“If you have a body, you are an athlete”
– Bill Bowerman
Nike’s founder’s famous quote resonates well with their target population- those individuals that don’t see themselves as athletes simply because they aren’t a part of an organized sport or aren’t getting paid to play sports. However, if we really think about it, this quote should resonate well with each and every single one of us. In this case, we aren’t reading this quote as a marketing ploy to get us to buy new sneakers or gym clothes, but rather as a reminder that we don’t need to be playing organized sport to treat our bodies like an athlete does.
Industrial Athlete is a term that is used to describe those individuals that either currently work -or in the past have worked- in strenuous jobs or partake in strenuous activity throughout the day. There is much to be said about how our jobs can take a toll on our bodies over time- whether our job requires us to sit at a desk for long hours of the day or lift heavy objects day in and day out.
Ignoring the small aches and pains that we experience throughout the day believing that they are just a part of everyday life or that we’re “just getting old” is not the answer.
Despite the high demands that life imposes on us, it’s a wonder how- and more importantly why- we don’t take care of our bodies like our favorite basketball or football players do before they go to work. Physical Therapy is a common part of athletes’ daily lives. There are countless numbers of construction workers that wake up in the wee hours of the morning and immediately go to work lifting, carrying, and climbing for hours of the day. There are even more office workers that sit or stand at an office desk for nearly 8 hrs of the day without rest or reprieve. It is these same individuals, and many other professions in similar situations, that are at greater risk for injury in the long term. This is not to say that we should quit our jobs in favor of a comfy carefree life that places no stress on our minds and bodies (as amazing as that sounds). What we should do, however, is make sure that we are adequately taking care of our bodies during and outside of work time to put us in a better position to live pain free lives now and in the future.
This recognition that each and every one of us (even us physical therapists) are industrial athletes is the first step to injury prevention. Developing healthy habits like exercise, stretching, warming up, and eating correctly is the hardest part of the process, but one that has lasting and wide-reaching effects across all aspects of our lives. As industrial athletes, we need to recognize that we work upwards of 40-60 hours a week and need to prepare for that load on our bodies if we want to live free of pain with a high quality of life.
Check out our post on a few warm up exercises and stretches that you can incorporate at home or at work. Of course, it is wise to speak to your PCP or Physical Therapist before engaging in new activity.
If you need motivation, tips, or are in pain while attempting to keep your body fit and energized, WE CAN HELP!
Our goal at Universus PT is to get and KEEP people HAPPY, HEALTHY and MOBILE, today and for the long term. Pain can certainly keep you from applying these concepts but that does not have to be the case. Identifying the ROOT CAUSE of the reason you cannot exercise, stretch, etc. will help to get you moving forward.
If you are looking for help, you can:
Call us: 631-533-2888.
Visit our website: www.universuspt.com.
***We frequently provide free health advice on our social media outlets, be sure to follow!