

         Then, divide your weight by that result. So say the weight in pounds is 180. We take 180 / 3849628, which equals 4.6 lbs. So in this example, the person who is 6’2” and 180 lbs is overweight by 4.6 lbs. This is how you figure Body Mass Index.

Let’s make a pact to take better care of ourselves and keep those hearts ticking!

Source: CDCP; American Heart Association; Strive; eHow.com/health; Discovery Health.


Led by Canada’s Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) this campaign was first launched in June of 1997, when an agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico was reached, with the goal to promote workplace safety within the boundaries of the three nations.  Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Week had been being observed for ten years prior to the beginning of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week.  The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) joined with the CSSE in 2002, to promote public awareness of occupational safety, health, and the environment during this important week.  Other groups that are partners in this NAOSH Week are the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Threads of Life, OSHA, Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP), and partners in Mexico.  Threads of Life is a national registered charity dedicated to supporting families along their journey of healing who have suffered from a workplace fatality, life-altering illness or occupational disease.  Their mission is to help families heal through a community of support and to promote the elimination of life-altering workplace injuries, illnesses, and death. 

This years NAOSH theme is “Celebrating a Century of Safety.”  The ASSE is not only celebrating their 100th anniversary, but it is also the 100th anniversary of one of the most terrible workplace disasters in United States history – the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.  In 1911, 146 men and women died in the Asch building in New York City.  When a fire began on one of the top floors of this building, workers rushed to escape; however, the doors were locked.  There were no fire sprinklers, even though the fire sprinkler head was patented in 1872.  There were no fire safety or prevention products or programs at the factory.  Because the fire escape had melted and broken off, the elevator operator tried to save as many people as he could, but as the fire spread, many jumped to their deaths to the street below.  Some even jumped into the elevator shaft.  Fire department ladders couldn’t reach the top floors of the building.  Soon after this disaster, public outrage led to a wave of new worker protection rules and regulations.  The ASSE was founded in New York City, and many said it was the beginning of our modern safety movement.  Since that time, ASSE and its’ more than 33,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members continue to work in all industries and their communities to ensure that another Triangle Factory fire never occurs again. 

NAOSH sponsors activities to support work safety and educate the public worldwide by members and organizations.  Events such as panel discussions on the history of safety, preventing distracted driving, recognizing winners from around the world of the kids’  “safety-on-the-job” poster contest, are just some of the tools that are used to enhance workplace safety worldwide.  The AOHP, a national association that represents thousands of healthcare workers whose vision is to be the defining resource and leading advocate for occupational health and safety in healthcare, states that NAOSH week “not only helps us keep our workers safe and contributes positively to a business’ bottom line, but makes sure there are smiles at the end of the day when that worker returns home safe and sound to their family.” 

Too many persons are dying from on-the-job injuries.  These organizations and others are working to help prevent injuries and illnesses  in industries worldwide.  Members of the groups have distributed catastrophe preparedness information, free teen worker safety and preventing roadway crash brochures, developed teen worker safety courses, helped Habitat for Humanity, held personal protective equipment (PPE) fashion shows, donated PPE and much more.  

NAOSH Week is observed the first full week of May each year.  On the Wednesday of NAOSH Week, Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day has been observed since 2007.  The American Society of Safety Engineers and Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, along with other members from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico encourages employers, employees, and the public to realize the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home, and in the community.  We salute all those who work diligently to educate and promote safety in the workplace. 

Sources: Worksite News (Canada), American Society of Safety Engineers,  Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety


With the state of the economy in the United States, it is very important that we search for and support those who are developing important strategies in creating clean and renewable energy.  By investing in clean energy, industries can create thousands of new “green” jobs.  It’s already taking place throughout the country.  By laying the foundation for young generations, the people who work in “green” jobs are forging a new way of life for all of us.  

Solar energy is a growing sector for green energy and green jobs.  Two viable solar energy sectors are solar electric and solar thermal or solar water heating.  By concentrating solar power, solar energy is converted into electricity using photovoltaics.  PV systems are the most common and use semi-conductors and sunlight to make electricity.  Solar water heating systems include direct and indirect (Glycol) systems and are determined mostly by climate. 

Worker’s health and safety hazards exist in installation, manufacture, and maintenance of solar energy.  Workers must understand how to protect themselves from the hazards involved, and employers must protect their workers from these hazards.  OSHA’s Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Standard (29 CFR 1910.269), covers the safe work practices and worker training requirements.  Although solar energy is a growing industry, the hazards are not unique.  Some of the hazards that workers in the solar industry may face are: 

  • Crane and Hoist Safety.  Cranes must be inspected and used properly.   
  • Electrical hazards;
  • Lockout/Tagout;
  • Falls;
  • Heat/Cold Stress.  Workers often work in hot weather where hazards include dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and death.  Workers should be monitored by the employer and trained to identify and report symptoms of any heat-related illness.  They may also be exposed to cold weather conditions and should be protected from such conditions. 

Wind energy is another important “green” job.  In our part of the country, these huge “windmills” are popping up everywhere!  These turbines generate electricity from wind, and are being installed all across the nation.  Wind energy workers face many of the same hazards as those in the solar power industry:

  • Confined spaces. If the employee is working in a space large enough to enter and perform assigned work, but is not designed for continuous occupancy by the employee, and has a limited or restricted means of entry or exit.
  • Falls;
  • Lockout/Tagout;
  • Crane and Hoist Safety;
  • Electrical
  • Heat/Cold Stress. 

Of course, the hazards and risks of any particular job require the use of personal protective equipment right for the job.  Those working in solar energy or wind energy fields may require using safety glasses, hard hats, head protection, gloves, respirators, or other PPE. 

“Green” jobs offer work to those who are already trained in specific occupations – such as welders, electricians, and construction workers.  Besides helping our country be more environmentally conscious, these jobs provide new careers with livable wages.  We must put our fellow Americans back to work.  Most of the hazards we have described are commonplace to many occupations.  Training and educating employees in these jobs is a very important part of our future.  Regardless of having a blue-collar job, white-collar job, or “green” job, risks exist, and it is the responsibility of the employer to fulfill its obligation to provide their workers with a safe environment. 

Source: OSHA


As we come to the end of the year, our thoughts turn to making the same resolutions that we usually make each new year, such as losing weight, quitting bad habits, etc.  How about a different and new resolution?  One that both companies and employees alike would make: to create a healthier workplace for everyone?  There’s always room for improvement –  regardless of policies that are already in place.  Let’s talk about this important issue. 

According to the World Health Organization, “Personal and social codes of behavior and ethics are the foundation of every major religious and moral philosophy.  One of the most basic of universally accepted ethical principles is to “do no harm” to others in the workplace.  This means to ensure employees’ health and safety.”  The World Health Organization’s definition of health is “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely absence of disease.”  

Does this definition fit your workplace?  Everyone wins when they have a healthy workplace: the employer, who provides a safe physical work environment to prevent occupational diseases, accidents and injuries, while promoting healthy lifestyles and encouraging personal development.  Employers should have leadership that can  allow workers to meet job demands and control the workload to ensure that those workers are able to balance both their work and personal responsibilities.  They should establish principles of work that will prevent stress and ill health. 

Data demonstrates that in the long term, companies that promote and protect workers’ health are rewarded by retaining those employees, and are more successful and competitive than companies that don’t.  Employers should consider these important factors:

  • Cost of prevention versus costs resulting from accidents;
  • Financial consequences of legal violation of health, safety, and occupational rules and laws;
  • Workers health as an important business asset for the company. 

Of course, the other winners are the employees.  If health initiatives are in the workplace, employees will enjoy greater job satisfaction, being able to balance work and family responsibilities, all the while enjoying a sense of pride and well-being.  Companies will see a reduction in work-related illness, injury and disability when they enforce good safety and health policies. 

Employees who have to face unreasonable deadlines become overwhelmed and out of control, which can elevate stress levels and possibly lead to depression.  They think that their load can be handled better if they are able to do part of their work at home, such as using their laptop, or staying late at the office to catch up.  This takes away from their family and free time, and is a hard habit to break, once they start.  Workers should have the ability to negotiate their workload with their supervisor without fear of reprisal or punishment.  They should be given tasks to do that afford the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge effectively with colleagues and managers while in a safe and healthy environment.  They are entitled to have the tools to get their job done efficiently and receive fair pay with benefits.  Those employees who are satisfied with their work environment will be more productive and make a better contribution to the company’s success. 

Please stay tuned: tomorrow we will keep talking about ways that will be beneficial both to employers and employees by creating a healthy workplace.

Source: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety


Obesity in the workplace is a part of a growing national trend, one that is getting larger at an alarming rate. The cost of obesity in the workplace is in the billions of dollars every year, due to the ill health of millions of employees. Companies who struggle with this problem and take a pro-active stance toward it will be ahead of the curve, not only by saving money, but providing a healthier workplace environment for their employees.

What weight is considered obese? 

  •       Persons who are 30 – 40 pounds overweight are considered obese.
  •       Severe obesity is 60 pounds overweight.
  •       Morbidly obese being 100 lbs. over normal weight.
  •       Super obese is 200 plus pounds overweight.

These classifications aren’t flattering, causing many overweight persons to feel that they are discriminated against because of their weight.  Race, gender, age, disability, religion, and now obesity are reasons that persons may feel  discriminated against. 

There can be many reasons for being overweight.  Some are genetic, caused by certain health issues, or lack of exercise, and eating unhealthy foods.  This problem is going to continue if our schools don’t serve healthy foods and require physical education for youngsters.  It should be a given that kids “get out and play an hour a day.”  Parents should strive to start their families out with a healthy breakfast, and choose fruits and vegetables rather than fast food on a regular basis.  It’s a proven fact that there are more obese youngsters than in past generations.

Regardless, no one should be bullied, harassed, or humiliated because of their size.  People that are obese have a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, gall bladder disease, lung and breathing problems, and early death.  As of now, Michigan is the only state that declares discrimination of this sort as illegal.  There are no federal laws making it illegal.  Some cities do, though.  Through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and courts, persons diagnosed with morbid obesity may be seen as disabled, thereby possibly being protected under the Americans with Disabilities Amended Act of 2008.

Companies can achieve having healthier and happier employees through weight-loss plans, employee wellness programs, and/or health club memberships.  Planning a better environment,  such as healthy snacks in vending machines, less fast foods in the cafeteria, and holding health fairs would be good for everyone.  The programs should not be targeted toward certain groups, in order to be nondiscriminatory, but to all employees, and those who wish to enroll may do so on a voluntary basis.  Start up a group walking program during lunch break. Wear a pedometer to see how  any steps you take in a work-day.  If it’s not very many, we need to step it up when we get home!  (The recommended number of daily steps is 10,000.)  You may be surprised at just how much  or little walking you actually do each day.   The Centers for Disease Control report that obesity can cause chronic health issues that equal twenty years of aging. 

Let’s start parking the car a little farther from work, walk up stairs rather than take an elevator, and encourage others to do the same.  If you have a friend or family member that is overweight, offer to go to a wellness center or take a daily walk with them.  Possibly, you can get them started on a healthy path, and reap the benefits, as well.
























We’re not talking about the local bar and grill here, but the shoulder!  Have you ever thought about how much we take our bodies for granted, and the shoulder carries much of the burden.

It is one of the most sophisticated and complex joints of the body.  Some thirty muscles provide movement and stability to the shoulder complex.  Did you know that our shoulders have a 360° range of motion?  Because the ball of the arm is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it, muscles, tendons and ligaments serve as anchors to hold it together.

Shoulder injuries are common in athletes: baseball, basketball, tennis and football players, as well as golfers.  Persons who use their arms to work overhead such as construction workers, and painters often complain of shoulder pain.  Injuries to the shoulder are classified as sprains, dislocations, bursitis, tendinitis, arthritis, torn rotator cuffs, and general aging.

Shoulder problems are usually treated with RICE:

Rest – take breaks from the activity that is causing the problem.

Ice – to reduce pain and swelling.

Compression – wrap the area with Ace bandage, and use a sling for the first 48 hours.

Elevation – rest the injured/sore area on a pillow while applying ice anytime you are sitting or lying.

If symptoms occur such as numbness and tingling, range of motion decreases or does not return to normal after using this process, see your physician.

While using your arms for gardening, painting, or work, try alternating your hands if possible, and take frequent breaks.  Use correct lifting methods and avoid overuse of your arms.

Other tips that apply to protecting the rest of the body, as well as the arms and shoulders:

  • Keep your bones strong by doing weight-bearing exercise (such as walking), and including plenty of calcium and Vitamin D in your diet.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • If you are in sports, wear protective gear.
  • Don’t carry objects that are too heavy.
  • Use a stepladder rather than standing on an unstable chair.
  • When riding in a car, always fasten your seatbelt.
  • Cut down on caffeine, which can increase loss of calcium.

Someone may need to cry on your shoulder someday, so keep it strong!