VITAMIN D AND YOUR HEALTH
We are all well educated about the dangers of sun damage, however, it might be surprising to hear that covering up too much can also be detrimental to your health. Exposure to sunshine is essential for the production of Vitamin D and in some countries up to a third of the population have inadequate vitamin D stores.
How does it work?
Vitamin is very important for your overall health. You do intake a small amount of vitamin D from your diet, up to 90% is processed by your body from direct exposure to sunlight.
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D plays an essential role in multiple body systems, particularly in bone and muscle health. Vitamin D deficiency in childhood is well known to cause rickets, and if there are long term deficiencies in adults can lead to osteoporosis. Low Vitamin D levels can also be a large predictor o falls, primarily because of reduced muscle strength. Falling when bones are weakened from osteoporosis can also lead to complicated fractures that are difficult to heal. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to depression.
Do you get enough Vitamin D?
When you live in a sunny country this may seem like a given, however, you might be covering up more than you realise. In winter months you do need to spend more time in the sun as the sun is further away and the same is true the further away from the equator you are. Fair-skinned people absorb Vitamin D more easily, and light skin is believed to be an adaptation to help people from colder countries absorb Vitamin D better.
So who is at risk?
Anyone who spends significant periods of time indoors or wears full-coverage clothing. This means that office workers or shift workers who sleep during the day might need frequent check-ups. Fat cells can also hold onto Vitamin D, keeping them from being used by the body leading to a functional deficiency, so being overweight is also a risk factor To see what your Vitamin D levels are, you can check these with a simple blood test. Balancing Vitamin D levels with UV exposure can be a difficult decision, and you can also take supplements. Speak to your GP for more information on your personal risk profile.
None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice.
Preventing Workplace injuries
Why do so many injuries occur in the workplace?
It is simply the nature of work that tasks must often be repeated for hours on end. We are often made to complete these tasks while tired, under time constraints and while stressed. This can lead to less than ideal postures and taking shortcuts to make sure the job is completed on time.
How can workplace injuries be prevented?
There are usually two ways injuries occur, quickly through an accident like a fall or slowly through overused. Overuse injuries are actually the most common and the easiest to prevent. Here are a few tips to help:
- Moving Items
It is important to slow down and assess the risk before starting any heavy lifting. Should you ask someone for help or use a mechanical lifting device? The strongest part of your body is your legs and they should do the bulk of the work where possible. Where possible try to avoid bending and twisting in the middle of a movement, rather take small steps to make your move. Keeping your load close to your body is also helpful, and pushing is always a more efficient movement than pulling if you have a choice.
- Office Setup:
Many office workers find themselves with a surprising number of aches and pains, considering how little physical exertion is required. Taking time to address your work setup can make a huge difference over time, particularly when working from home. One tip is to practise using both right and left hands for taking phone calls and mouse work.
Take note of your posture as well, good posture isn’t necessarily about sitting upright and rigid. It is more about being able to maintain the natural curves of the spine without slouching and being able to move in and out of this position easily. Your physiotherapist is able to provide you with some specialised advice for preventing injuries in your workplace and help to keep you pain and injury-free.
None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your injury.