The increase in demand for both improvements in worker health and company productivity is on the rise and studies show that the latter cannot be sustainable without the former. It’s a fact that a healthier corporate hierarchy can contribute to a greater ROI, but depending upon staff to take full responsibility for their physical health is not an effective tactic. Modern office environments are finding ways to make physiotherapy a part of (or jump off point for) their employees’ health and wellness program. If you’re considering physio as a means to promote the fitness (and thus productivity) of your human resources, you will want to read ahead in order to make one of the smartest business decisions you’ve made to date.
5 Benefits of Physical Therapy for Your Office and Staff
1. Alleviates Lower Back Pain Common to Office Workers
It’s not just warehouse staff who experience back pain in the workplace environment. The Jims and Dwights of the world are just as susceptible as the Roys and Darryls. In fact, one of the most common causes of lower back pain today is sitting in an office.
Correspondingly, one of the most sought after forms of treatment and therapy at our clinic is for lower back pain chiropractic work, something which is highly effective in repairing the all-too-common musculoskeletal disorder. Another common cause of low back pain for office workers is found in the gluteus medium muscle. If this is diagnosed, manual therapy may be prescribed to reduce pain by addressing the soft tissue of the gluteals. In addition, a registered massage therapist (RMT) can teach staff different stretches along with postural education to reduce the amount of stress placed on the muscle. Another common culprit (than can lead to misdiagnosis of lower back pain) is the iliopsoas muscle, which is also aggravated when staff sits at a desk for hours on end. In such cases, massage therapy treatment that involves trigger point release can be a very simple yet highly effective response.
Long story short, by having a dedicated physiotherapy clinic work with your staff, you will be able to identify the cause of lower back pain and prescribe the appropriate corrective course of action on a case by case basis, removing one of the biggest impediments to overall employee productivity.
2. Eliminates Headaches
The data connecting headaches and migraines to workplace absenteeism is beyond significant. In Canada, over 90 percent of people who suffer a migraine attack indicate that they must either miss work or can’t function normally, cutting their productivity by more than 50 percent. The same report shows that headaches have a global impact on the economy, inciting the World Health Organization to rank migraines as the 19th most common reason for disability. In the U.S. alone, a loss of over $17 billion per year can be attributed missed work due to migraines.
Many make the mistake of thinking that pain killers are the answer, but did you know that physiotherapy can provide a healthier solution to this office space epidemic? For one, a physiotherapist can help identify whether or not a given worker suffers from chronic headaches or chronic migraines, which allows for proper treatment/therapy. In addition, chiropractic treatment can be applied to ease chronic pain of this nature, while helping to identify other triggers for the ailment, such as poor workplace ergonomics and repetitive strain. View more on the benefits of physiotherapy for headaches, and ultimately your office.
3. Treats Hand and Wrist Pain When Using Computer
One of the most commonly reported injuries among typical office workers is hand and wrist pain, which can come from the receptive strain of using office computers. The more digitized your corporate world becomes, the more prevalent this ailment will be.
A physiotherapist will be able to work with staff on a case by case basis, identifying where computer-borne wrist tendonitis may exist. From there, repositioning techniques can be applied, supportive devices prescribed (i.e. wrist brace, etc.), and a regime created that provides staff with insight into stretches, warm ups, and the necessity of frequent breaks, the latter of which you as a supervisor may need to become very considerate of. Don’t worry, you will require some time away from your computer too! View more on the benefits of physiotherapy for hand and wrist pain.
4. Eases Pain Common to Mobile Workers
Technology has allowed office workers to leave the traditional environment and work remotely. Many executives understand that this alone can increase efficiencies and productivity. However, the tools you and they depend on to work remotely can cause just as much repetitive strain as overuse of a desktop computer. Text neck is a phrase coined to describe the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at wireless mobile devices too frequently and for too long. Physiotherapy can help identify the symptoms of text neck (or other) and prescribe treatments such as joint mobilization exercises, posture correction exercises, neck stabilization exercises, soft tissue massage, acupuncture/dry-needling, and even K-taping. Learn more about the benefits of physiotherapy for this modern day threat to corporate productivity.
Another topic that should be addressed in the “mobile worker” category, is travel. Your so-called office staff may need to make trips throughout the year to see clients and/or attend trade shows and the like. This puts them at risk of frequent flyer pain and discomfort. Any back pain they may experience in the office (as per item #1 above) can be accentuated on their travels, rendering them ineffective in closing deals and promoting your product/service to invested parties. However, when your team works with a physiotherapist, they will learn practical tips such as how to pack so that they body doesn’t experience undue stress. A physiotherapist can also make recommendations about back support gear, and provide a guide to exercises that can be done in the hotel (etc.) so that they remain free from back pain whether headed out on a corporate mission via plane, train, or automobile. Learn more about how physio can help keep your traveling office workers free from back pain and discomfort.
5. It Makes Financial Sense (and Dollars!)
Together, the ailments listed above result in numerous absences from work, which has a very real and direct impact on your company’s bottom line. In alleviating the pain, malfunction, and outright existence of a significant portion of these ailments, you will effectively reduce the number of absences and/or correspondingly poor performances around the workplace. The subsequent and positive impact on productivity will become evident in human resources output, be it in the manufacturing of proverbial widgets, customer/client service, and more. In addition, physiotherapy may work well with your current health benefits plan, with most insurance providers allowing coverage for a certain number of sessions or up to a certain dollar value. Even if you don’t institute a company-wide physiotherapy program, you can absolutely remind staff that their insurance plan covers (where applicable) physiotherapy while communicating to them the benefits listed above. After all, they will also see the benefits away from the office environment (recreation and leisure) which may be what they need to fuel the fire.
If your office environment is located in the Greater Vancouver BC area, we encourage you to contact Absolute PhysioCare. We can help you put together an ongoing plan for you and your entire staff so that together you become a more physically fit and cohesive unit that will work together to improve your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more.