Don’t let ankle sprains make summer work schedule a pain

It’s summertime, which means many small business workers are probably taking vacation time to enjoy with their families. As a business owner, you can plan in advance for these instances so that your operation runs efficiently even in workers’ absence.

But what happens when an employee needs time off because of an injury? It’s not as easy to keep your office running at full capacity when you lose a staff member to an unexpected physical accident.

Incidents that occur in the workplace, such as a sprained ankle, can often be prevented and addressed by providing relevant workplace safety resources to staff members.

In addition to safety pamphlets, you can mandate that employees watch free workplace safety videos that describes techniques they can use to limit ankle sprains. Below are tips you can pass on to employees to get the ball rolling.

1. Stretch daily
Whether your employees have their own cubicles or offices, encourage them to stretch their ankle every day while at their desks. This can be as simple as rotating their ankles in a circular motion for 15 seconds at a time, as well as flexing their toes forward and pointing them toward the ceiling.

Isometric stretches can also be an effective way to warm up ankles and get them loose and ready for daily activity.

“Isometric exercise are those in which you push against a static object while keeping your muscles and joints in one position,” Erica Roth writes on fitness and health site Livestrong.com. “Isometric exercises for your ankles can strengthen the joints and surrounding tissues, and can be used as either a preventative tool or a treatment for a sprained ankle.”

2. Wear proper footwear
This can be a difficult one to manage, as gym shoes are not usually considered appropriate office attire. However, there are a number of footwear options for both men and women that are suitable for the workplace and offer sufficient ankle support. Although heels and shoes with platform soles may be fashionable in the office, they can pose a safety risk. For this reason, employees should remove these types of shoes and put on appropriate gym shoes before climbing atop a stool or ladder in the office.  

The key is to encourage employees to opt for shoes that are snug around the ankles; this will limit the ankle’s range of motion, and thus, the likelihood that an employee sprains it while walking down the stairs or hurrying to the copier.

 

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