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Tradies National Health Month

Tradies National Health Month

It’s Tradies National Health Month and as physios we always want to help prevent injuries for all our clients. So as part of this month we’re encouraging all our tradies to get active and get checked.

If you’re a tradie no doubt you make sure your tools and ute are in top shape but what about your biggest asset – you? The best way to look after you is get fitter and stronger and be aware of ways to prevent injury.

Tradies National Health Month

Get Fitter

Throughout Tradies National Health Month why not challenge yourself to increase your step count. There are great devices on the market to keep track of your steps (Fitbit, Garmin to name a few) and they can help to keep you accountable and motivated. A simple goal can be to increase your steps by 10% each week throughout Tradies National Health Month. You might even find this becomes a habit and you continue past August.

Another simple trick is to increase your incidental exercise throughout the day. Park further from your site, hop off the bus one stop early or walk around the block when you get lunch are just a few simple examples of ways to increase daily activity.

You could even go a step further and sign up your fellow tradies to a local sports competition and improve mental and physical health and team bonding. It’s win win!

Get Stronger

In such a physically demanding job it pays to be strong. Not only does it make the job easier but can also reduce the risk of injury and pain. With heavy lifting, carrying, overhead activity and squatting many muscles need to remain strong to protect your joints. Joining a gym can definitely help but there are also exercises you can do at home with no equipment (or even use your tools) so there’s no excuse. Our physios can tailor an exercise program for your work tasks to make you stronger.

Prevent Injury

Unfortunately nearly 3 in 5 serious workplace injuries involve a tradie so it’s important we’re looking after your physical wellness. Obviously ensuring your tools and equipment are in safe working condition but ensuring your body is in great working condition is equally as important.

Learning how to do manual tasks safely, pre-work warm-ups and setting up your workplace ergonomically can help to prevent back injuries, knee pain and many other injuries.

Get Checked

Finally if you are suffering from an ache or injury make sure you get it checked. Your body is vital to your work and to not be on you’re A game can lead to other aches, pains and injuries and might lead to time off work. Our physios can assess and treat your injury/pain and give you simple strategies to make your work day pain-free.

Continue to check out of Facebook page and blog throughout Tradies National Health Month for more advice on how to look after yourself.

Best desk setup

Tips for your best desk setup

Many clients ask us about the best desk setup to prevent pain and injury. But have you considered changing your computer workstation recently or thought it was time to change those bad work habits you have developed? Poor workspace design or posture can lead to discomfort in our back, neck, shoulders and wrists.

These are our tips for your best desk setup either at home or in the office:

Adjustable Chair

  • Change the height to keep your feet flat on the floor with your hips and knees bent to approximately 90deg (you may need a foot rest!)
  • Try to have a chair with back support that can be adjusted to support the natural curve of your lower back


  • Bring it close to you – directly in front of your body
  • Aim to have your forearms parallel or sloping down to the keyboard without resting them on the desk


  • Keep this close to your body (similar to your keyboard); you don’t want to be reaching for the mouse
  • If possible, alternate between left and right hands to reduce overuse

Computer Monitor

  • Monitor screen should be approximately one arms length away from you when sitting – directly in front of you
  • The top of the monitor should be 5-10cm above seated eye height

Do you have 2 monitors?

  • If you use dual monitors equally – sit centrally, directly between both to reduce neck tension from repetitive turning to one side
  • If you use one monitor more frequently and occasionally use a second monitor – have the priority monitor directly in front of you

Helpful Hints:

  • Use a document holder to avoid working from documents flat on your desk
  • Have your phone within comfortable, easy reach if used frequently (maybe even consider a ‘hands-free’ headsets option?)
  • Re-arrange your desk so frequently used items are close (within arms reach)
  • Can you ‘touch type’? Maybe it’s time to learn? It might be gentler on your neck instead of repetitively looking down
  • Try to take regular breaks – maybe take a short walk around the office or have a 2 minute stretching break every 30 minutes

If you’re still wondering how to help prevent pain and injury from working at a desk despite having the best desk setup have a read of our recent blog on exercises to undo the effects of a day at the office.

The Benefits of Resistance Training

Some of us shy away from resistance training – we don’t want to get ‘bulky’, it’s too hard, or it’s just not for me. But there are so many benefits of resistance training. When we talk about resistance training we are not just talking about going to the gym and pumping iron. Resistance training can incorporate your own body weight, resistance bands, weights or weight machines or anything you have lying around the house you can utilise!

So, why should we incorporate resistance training into our lives? There are so many benefits to our bodies including:

  • Increasing muscle strength to protect our bones and joints from injury. Stronger muscles carry the weight and stress of your movements, reducing the impact on your joints and bones.
  • Increase bone density and strength to reduce the risk of osteoporosis or bony injuries. Not only does resistance training help with bone strength it can help with balance preventing fractures associated with falls.
  • Increase the strength and thickness of ligaments and tendons to protect our joints.
  • Disc health for our back. With resistance training (body, free weights and machine weights) we’re building our ability to take load through our spine without injury.
  • Increasing general health and well-being. Including weight management, lowering blood pressure, managing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, depression and obesity.

So whether you’re a runner, a mum, office worker or retired you can be loading your body! Remember you should always load progressively and seek advice from your physiotherapist, trainer or doctor if this is new to you!

Want to start your resistance training today? Join one of our Pilates classes to start reaping the benefits of resistance training. Click here to see our timetable.

If you have any questions get in contact with our lovely team to book a consult today!

How to prevent injury for an endurance event

With an active community of clients and ourselves having participated in trail runs/walks we understand the importance of preparation and injury prevention. Nothing can be more disappointing than putting in all the training only to pull out of your event due to injury. We’ve put together some simple tips to ensure you get the most out of your event.

  1. Preparation

It might seem simple but the most frequent comment from walkers who visited us at the physio tent at Coastrek 2018 was that they hadn’t trained enough. Many walkers thought “it’s only walking, I can do that” but when do we ever do 30km or 60km walk in 1 day or multiple days of walking if you’re preparing for an adventure tour. Your feet, legs and body need to get used to walking long distances to understand where you might feel niggles, what energy you require for that distance, how much water will you need to drink. These are all important factors that can stop you in your tracks on event day but are so easy to find out during training walks. Put together a training plan, grab a friend to keep you accountable and you will fly through the event knowing you’ve given it your best with the amount of preparation you did.The right gear

2. The Right Gear

Again being prepared and discovering during the training walks what gear is best for your body is going to prevent injury on event day.  Most of us know the importance of wearing in new shoes, but what if we have the wrong shoes. There are great shoe stores with knowledgeable staff who can help select the best footwear for you to prevent blisters, plantar fasciitis or tendonopathies (to name a few). Likewise you may find during training your knees start to hurt, this is where walking poles can help to take some of the load off your knees particularly when climbing stairs or descending hills.

3. Strength training

This is where your physio can help you be event ready. The stronger your legs and core the less likely you will suffer an injury. We’ve included a few key exercises we recommend for our clients who are training for endurance events.

Calf raises:

Start in a balanced stance with your feet shoulder width apart and then raise yourself up on your toes as high as possible, keeping your ankles straight and not rolling in or out. This can be done standing on both feet or just one foot.
Return back to the starting position. Repeat 10 x for 3 sets


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
Engage your core muscles and gently squat down. 

Bend your knees, pushing your hips back behind you and leaning your body forwards, as though you are about to sit on the chair. Make sure your knees don’t come forwards of your toes, or come closer together. Repeat 10 x for 3 sets


Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. 
Tighten your buttock muscles and lift your hips up into the bridge position. 
Make sure you keep your hips up and level throughout the movement. Repeat 10 x for 3 sets.

Sit ups:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.  Place hands behind your head.

Draw in your deep abdominals and lift your chest/upper torso until your shoulder blades are just resting on the mat.

Make sure your spine stays in neutral, not flattening or arching.  Your neck and shoulders should be relaxed, and the weight of your head resting in your hands. Repeat 10 x for 3 sets.

You shouldn’t experience any pain with these exercises so if you do please chat with your physio.

4. Address the niggles

Nothing is better than addressing your aches and pains before they become full blown injuries. If something feels tight or stiff a remedial massage can help but if that area starts to become painful see your physio straight away. With some treatment and exercises your niggle can go away and not stop you from completing your event.

5. Have fun

We’re hearing a lot about the benefits of mindfulness and mental wellbeing on pain. With a positive outlook on event day what can be seen by the brain as a threat or injury (but is actually just muscle soreness) can be overcome through having fun with your peers. The power of positive thinking is true and will get you through those hard kms to the finish line. And even better your achievement might even get you forgetting the pain and signing up for next year.

We look forward to supporting Coastrek 2019 and if you need any physio before the event please get in touch with us at Physio On Miller, Cammeray.

Five Health and Safety Tips for Tradies

August is Tradies National Health Month and here are our five health and safety tips for tradies.

According to research by the Australian Physiotherapy Association:

  • Tradies account for 58% of all serious injury/disease claims but only make up 30% of the workforce
  • 79% of tradies said they took good care of their tools compared to only 47% of tradies who said they looked after their body
  • The most common cause of injury is muscular stress caused by lifting, carrying, or putting objects down with back pain being the most common site of injury

Our five health and safety tips for tradies are:

  1. Make time for regular physio and doctors appointments – if something hurts or you’re concerned about a health issue it’s always best to get it seen to earlier rather than later. What can be a niggle can quickly become a chronic injury. With repetitive lifting, sustained postures and heavy lifting your body is under a lot of strain. And remember prevention is always better than a cure so even booking in a regular massage can help to relieve any muscular tension.
  2. Keep fit and strong – although your job is physical it is still important to maintain your fitness and strength. Going to the gym or establishing a home program working on your core strength, leg and arm muscles can help reduce the load on your joints and prevent injury.
  3. Be sun safe – with a lot of work being outdoors sun protection is vital. Try to do as much work in the shade or plan your day to get those jobs outside done early or late in the day.
  4. Protect yourself – whether it be wearing protective gear, learning safer ways to lift or taking regular breaks make sure you’re responsible for your own health and safety at work.
  5. Eat healthy food – it’s not only what’s happening on the outside that’s important it’s what you’re taking inside your body too. Swap burgers and pies for healthy protein filled salads, fresh fruit and lots of water and not only will you look better but you’ll also feel better.