When you return to work after a leave of absence or business slowdown, your risk of an on-the-job injury may have increased. Physical deconditioning, typically brought on by a long period of lessened activity, may cause fatigue and reduced muscular function. When you go back to work, you may find that a previous physical job task has become harder to perform.
More commonly referred to as “being out of shape,” physical deconditioning may lead to injuries. Employees who perform rapid physical actions or repetitive motions might find it hard to keep up their previous pace. Pushing too hard may increase the risk of an on-the-job accident.
Signs physical deconditioning may lead to an injury
As reported by Risk and Insurance magazine, physical deconditioning may decrease cardiovascular fitness and prohibit motion ranges. If you begin experiencing muscle stiffness or pain while performing your tasks after returning to work, you may need to slow down or stop and take a break more often.
Cardiovascular and muscular strength often take time to rebuild after remaining sedentary during an absence. A lack of work-related activity may have also caused an unintentional weight gain. If you notice a painful or harmful physical effect when lifting heavy objects, you may have overexerted yourself. You may risk injury even if you previously had the ability to lift without straining.
When to apply for workers’ compensation benefits
North Carolina’s laws allow employees to file for workers’ compensation benefits if an injury occurs on the job. Because a claim does not require proof that you tried to prevent an on-the-job accident, physical deconditioning that results in a workplace injury may qualify for compensation. As a result of an approved claim, you may receive medical treatment, physical rehabilitation and paid time off to recover.