Athlete : a person who is trained in or is good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength, as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary
Occupational therapy has become a huge business in the U.S. due to injuries obtained on the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says:
‘Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for ‘Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accounted for 33 percent of all injury and illness cases in 2013. Nursing assistants, laborers, freight, stock, and material movers incurred the highest number of MSD cases in 2013. MSD cases accounted for 53 percent of total cases that occurred to nursing assistants in 2013.’
There are hundreds of jobs that require physical strength, stamina, and motor skills. Construction laborers carry 80 pound bags of concrete across a job site. Cell tower climbers climb over 300 feet to get to their job. Lifeguards, nurses, security officers, irrigation techs, linemen, firefighters, the list goes on and on. This article is about these men and women, the forgotten athletes. The ones who use their bodies 40 plus hours a week to support their families. Because, somehow in the grand scheme of things they’ll blindly overlook the price that they pay with their bodies after years of hard, exhausting work, day in day out.
And to make matters worse the Center for Disease Control says;
‘The survey revealed that only 20.6 percent of people met the total recommended amounts of exercise — about 23 percent of all surveyed men and 18 percent of surveyed women. People most likely to exercise were between the ages of 18 and 24 (almost 31 percent of exercisers).’
Because only 20.6 percent exercise regularly, more people need to get involved with functional fitness. Weight training alone doesn’t provide enough for a worker’s lifestyle. Workers will benefit from functional fitness training. Workers who’s job requires physical abilities automatically puts that worker into the athlete category. Regular functional training would prevent many of those injuries that make up the 33%. Most of the time the injury occurred as a result due to poor range of motion, weakness, obesity, or an imbalance in the body. Having a job with healthcare is nice, not having to use it is even nicer.
Getting involved in fitness will increase job longevity, create a healthy attitude, and let’s face it, more attractive overall. Furthermore, your fitness may even be called upon one day to rescue a co-worker, so be ready. From my own experiences as a ‘hard working Joe’, getting hurt sucks and not being able to perform a task is even worse. Get into fitness my friends – your job as an athlete depends on it.