You wouldn’t bring dull, broken tools to a job, would you? Then why are you inclined to show up to work if your back hurts, or you’re dealing with another seemingly minor health issue?
So many great electricians take a beating from the job’s long hours and physical challenges. Instead of doing the minor things to improve wellness, we press on and ignore the pain. Over time, this die-hard stick to it attitude causes our health to suffer, which directly affects the ability to do our job.
We’ve created a list of the top three serious health issues that electricians experience, and provided tips for how you can prevent these issues from happening to you. Read on to learn more.
1. Low Back Pain
The most common complaint a blue collar worker has is that his or her lower back aches. As electricians, we have to lift heavy objects, squeeze into tight spaces, and spend huge amounts of time on our feet. Just
one of these activities would put pressure on our lumbar region, but we do all three, and more, on any given job.
The older we get and the more time we have on the job, the greater our risk for back injury and chronic back pain. When we do pull a muscle, we need to sit out valuable work days.
How You Can Prevent It: Build your core strength by doing lunges, leg lifts, side planks, and hip bridges. See a chiropractor to help you recover from injury, reduce stiffness, improve
mobility, and decrease pain.
Electricians and other tradesman have a physically demanding schedule. Probably because of this intense workload, many blue collar workers get too fatigued to maintain regular workouts. Lack of exercise can make electricians susceptible to weight gain.
In addition to a less-active lifestyle, many tradesmen need to eat on the go. A job is across town, and it starts at 6 a.m. You head to a breakfast place, grab a black coffee, eat a bacon and egg sandwich. You work
until 12 p.m., then you head to another job. On the way, you eat at a diner. You go to your next job. By the time you get done at 6 p.m., you’re so tired you eat whatever is in your refrigerator. Does this sound familiar?
The food options we have access to are often unhealthy. We eat them largely because we’re running around and needing fuel to make it through the day. Between our lackluster exercise regimen and diet, electricians become prone to obesity, which increases our risk for Type 2 diabetes.
How You Can Prevent It: Prepare your meals in advance, either on your days off or during the evening, and pack them into a lunchbox that you bring to every job. The more available you make
healthy food, the more likely you are to eat it. Minimize how much fried food, desserts, and alcohol you consume. Also, do some light stretching before you go to work and try to exercise three times a week after
3. Heart Disease
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that veteran tradesman are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease or stroke. In particular, strokes were most common in male workers over the age of 55 who are current or former smokers. The CDC explains that work stress, noise, secondhand smoke, and particulate matter exposure negatively impact this population of blue collar workers.
How You Can Prevent It: If you’re a smoker, seek medical treatment to help you quit for good. If you’re not a smoker, try to avoid secondhand smoke. Wear protective gear at all times to
minimize your exposure to particulate matter.
Before you kick off your successful career as an electrician, start implementing some of the healthy habits we’ve outlined. These tips will help you prevent injury and illness, develop a healthy lifestyle, and
sustain your ability to work.
To get information about how you can become a certified electrician, contact the Independent Electrical Contractors of Cincinnati. We run a nationally renowned training, licensing, and apprenticeship program for