April 2020 | News

Looking after your physical and
mental health during the
Coronavirus outbreak

Taking care of your physical and mental health during this uncertain time is important. That’s why we’ve teamed up with our partners, Australian Physiotherapy Association and Beyond Blue, to provide you with the latest resources available to you to help with good physical and mental health.

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Physical Health Tips from Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA)

Whether you are working from home or in the office, here are some simple tips from the APA to help maintain good physical health during the Coronavirus outbreak.

A Tradie’s most valuable asset is their health. The Australian Physiotherapy Association also has a library of resources and practical videos on keeping fit and healthy on the worksite. Click here to view some short and helpful pre-work warm up stretches, tips for safe manual handling and how an Occupational Physiotherapist can assist you and your workamates.

  • Workstation essentials set-up:
    • Desk: Whether it’s your desk at work or a table at your home office, it should be around 70cms, depending on your height.
    • Chair: Pick a chair that has good back support and a flat comfortable seat. If the chair has a hard back, you can place a small cushion or rolled up towel in the lower back to suit your posture. Use a seat cushion to adjust your sitting height so your feet are flat on the floor. If the chair is too high, a couple of paper reams can be used as a foot riser.
    • Forearms: Your forearms can be either resting supported on the table top or unsupported when using the keyboard and mouse, which should be within easy reach.
    • Monitor: The monitor or laptop is best placed directly in front at about arms-length and raised so that when looking ahead, your eyes are level with the top of the screen. You can use an upturned tub, reams of paper or a small box to achieve the correct height.
    • Standing station: Shifting to standing work areas such as at a high kitchen and even a laundry bench for at least a half hour several times a day can be an energising factor. Ideally, the monitor height is at eye level and the keyboard and mouse raised.
  • Stretch regularly: Now that you are set up, it is important to stretch and move throughout the day. Pick several stretches each half hour which will take about a minute, holding each stretch gently for about 5 seconds. They could include:
    • squeezing your shoulder blades together
    • shoulder rolls
    • extending backwards
    • stretching the forearms and neck gently
    • calf raises

It’s a good idea to move larger muscle groups every two hours, so a short break such as walking to the front gate or up and down a single flight of steps is great for mental and physical wellbeing.

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The APA and the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians found that keeping active, gives you more energy. It also:

  • Improves your mood
  • Helps your immune system
  • Prevents chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia
  • Keeps you busy

For more information or to gain access to Physiotherapy care at home if you do not require direct hands-on-care, visit the  APA Telehealth website.

The World Health Organisation has also released some handy #HealthyAtHome tips. These tips include further guidance on suitable physical activities by age that you can do easily around the house. Click here for The World Health Organisation #HealthyAtHome tips.

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Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service delivered by Beyond Blue

The Australian Government has funded a Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service delivered by our partner, Beyond Blue.

This service is available around the clock, delivering clear, evidence-based information, advice and support specifically tailored to the mental health and wellbeing challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online support
A great place to start and explore the range of support options is coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au where you will find information, advice and strategies to help you manage your mental wellbeing as well as information on supporting others.

24-hour counselling service 
Trained counsellors are now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a dedicated coronavirus phone support line. All sessions are free, one-on-one and confidential. Call 1800 512 348 for support.

Times are tough, but we will get through this together.