With 3.9 million Australians living with Arthritis, this figure is expected to rise to 5.4 million suffers by 2030.
It’s quite common to hear people talking about arthritis, but what is it?
Arthritis is a result of worn out or damaged cartilage around joints. Cartilage acts to protect the joints, so the joints don’t rub together when you move or use them. With arthritis, the cartilage is damaged, either from injury or overuse and causes pain and stiffness in the joint. Arthritis treatment costs $5.5 billion each year, including the cost of health treatment as well as lost productivity. Arthritis is also one of the leading causes of disability and early retirement and costs the Government over $1.1 billion in welfare costs annually. Arthritis can be painful and can limit people with what they can do, with some people unable to return to work due to pain caused by the disease.
The Arthritis Foundation are asking the government to consider funding specific programs involving education and exercise to allow suffers to return to work as well as improving symptoms. They claim that it could save up to $170 million for the health care system annually. Costs of the disease would decrease as the exercise program can be beneficial in improving symptoms as research suggests that exercise can help improve this. For example, strength training can strengthen muscles around joints to reduce some of the strain and stress on the joints.
Being proactive such as implementing correct technique during manual tasks can be of benefit as in many cases arthritis can be due to overuse of a particular joint. With many of us relying on our bodies at work for lifting and moving objects, it’s important to be aware of how you are completing each task, as poor technique could lead to injury. Being overweight or obese can also contribute to arthritis. Did you know that when you complete everyday tasks like running or walking upstairs, the forces can reach six to 10 times your body weight? For every kilogram you are overweight, three extra kilograms of pressure is placed on the knees. Even when you are walking, you are still contributing forces through your body.
We conduct several modules for ergonomics for your workplace. Get in contact with us today to find out more about the programs we run and how they could benefit your employees.