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Have a physically demanding job? Look after your body as you get older

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If you work in a physically demanding job, your body is the tool you rely on to support yourself and your family. What happens when it stops working?

It’s a question many Australians are left to answer, especially as they get older.

Needless to say, a big part of the problem is our tendency to ignore health problems in the hope they’ll go away.

A 2018 survey commissioned by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), showed that not only are almost a quarter of tradies not seeking help from a professional for an injury early enough, they treat their equipment better than their bodies.

It’s not just tradies, either. Countless jobs require spending long hours on your feet without a break. It’s also work like nursing and aged care, where your body is often bending, twisting and lifting.

Whether you’re worried about a sore back, or are feeling constantly worn out, here are some strategies for looking after the most important tool you have: your body.

Working with niggles and injuries will catch up with you

Across the Australian economy, work-related injury and disease is estimated to cost more than $60 billion each year — and workers are often left to bear the costs.

“[They’ll say:] ‘Now, I’m just managing a sore back every day. I didn’t realise what was at stake’.”

While injury rates are consistently falling over time, there’s still a long way to go.

Part of it is culture, add Mr Hall, who chairs the APA’s occupational physio group.

Tradespeople and labourers, especially when young, can feel pressure to “be a hero”, Mr Hall says. It might be refusing to ask for help while carrying a load, or coming to work despite an injury.

A construction worker pours cement or concrete using a pipe.
Tradespeople — especially those who are self-employed — often delay seeking treatment for injuries or niggles.(Unsplash: Yury Kim)

Published by the ABC to read more open the attached link

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