Physical Fitness

Physical Fitness, as Defined by Wikipedia:

"Physical fitness is a general state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. Physical fitness is generally achieved through proper nutrition, moderate-vigorous physical exercise, and sufficient rest."

What is interesting is that before the industrial revolution, fitness was defined as "the capacity to carry out the day's activities without undue fatigue." Although with the recent huge leaps in technology and automation, we have created changes in lifestyles. In present times, physical fitness is considered more of a measure of the body's ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities rather than more industrial daily activities. Physical fitness means to be healthy, to resist diseases, and to be functional in emergency situations.

When it comes to physical jobs of today, I believe the previous definition still rings true and workers should be able to carry out the day's activities without undue fatigue. As safety professionals, we work hard to ensure our employees health and safety and send them home in one piece at the end of the day. However, as muscle strains and sprains continue to be at the top of the list for injuries, it is evident that many employees experience undue fatigue.

What's your definition of physical fitness?

As much as we want employees to resist diseases, the external factors of fitness and health are often the easiest to improve. Assessments of posture and functional movement are helpful as external indicators of physical fitness. These assessments can be incorporated in Post-offer Employment Testing (POET) or Physical Capacity Evaluations (PCE). Movement assessments are most helpful to the employee when results are shared for their knowledge and benefit.

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