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Working without pain: learn the best practices to adopt

How awareness of our posture and movements can improve our health.




Musculoskeletal health refers to the performance of the locomotor system, which comprises our muscles, bones, joints and adjacent connective tissues. The term “musculoskeletal disorders” (MSDs) covers more than 150 different diseases and conditions, characterised by locomotor system impairments, often persistent pain and limitations in mobility and dexterity. These can reduce our capacity to work, our levels of well-being and our ability to participate in society.

MSDs are on the rise and are the leading contributor to disability worldwide, with lower back pain being the single leading cause. The World Health Organization (WHO)* estimates that approximately 1.71 billion people have musculoskeletal conditions worldwide. In France, MSDs have increased by 60% since 2003**.

The origin of most MSDs lies in a mismatch between the external load and the capacity of the human body to resist biomechanical and physiological strain. Ergonomics, but also rest and recovery, nutrition, hydration and fitness all play an important role in mitigating the risk of developing MSDs.

We are all potentially exposed to MSDs, whatever the nature of our work. We can actively help reduce the risk for ourselves by being aware, adopting a few simple habits and making sure our workplace is correctly designed and organised.

The prevention of MSDs falls within the remit of the CERN Medical Service, which offers workplace visits, provides dedicated advice and runs awareness campaigns.  

In this context, the Medical Service is organising an awareness campaign on 1 June in Restaurant 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will include advice on posture and demonstrations of simple tricks and ergonomic adjustments that may help improve comfort and health at work. Further, a series of short muscular awakening exercise classes will take place on 6 June from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. in Building 40.

All the details of the 1 June campaign and the schedule for the 6 June muscular awakening exercise classes, as well as brochures and further information, can be found at: https://hse.cern/content/ergonomics.

* https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/musculoskeletal-conditions  

** Comprendre les troubles musculo-squelettiques | ameli.fr | Assuré