Occupational health assessments, such as functional capacity evaluations and pre-employment physicals, are a vital practice when caring for the overall wellness of employees in physically demanding jobs. Valuing occupational health and safety of employees is vital for businesses. It is how businesses keep their workplace a safe and healthy environment, and is aimed at protecting employees from all dangers, hazards, and risks when at work. There is value in preforming occupational health assessments for all employees, including those who spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk.

Occupational Health and Safety Assessment and Tips

Learn about three opportunities you have to advocate active lifestyles for your employees who are stationary during their workday.

1. Bring in a Physical Therapist

Inviting a physical therapist for a workshop about desk ergonomics, low back pain, or exercises to incorporate at home and work is a great way to educate and support your employee population.

For example, we created a Physical Therapy Wellness Assessment for one of our clients to evaluate movement and function of all employee roles (production and office-related). This free assessment benefits employees experiencing pain, as well as those who would like to prevent future injuries. If problems are identified after the assessment’s questionnaire and guidance through functional movements, the employee can decide if they would like to engage in formal physical therapy to evaluate the problem in depth and establish a home program to improve the dysfunction. The Physical Therapy Wellness Assessments are a great way to engage employees and promote wellness.

2. Coaching

It is not unusual for a person to experience varying degrees of low back pain during their adult life. For this reason, our clinical teams review guidelines specific to low back pain as part of our chronic condition coaching service offerings. While there are a variety of causes that contribute to low back pain, ranging from injury during physical activity to lifting heavy loads during a move, one unassuming trigger is something you are probably doing right now as you read this blog post…sitting! To combat “sitting syndrome” consider offering health coaching to employees interested in creating a custom wellness plan that incorporates physical activity

3. Wellness Campaigns at Work

Designing physical activity campaigns to adopt throughout the workplace can foster a culture of wellness and encourage employees to become active in their health. Some examples include:

  • “Walking Wednesdays” which designates Wednesday as the day to bring comfortable shoes to work and conduct meetings over a walk around the office building, parking lot, etc.
  • Offering physical activity challenges, such as a 6-week individual or team challenge with a goal of 150 active minutes or 50,000 steps per week can promote healthy competition and camaraderie around the office.
  • Creating walking trails, including paths both outdoor and indoor to accommodate for inclement weather.
  • Find a run/walk 5K in the community (or host your own) and encourage the company to participate as a team. Employees may even train together, plus you might even consider covering a portion or the entire entry fee to increase participation.

Although occupational health assessments are not traditionally offered to employees working inside an office, there are several opportunities to reap the benefits they contribute to overall employee health.

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