Repetitive tasks

 Content Editor ‭[1]‬

​Repetitive tasks tend to be made up of several movements performed within a short time span, which are then repeated over and over again. It may be producing one part of a product, packing or repetitively lifting a load (for example, stacking a supermarket shelf). 

While our muscles and joints are resilient and capable of doing this, continuous repetitive movements can increase your risk of muscle and joint pain.

If you do repetitive tasks as part of your job, follow the tips below to help reduce your risk of developing muscle and joint pain.

Take regular breaks    
Consider taking regular breaks and think about the timing of your breaks. This may be meal breaks, pauses in production for a break or pauses for visual inspection. Try to ensure breaks are regular so that you are changing position from the repetitive task.

Pace of work
Pace of work is the speed you work at. A faster pace will mean you are repeating the movement more often during your working day. If you are having trouble keeping up with the pace of your work it may be useful to speak with your manager to see if any changes could be made.

Task rotation 
A change in task will help reduce the risk of developing muscle and joint pain from repetitive movements. An example of task rotation would be several workers rotating onto different tasks allowing them to do different types of movements throughout their working day.

Risk assessment
If you do perform a repetitive task, speak with your manager to see if you require a risk assessment to identify if any adjustments are required. Sometimes small adjustments in how you do a task can make a big difference. For example, changing the height of a working area may adjust the amount of arm movement and reduce the risk of shoulder and/or arm pain.

Sometimes changes in your work activities can help reduce the risk and/or help to manage muscle and joint pain at work.

Find out more about making changes at work.

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