Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Standing Hazards - Women workers

Health Complications Which May Result in Female Workers Who Stand for a Longer Period of Time
Dr. B.R.M. Samaratunga (M.D.)

Women Workers who stands for longer hours at work place are prone to develop health conditions such as musculoskeletal disorders, varicose veins, heart and circulatory problems and pregnancy difficulties. The most frequently and commonly complained symptoms are discomfort, fatigue and swelling in the lower limbs. Standing hazards

· Pain:

o Physical pain – musculoskeletal disorders

o Swollen and painful limbs mainly lower limbs.

o Joint pains (increased risk of knee and him arthritis)

o Neck and shoulder stiffness

· Poor posture (and its effects)

· Plantar fasciitis

· Stretched Achilles tendon. Flat feet and heal spurs

· Varicose veins

· Poor circulation

· Increased risk of carotid atherosclerosis and stroke

· Pregnancy difficulties

· Mental distress and depression which may result due to long term pain. 

Varicose veins are a common complication of standing for a longer periods of time. Standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body and this in return makes enlarges the veins and bulge out. Varicose veins add a higher risk to circulatory problems.

Even though any vein could become varicose, the most affected are veins on legs. These veins could also get infected or become chronic and painful. It may even cause serious acute illnesses that may need urgent medical help. (Thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism)

Chronic heart disease and circulatory disorders are linked to prolonged standing at work. Prolonged time in an upright posture at work may cause hypertension comparable to 20 years of aging. Strong evidence linking prolonged standing at work to an increased risk of heart problems and stroke has recently come to light. Researchers have linked prolonged standing to an increased risk of carotid atherosclerosis, which in turn can cause an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.[1]

Muscular pains, soreness and numbness of lower limbs, swollen joints and arthritis of hip and knee joints will result in temporarily immobilized or locked joints. This can later result in rheumatic disease too.

Having these work place and work related issues will not only give physical pain but also may alter one’s day to day living and activities. Being in pain for a long term may also add a mental stressor to one’s life. This will create a psycho - social hazard in worker’s life that may ultimately lead to a depressive state.

Some of these medical issues will occur later in life but in return will add a physically and mentally disordered population to the society.

[1] (Krause N and others. Standing at work and progression of carotid atherosclerosis, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, vol.26, no.3, pages 227-36, 2000.)
2. McCulloch J. Health risks associated with prolonged standing. Work, vol.19, no.2, pages 201-5, 2002.
3. Tüchsen F, Krause N and others. Standing at work and varicose veins, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, vol.2 no.5, pages 414-20, 2000.

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