February Focus

This month’s focus is on muscoskeletal disorders.

Musculoskeletal disorders can affect muscles, joints and tendons in all parts of the body. Most work-related muscoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) develop over time. They can manifest in random episodes or cause chronic consistent pain. Additionally they can progress from mild to severe disorders. These disorders are seldom life threatening but they impair the quality of life of a large proportion of the adult population. Work-related disorders can develop in an occupational setting due to the physical tasks with which individuals carry out their normal work activities.


WRMSDs are associated with work patterns that include: 

  • Fixed or constrained body positions
  • Continual repetition of movements
  • Force concentrated on small parts of the body such as the hand or wrist
  • A pace of work that does not allow sufficient recovery between movements

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) mainly comprise:

  • work related upper limb disorders (WRULDs) from repetitive tasks              
  • back injuries from repetitive or awkward lifting.
  • Wrist and tendon injuries


Current figures gathered from 2018-19 report that 498,000 workers are suffering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders (new or longstanding) and 6.9 million working days were lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

For solutions to assess the risks and ensure you have effective plans in place to mitigate the risks you can of course call Silk Safety Ltd to support you. But where the problems have already manifested you should make sure your employees have access to competent healthcare assistance. One source we would heartily recommend would be Andrew Noble of Silveroak Therapies who kindly provided this month’s guest article below.

The Perpetual Flight to Cuba

It is a fact we are all becoming increasingly aware of now days that a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to various health problems. Indeed, a survey by AXA PPP Healthcare found that of 2000 office workers; 73% reported having musculoskeletal problems, such as; back, shoulder, and neck pain.

Why do so many office workers develop these problems? It is not surprising given that 46% of the population spend between 4-6 hours a day sitting, with 25% sitting for 7-8 hours a day at their desks. In addition to that, it is not uncommon for people to spend between 30 minutes to 2 hours commuting with another 2-3 hours of sitting once they get home.

That is an incredible 9 hours a day that we spend sitting, on average!

Sometimes these problems can be relieved with simple steps, such as; ensuring you change position every half hour or so, maybe go and get a glass of water or a cup of coffee, or raising you seat height so that your knees are lower than your hips to encourage a less slouchy desk posture. However, when these issues start affecting your quality of life and getting in the way of things you want to do, it’s time to get in touch with a health and wellness professional such as an osteopath.

Osteopaths are regulated and registered healthcare professionals who provide care based on the needs of the individual patient and so varies depending on age, fitness levels and diagnosis. Osteopaths use a wide range of gentle hands-on techniques that focus on stretching muscles and improving mobility by releasing tension and ensuring proper movement of joints and muscles, allowing you to return to work as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about whether osteopathy can help you and your workplace, please get in contact with Andrew Noble M.Ost of Silveroak Therapies at [email protected] or call: 07833 471 280.

And finally, why is this article called The Perpetual Flight To Cuba? Well, because the 9 hours we spend, on average, sitting is the same length of time as a flight from London to Cuba.