Campus Life

Maintaining a pain-free environment

One aspect of wellness is the ability to perform your duties in an ergonomic environment, free of pain. Unfortunately, there are occasions when we suffer injuries, some of which come as a result of repetitive activities related to our jobs.

Last month, RSI (Repetitive Strain Injuries) Awareness Day took place, bringing to light the musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that sometimes accompany work-related activity. It is a very serious matter that can severely limit productivity in the workplace. According to Statistics Canada, 2.3 million Canadian adults annually experience an MSD serious enough to limit their normal activities: and the majority of these injuries are caused by work-related activity. Issues such as tendonitis, tenosynovitis and carpal tunnel syndrome are some common examples of MSDs.

Common symptoms of MSDs include aches, pain, burning, numbness, swelling and loss of joint movement and strength in the affected area(s). These symptoms can progress into chronic disorders, after which no amount of physiotherapy or surgery can completely correct.

The good news is that the majority of MSDs are preventable. Contact the Wellness office (403-332-5217) for an ergonomic assessment, or to establish a Get Fit at Work - Stretch and Strengthen session for your team or department.

March is Nutrition Month, and in keeping with this theme, a number of nutrition Lunch and Learns have been scheduled for March and April. We are lucky to have Diane Britton, the
U of L's registered dietitian, on hand to share her experience.

On Tuesday, Mar. 22, Eat Smart, is the title of the Lunch and Learn event. Bring your lunch and learn how a few small changes in food choices can improve your nutrition. Then, on Wednesday, Apr. 13, Digesting the Nutrition Label will be presented. Both events run over the lunch hour, noon to 1 p.m., in Andy's Place (AH100).

Erin Pinder, a registered dietitian with Building Healthy Lifestyles, contributes to a monthly newsletter and her latest submission offers sound advice.

"We all know that we could make some changes to eat healthier," says Pinder. "There are a few fundamental steps you can take to achieve this. Many people in North America rely heavily on pre-made, pre-packaged foods. We are often unaware of where our food actually comes from. Many children are very surprised to find out that our baby-cut carrots grow in the ground! This month, make a special effort to get in touch with nature and local food sources. Often, the closer the food is grown to your home, the fresher and more nutritious it is. If you have children, get them involved by taking them shopping for foods at your local farmer's market, at grocery stores that supply local produce and meats, or by planting a garden this spring."

Wellness Workshop
Stress Busters – Tuesday, Mar. 15 (Noon to 1:30 p.m., Andy's Place AH100)
Join Lynne Hunter-Johnson in learning useful strategies for resilience while experiencing stress.

Suzanne McIntosh is the Wellness co-ordinator at the University of Lethbridge.
Contact her at,
or 403-332-5217 for more information.

For a look at the March issue of the Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.