Prevent It

WorkWell's Workplace Injury Prevention Blog

How Musculoskeletal Health Affects Total Employee Wellness

In today's video, Brian Boyle, PT/DPT, talks about how musculoskeletal health affects total employee wellness.

Total employee wellness encompasses physical health, spiritual health, social health, financial health, occupational health, emotional health, intellectual health, and environmental health.

Muscle, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissues, creates the musculoskeletal system. Musculoskeletal disorders are injuries or illnesses that affect the human body's movement. Good musculoskeletal health is more than the absence of a musculoskeletal condition. Good musculoskeletal health means that the muscles, joints, and bones work well together without pain.

The connection between poor musculoskeletal health and total wellness is profound. Let's take a closer look.

  • Physical Health – When employees have a musculoskeletal injury, it affects almost all aspects of their lives, including work and home, resulting in a reduced quality of life and increased dependence on others. As such, injuries severely affect an individual's life and make everyday activities that most of us take for granted, such as sitting at a desk, walking the dog, grocery shopping, making the bed, and lifting objects extremely difficult.
  • Social Health – If someone is in constant pain, it affects their ability to participate in social activities. Humans depend on one another, and their wellbeing depends on a sense of belonging.
  • Occupational Health – MSK injuries can affect mobility and dexterity, limiting a person's ability to work.
  • Financial Health – If someone is unable to work, it severely limits their ability to generate an income and adds to emotional stress and worry.
  • Emotional Health – Pain, limited mobility, and isolation can cause depression and anxiety. Constant worry about finances from missed work can also increase cortisol in the body, raising blood pressure and even magnify pain symptoms.
  • Environmental Health – Restricted mobility limits a person's ability to navigate their environment, whether it is walking up a flight of stairs, walking in inclement weather, or having limited ability to walk a nature trail
  • Intellectual Health and Spiritual Health – These two aspects of overall wellness can act as coping mechanisms when an MSK disorder is severe.