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Arthritis in the Workplace

Defining Arthritis

Arthritis isn’t just a disease – it is a multi-billion dollar industry. Avoidable and unnecessary knee operations is going to surge by 525% in the next two decades. You read it right – five hundred and twenty five percent. This awful condition comes with excruciating pain and also brings with it depression, withdrawal from family and friends, and due to a lack of sleep, feeling like a zombie at work.

Did you know that Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Heart disease and Arthritis are all linked to excessive inflammation? Inflammation are conditions where the body tries to defend itself against infection or where it tries to repair damage.  When joints are damaged, your body will flood the area with plasma and white blood cells. This will cause swelling and over-stimulate the nerves which will intensify the pain.  Is inflammation the silent Killer?

Why Arthritis is a Concern in the Workplace

Arthritis KILLS and is now the #1 most common disease in most Countries. The Centre for Disease Control reported that 1 in 6 people have arthritis and even kids are getting it. Data reveals that the prevalence to develop both Diabetes and Arthritis together was highest for the age group of 18 to 44 – NOT – the seniors. They are the people at the Workplace. When workers are unhealthy, their diminished performance will affect other coworkers. Some activities are difficult for people with Arthritis and employee performance can vary from day to day

How Arthritis can affect Work Performance

Arthritis affects productivity and causes sick leave days due to pain. Also, it will affect work performance as some activities are difficult for people with Arthritis.

Many people feel that they have to compensate for the disease and will the go the extra mile by working longer hours. Some will work during breaks to complete tasks and sacrifice their vacation – just to keep their job.

Understanding the Needs of Employees with Arthritis

Arthritis sufferers know all too well that the disease may affect almost every aspect of their lives, and work is no exception. They need to find ways to effectively manage Arthritis in the Workplace. Staying on the job is one of the best prescriptions for sufferers of these disorders as they have a strong commitment to work.

Sufferers have a need to be viewed as inclusive in the workplace and this will boost morale.

The support of Management and Colleagues are one of the most important things for suffers to thrive in the Workplace. Over time Employees needs may change.

Things Employees identify as making it difficult to cope with Arthritis in the Workplace

High levels of depression and anxiety were reported by patients suffering from Arthritis. A recent report shows Arthritis sufferers experience sleep disruption quite frequently and research has shown that 90% of people with Arthritis are limited at what they can do at work

Many people have to decline advancement opportunities because of their Arthritis. The majority of sufferers stay quiet about their condition for fear of it affecting their job status. Sufferers are often concerned about cost to Employers. Emotional barriers will result in being unwilling to accept help. There might also be a problem with feelings of guilt and fear that they have used all the available support while impacting on their self-image at the same time.

Even if you work in an office, basic tasks and just sitting in one place for long periods of time can be challenging when joints stiffen.

Pain Management and Remedies

Keeping tabs on stress is one of the most effective and simplest ways to control arthritis pain. Studies have also shown that people who exercise the most have the lowest levels of inflammation. To jumpstart your body’s innate self-healing the following natural remedies will be of benefit – garlic is on the list of super foods and puts the brakes on arthritis. Ginger and green tea is in a class of its own to protect rebuild damaged joints according to the University of Michigan Medical School.  Bromelin in pineapples are also a compound fighting inflammation. Extra virgin olive oils is considered a natural pain killer while red wine is filled with amazing nutrients. Lastly, the superstar Turmeric is a must have to combat inflammation.

Antioxidants or immune boosters is powerful in alleviating Arthritis and pain. Free radicals trigger the #1 cause of almost every disease: Inflammation!  Immune boosters are flying off the shelves because it holds the secret on controlling inflammation. A better Immune system will change the body’s ph to a more alkaline state where the body will start healing itself as it was designed to do.

Managing Arthritis

Nutrition and Arthritis are tied together more closely than most Physicians care to know. There is a saying: “You are what you eat” A healthy diet is the fundamental step that reduces inflammation and melts away Arthritis. To keep inflammation under control, make sure that most of your carbs for the day are at 50 grams or less. As a rule, any foods with carbs, has a high glycemic index. Women with high glycemic index diet, has twice the amount of chronic inflammation than those that eat mostly a low glycemic index diet. Fats can be your best Friend or your Worst Enemy. Saturated fats and Trans fats are linked to inflammation.

Simply by tossing out high glycemic index foods and bad fats, taking omega 3 and 6 products, getting exercise and reducing stress, you’ve already won half of the arthritis battle. Make sure to stay hydrated with water as water lubricates joints so as to move more freely.

The Arthritis Foundation also offers a large number of programs and services to make life with arthritis easier and less painful. They will have many practical tips on how to deal with the condition while the key treatment is to maintain mobility.

Social Responsibility

Most Employers should consider support measures in making Resources available to their Employees. This need not be a costly exercise as most Corporates have a Social Responsibility Program. If this could be utilized to support their own Employees, where they can provide an excellent immune booster to their employees, there will be the following benefits to the Employer:

Less Absenteeism

More energy to staff equals better production

Less training of staff to fill vacancies, and the list can go on and on.

But the greatest of all this, is to have the potential to transform the health and lives of people within

Your own organization and community.

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