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The Real Cost of Managing a Sedentary Work Environment


Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are injuries, damage or disorder that affect the human body's movement and often cause symptoms of pain and discomfort. This term is most often used to describe symptoms that occur gradually due to repetitive stress or a lack of regular movement. The problem is not sitting so much as it is holding the same positions for extended periods of time, often with poor posture and mechanics.

"In Ontario MSDs account for 42% of all lost time claims and 50% of lost time days. These claims represent almost 27 million lost days with a direct cost of more that $3 billion."

These statistics were published by ERGO Consulting, a Mississauga-based organization that specializes in professional ergonomic, injury management and safety services.

The financial costs of MSDs in the workplace are significant enough. On average companies pay over $75,000 to every injured worker. This amount can reach over $355,000 if the employee is unable to return to work.

Some of the most commonly diagnosed MSDs in the workplace are:

- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

- Chronic headaches, neck or back pain

- Adhesive Capsulitis ("Frozen Shoulder")

- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

- Plantar Fasciitis

It could be said that there is no such thing as a "bad" back, knee, etc. These are adaptations that our bodies make in response to the stresses and loads we experience daily. It may not feel pleasant, but it makes sense, structurally speaking, for our intelligent bodies to protect themselves in this way. Thankfully, we can get out of this mess in the same way that we got into it.

A consistent practice of self care that includes myofascial release, stretching and strengthening can help you feel better and in many cases, make those MSDs a thing of the past. If you experience regular headaches or suffer Thoracic Outlet Syndrome try this simple neck stretch.