What Causes Musculoskeletal Disorders?

Did you know that musculoskeletal disorders account for 30% of all workers comp costs? Musculoskeletal disorders are unfortunately common and they can be very costly. But they don’t have to be, because most musculoskeletal disorders are preventable.

In order to figure out where your employees are most at risk for developing musculoskeletal disorders, let’s go over what causes musculoskeletal disorders.

Defining Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders, also known as MSDs, are injuries that affect how the human body moves. The disorder extends to body parts like muscles, blood vessels, tendons, nerves and ligaments. Some common musculoskeletal disorders include back pain, carpal tunnel and tendonitis.

Musculoskeletal disorders are generally caused by some kind of repetitive or sustained motion, often one that requires activity that is unnatural for the human body or that goes on for too long. When the body goes through these kinds of motions or activities, it eventually becomes fatigued, which can result in a musculoskeletal disorder. So, what causes musculoskeletal disorders?

Common Causes of Musculoskeletal Disorders

1. Locked positions

Remaining in one position for an extended period of time can put your employees at risk for developing a musculoskeletal disorder. Prolonged unnatural or awkward positions put too much stress on one area of the body. For example, standing in one position for long periods of time can produce health problems like leg cramps, backaches and more severe lower limb disorders.

2. Repetitive tasks

Completing the same repetitive motion over and over again puts your workers at risk for musculoskeletal disorders, especially when that task requires a high amount of force or puts the body in an awkward position. Examples of this would be repetitive industrial labor or even less strenuous activities like typing. A job is considered repetitive when it is repeated in 30 seconds or less.

3. Strenuous exertion

Work tasks that require a large amount of physical force, or strenuous exertion, contribute to increased fatigue. Excessive fatigue can lead to musculoskeletal disorders. That risk increases when the high-intensity task is also repetitive.

4. Poor work practices

Sometimes, it’s not about the amount of work, but how the work is completed. For example, a worker who regularly lifts heavy objects might be more likely to develop a musculoskeletal disorder if he or she does not know how to lift objects properly. Make sure that your employees are using the right body mechanics to accomplish strenuous or sustained tasks to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

5. Lack of rest and recovery time

After strenuous or sustained work activity, the body needs time to rest and recuperate. When that time is cut short or is insufficient, there is a greater risk for musculoskeletal disorders. To avoid this, make sure that your employees have sufficient breaks and enough time off work to sleep and recuperate.

Are Your Workers at Risk?

If you think that your workers might be at risk for developing musculoskeletal disorders, then there’s no time to waste. Engaging in active prevention now will protect the health and safety of your employees and possibly save you from the cost of workers’ compensation and even legal fees.

At Carpet Rentals, we’ve developed a unique and proven solution to musculoskeletal disorders that develop from prolonged standing: anti-fatigue mats. Our anti-fatigue mat solutions reduce fatigue by easing strain on the lower ligaments and promoting perpetual movement. Our mats provide comfort and support while minimizing fatigue, muscle pain and soreness. Contact us today to learn more about how our products can help prevent musculoskeletal disorders!

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