At a time where chronic disease and workplace injuries are sky-rocketing, the Australian Physiotherapy Association encourages tradies ‘keep fit and healthy’ as a life goal and to help them sustain an active life until retirement.
Troy Morgan, owner of Willows Health Centre said, “Australians born after 1965 will have to work until they are 70 and for some, that is not a problem, but for many tradies who need to maintain a high level of physical fitness, this can be quite a challenge. We are helping raise awareness to help tradies stay healthy for life.”
In a 2008 to 2011 study carried out by Work Health Victoria, an amazing 33 per cent of males working in the construction industry were discovered to be more likely to have high blood pressure and 45 per cent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Also, body stressing accounted for 34 per cent of all work related injury claims, with muscular stress, while handling a range of materials and equipment, being the major cause.
No one knows better than Rodney Vagg, who suffered a workplace injury and now talks to groups on why staying healthy and fit is so important. “If you are injured it maybe the level of fitness or health you present with at emergency that saves or kills you. Prior to my accident I smoked, did not wear dust protection for 20 years of work in dusty stockyards and operating open-air earthmoving machinery. It was not the broken C7 vertebrae, smashed wrist or the severed spinal cord that nearly killed me. It was the poor condition of my lungs, which resulted in a week on life support and five weeks on a ventilator”.
The message is quite simple and is especially true for those working with heavy equipment, in the outdoors and who are required to be quite physical in their roles – stay fit, be healthy and ask for help when you need it. Work injuries can impact an entire family and community.