Spotlight on tradies: how to stay in tip-top shape

September 14, 2020

If you are a tradie, your most important tool is your body. Its health will impact directly on your daily output, your success, and the length of time you can work in your career. Regular attention on your body’s health and fitness is essential.

Injury prevention as a tradie

Like most health concerns, prevention is always a better option than fixing a problem. So how do you prevent injuries from occurring?

  • It is important for tradies – or anyone – working in a physically demanding job that requires heavy lifting and twisting that they are educated in safe lifting techniques as well as the prescription of exercises to help prevent these injuries.
  • Variety is important in your daily tasks. Avoid repetitive movements for days at a time if possible.
  • Maintaining good at posture is also a must to avoid injury.

It’s not just about using your body correctly. Having the right tool for the right job is just as important, so as not to put undue stress on your body. For example, blades must be sharp, and tools must be strong.

Not only can an exercise physiologist provide advice on how to look after your body, they can give guidance on how to pace work output.

Common injuries for tradies

As a tradie, there a variety of injuries you need to look out for, but there are two common problem areas our Exercise Physiologists identify as most common – back pain and and upper limbs. These are both problematic areas to treat and require expert advice on how to prevent the problem from getting any worse.

If there is a constant pain in these areas after every shift, it is time to seek professional help.

Seek advice early when injuries arise

Seeking early intervention is especially important. Leave it too long, and it can become a bigger ongoing problem that will require more specialised healthcare, and potentially time off work.

  • Seek early assessment and guidance on management of acute injuries.
  • Exercise prescription there after as well as physio-led Pilates which is a great way to strengthen your core, increase flexibility and maintain mobility. At SportsCare we offer a variety of Pilates classes and our professional Exercise Physiologists can help significantly with prevention through a focus on strength.

How do you know its’s an injury and not just fatigue? Persistent or unexplainable pain. You should feel tired after a shift, but if there is a body part that is persistently sore every week no matter what type of work is on, get it checked out. It is important to go in at the first sign of a problem. Small injuries are easy to fix and won’t require you to miss any work.

Ongoing support

As a tradie, looking after your body shouldn’t be reactive. So, what do you need to do week to week to maintain your body?

Our recommendation – treat your body like you are a professional athlete.

  • Warm-up before your shift and cool down after your shift by doing a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • Complete mobility and core strength exercises when out of work.
  • Seek expert advice if you start to develop an injury.
  • Regular massages and exercise classes are also a great way to take care of yourself.

If you’re a tradie or know one who should be taking better care of their body, get in touch with one of  SportsCare and Physiotherapy’s Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists.


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