Ergo Myth: Lifting at Work is a Good Workout
If you think you are getting in shape by lifting heavy items at work, you may be getting more than you bargained for. Lifting heavy items puts loads on the muscles and joints. When lifting weights at the gym, your muscles are essentially injured or torn, after which, your body naturally repairs damaged muscle fibers by fusing them to create new, stronger muscle fibers. Nutrients and rest allow the muscles to heal.
In the workplace however, with higher rates of repetition and exposure to muscle trauma over time, your body may not have a chance to heal. This lack of healing time may increase the time it takes for muscle repair, and could result in weaker muscles and possible injury. This is contradictory to the concept of a workout.
While you may feel stronger initially, the overall impact to the body may be damaging over time. Muscles which are weaker may be more prone to muscle strains or other injury.
When designing a work flow, reduce the repetitive handling of heavy weights to enable muscles to heal. Be sure to provide tools and equipment to support this process, such as hoists and cranes for lifting items, or carts and conveyors for transport. Ensure these items don’t add additional loads when handling them for maximum impact.