What can I do to reduce my risk of knee injury?
- Stretch it out/Micro Breaks
Injuries such as bursitis can result from repetitive movement of the knee or kneeling for long periods. Bursitis is the build-up of fluid over the knee joint and particularly affects people in certain jobs such as floor layers or tillers where constant kneeling is required. Regular ‘micro breaks’ of 10-20 seconds should be taken to extend the leg and allow the knee to return to resting position. This will allow blood flow and decrease the risk of injury.
- Avoid Twisting
Avoid shock loading, sharp movements, or sudden twisting/ changes in direction. Although you may associate twisting with spinal movement, anytime you twist your spine you may also be stressing your knees. Rather than twisting, pivot and shift your feet to face the new direction.
- Raise your work station
Can you add an extension on your tool so you can work at waist height instead of kneeling? Consider work positioning and reduce the risk of injury through adapting your surroundings to your needs. For example, raising the work piece off the ground to avoid kneeling or crouching.
- Use Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment
Using kneeling stools and knee pads have numerous benefits. They’ll make kneeling more comfortable, reduce your risk of cutting and grazing the skin and reduce pressure on your knee and potentially reduce your risk of suffering from knee relation conditions such as bursitis and osteoarthritis later in life.
‘If knee protectors are used, the pressure will be distributed over a greater area of the knee. The direct load on the bursae will thereby be reduced with a consequently reduced risk of developing bursitis’ (Kirkeskov, 1996)
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