Your wellbeing should obviously be a priority for everyone, but too many of us often make it secondary in our everyday lives. Too many people drive without their seatbelt and/or text while behind the wheel; mix alcohol with their prescribed pain medication; don’t wear a helmet while biking; and push themselves beyond their limits while on the job to meet unrealistic expectations. To keep preventative health in the forefront in everyone’s mind, the National Safety Council has declared June to be “National Safety Month.” In honor of this annual occasion (and your health), heed our following tips to make sure you stay healthy while on the job, especially if you have a disability.
Nourish your body
Water, nutrients and sleep are the fuel that makes your body run and, when you are pushing yourself in a high-pressure environment; it’s all too easy to let such routines slide unnoticed. As a result, your immune system is lowered, worsening the symptoms of disabilities like lupus and multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, your reflexes and judgment are lessened, making you vulnerable to injuries. Therefore, always get a good night’s sleep and make sure that you have healthy snacks and a water bottle readily available in your work environment. Try to eat complex carbohydrates rather than fast-burning sugars that will have you feel depleted within a short amount of time.
Wear the proper gear
Yes, protect yourself from the weather and use sport protective head gear to prevent a brain injury if you’re working in a turbulent work setting. In addition, perhaps the most overlooked gear that is essential is the appropriate footwear. Find shoes with sturdy treading that will prevent slips. Furthermore, if the work is more physical, finding footwear with hardened exteriors will prevent broken toes if debris falls. If you are on your feet for extended periods, consider investing in orthotic insoles that may lessen the stress felt by your feet, ankles, knees and back.
Do not work impaired
Almost all of us have experienced a sleepless night, or perhaps had a few too many drinks the night before work. It’s natural to want to power through the next day’s hangover or exhaustion but, if you have a job that demands high-level of attention and/or arduous tasks, you are much more likely to suffer an injury and put others in jeopardy. Furthermore, never ever go into work when under the influence of mood-and-mind-altering substances.
Communicate with your coworkers and boss
Many of us like to stay tightlipped about our “personal life,” but it’s important to let others know about your current state if it will influence your fellow employees and your overall health. For example, if you pulled your back recently, you may want to tell your supervisor and ask for assistance when lifting heavy items; if lymes disease is making you particularly exhausted, talk to your boss about either finding different kinds of work, using the break room for naps or another solution that is satisfactory to everyone involved. Finally, never move forward with a physically-demanding task if you are not 100% sure how to execute the directions; this is a bad recipe for disaster.