Your Form at Work Can Hurt You: Here’s How to Tell if You’re Doing it Wrong

Shane was almost done for the day when he felt disaster strike. He was used to working long hours at his construction job, but he was especially tired this week. As his mind wandered to the coming weekend, Shane’s attention wasn’t on his work and his shovel moved awkwardly. He felt a sudden, searing pain in his lower back. Dropping half a load of dirt, Shane tried to shift his weight. His friend, Alan, saw him struggling and jogged over. “You need help?” Shane hunched over. “I don’t know what happened. I think it’s my back…”

35.6 percent of workplace injuries are musculoskeletal injuries, according to the Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics . Injuries of all types can have a serious impact on your income and livelihood – not to mention how you feel. The good news is, many of these injuries are preventable; many musculoskeletal injuries can be prevented with nothing more complicated than by using good ergonomics while at work. Sorry short-cutters and slouchers, bad news! It’s time to shape up and pay attention to your form – and avoid injury in the process.


The Body One Work Solutions team identified some of the most common symptoms of people dealing with poor form. See if you recognize these symptoms in your daily work:


Back Pain

If you  notice stiffness or soreness in your back after a long day of work, it could be a result of using improper form when lifting. As you get tired, it’s easier to forget proper techniques when lifting. If your job requires a lot of heavy lifting you can help keep better form by: keeping heavy objects close to your body, lifting with your knees and not your back, avoiding lifting weights too heavy for you, or wearing a brace.


Strain is the result of pushing a group of muscles too hard for too long. Some signs of strain are pain in your arms, legs, back, etc. Make sure you avoid strain injuries, or aggravating any symptoms further, by resting. Continuing movements that cause pain can worsen your injury. Although it can be hard if your job demands specific movements, you’ll end up delaying your recovery if you continue to push through pain or limitation.

Lack of Basic Movement

If you’re struggling with specific movements due to your day-to-day job, you may be using improper form or have other underlying issues and would benefit from seeing a professional like a physical therapist.

If you experience any of these symptoms regularly, that’s an indication that you may be using improper form at work and could be heading for injury. The experts at Body One can assess your form as well as any existing injury, injury-risk, and design a custom treatment program to address any current issues as well as help prevent future problems. With nearly 40% of all injuries at work being those related to movement, a PT is the ideal resource to help keep you injury-free, on the job, and enjoying your free time, too.

Body One has three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. Whether you’re already struggling with pain and injury or want to prevent it, we’re here for you. Our team of expert PTs works with patients of all ages and activity levels and we’re ready to get you moving in the right direction. Call or click today to see how you can feel better and live better – with Body One.