Workplace Related Pain- “Sitting is the new smoking”

Pain is frequent among employees with repetitive and forceful job tasks.

Neck, shoulder and back pain is common conditions related to work. These static positions contribute to physical load and pain. Prolonged sitting also slows the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.


Consequences of Injuries:


  • * Depression
  • * Anger
  • * Early signs of ageing due to stress
  • * Potential negative effects on family or relationship


  • * Leave work
  • * Absentee
  • * Worker’s Compensation
  • * Lost productivity
  • * Retraining of staff


Lowering the physical exposure through participatory ergonomic interventions may represent a strategy to reduce musculoskeletal loading intensity and/or rehabilitate musculoskeletal pain.


Why Ergonomics?

  • * Prevent Injuries
  • * Improve Functionality
  • * Improve Body Awareness


So, what must we do?



20/20/20 Rule

  • * Every 20 minutes
  • * Stand for 20 seconds
  • * Look 20 feet away from your screen


Do regular stretches


Ergonomic changes:

Bookstand/document holder

Standing desks

Foot rest

External keyboard and mouse

Lumbar Support

Laptop stand

Monitor raiser


Masks: What you need to know

Why should we wear masks?                              

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the South African government have enforced wearing cloth/fabric face masks.  A cloth/fabric face mask is not intended to protect the wearer but could prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to those around them.

Please take note that that the recommended cloth/fabric face masks are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Surgical masks and N-95 respirators are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical practitioners.

A fabric face mask should not be placed on children under the age of 2 years, anyone who is struggling to breathe, incapacitated, unconscious or unable to remove the mask independently.


 How do masks decrease the risk of covid-19 spreading?

Masks reduce airborne transmission. Infected particles are released during breathing, speaking, coughing and sneezing.  By wearing a mask, the risk for expelling infected particles is decreased.

Fabric face masks should always be used in combination with other hygienic methods of prevention (washing hands, social distancing etc.)




How to wash fabric masks?

According to the WHO and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), cloth/fabric masks must be washed before first use and after every use.  You should always wash your mask when it is soiled or dirty.

Thus, they recommend that each person has at least two masks – one in use and another either in the wash or ready for use.

Machine wash:  temperature above 60 degrees is recommended. The mask may be washed with other laundry items.  Use normal detergent.

Hand wash:  use warm soapy water and soak for 5 minutes.  Rinse with cool water.

Drying masks:

  • Hang in direct sunlight OR
  • Tumble dry on the highest temperature setting

Iron your mask after it has dried.

Remember to remove any filters before every wash and replace before next use or wash.  Then re-use according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step-by-step guide to wear a fabric mask

  1. Wash your hands before touching your mask.
  2. Inspect the mask to see if it is dirty or damaged and DO NOT wear it if it is.
  3. Cover your mouth, chin and nose with the cloth part of the mask at all times.
  4. Adjust the elastics to fit around your head or ears and make sure the mask has a snug fit on your face – with no gaps between your skin and the mask.
  5. Avoid touching the mask or your face at all times.
  6. Wash your hands before removing the mask.
  7. Remove the mask by only touching the elastics behind your head or ears and pull the mask away from your face.
  8. Store the mask in a clean, dry bag if you plan on using it again, or pop it into the wash to be cleaned, at least once a day.
  9. Wash your hands again after handling the mask.


  • Do not wear a mask that is dirty or damaged.
  • Do not wear a mask that is too loose on your face.
  • Do not wear your mask under your nose or around your neck.
  • Do not remove your mask if you are around people and cannot maintain a distance of 1m from others.
  • Do not share your mask with others.
  • VISORS do not replace masks. Visors simply protect you from oncoming respiratory droplets – they do not stop the spread of your own respiratory droplets. If wearing a visor, a mask needs to be worn at all times.









Tips for exercising with a face mask on

A few months ago, the idea of going out to run with your nose and mouth completely covered wouldn’t have even crossed our minds. It would have actually have seemed a bit ridiculous. But since the government made it law that a person must wear a face mask which covers the nose and mouth when in a public space to help slow the spread of COVID-19, strapping on a mask after lacing up has become a reality.

Like so many aspects of life within the pandemic, masked running takes some getting used to. You may notice that your pace is slightly slower than usual, or you feel fatigued faster.

Compared with normal breathing, wearing any kind of protective mask decreases the flow of air into your lungs. Less oxygen in your lungs means less oxygen in your bloodstream and your working muscles, which is what makes training more difficult.

Anyone, even those who have a relatively high level of fitness, should expect to fatigue faster when exercising with a face mask. The good news is that over a few weeks, your body will adapt by becoming more efficient at metabolizing oxygen.

Should you start to feel lightheaded, dizzy and have shortness of breath while exercising with a mask on, stop and take a rest until the symptoms have past. Taking deeper, slower breaths will also help.

Face masks vary in their levels of airflow restriction, depending on the type and thickness of material. When exercising try use a mask made of thinner material, or one which fits slightly looser over your face and will give less resistance when breathing.

So, if you’re feeling discouraged by a tough masked run, there is reassurance knowing that it’ll probably pay off down the line. With races cancelled and postponed, now isn’t the time to try and smash your PR. Try on maintaining a running routine that feels manageable, supports your mental health, and allows you to adhere to social distancing rules.