The telecom cabling job market is growing. When many industries are shrinking with the economy, in many parts of the country telecom cabling technicians are in high demand, and are even seeing wages and salaries increase. This work, however, is not easy. The technical training and skill required is ample and the knowledge of standards and practices is pretty impressive as well. For all of the mental and technical difficulty, an often overlooked factor of these jobs is the physical difficulty. When working on large projects, a telecom cabling tech might be running hundreds of feet of cable through various awkward spaces to hundreds of end terminations. This type of cabling will require lots of bending over, kneeling, crawling and even sometimes heavy lifting. These motion put a great deal of stress on the back, knees and hips. Even for young and considerable healthy technicians, this sort of joint and muscle pressure can quickly take it’s toll, however you need not fear if you are minding your physical form as you do you work. Here are some ergonomic, yoga-teacher-approved tips to help keep your body happy and healthy while performing cabling tasks:
1. When bending down to below wast level, keep your feet a little than hips-distance apart and keep your knees unlocked.
2. Don’t bend at you waist! It places too much pressure on your spine to do so repetitively.
3. Try to make motions from up to down and down to up continuous, full body motions.
4. If your back starts to tense when you are bent over, softly bend your knees and roll from the bottom of your spine to the top with a loose neck. This will realign you spinal column and unknot your muscles.
5. When available, use your hands or hips to lean against solid object, taking the weight off your lower joints.
6. If pain arises in the knee joints while kneeling for long periods try sitting cross-legged or indian style to remove pressure on the nerves.
7. When standing for long periods, try to brace yourself against something, and allow yourself to move or sway occasionally to improve circulation to you legs.
8. (It sounds silly, but-) Breath while you move. It relax your muscles and allows your body to work at it’s best.
9. Wear good shoes. Make sure your footwear is appropriately protective. Sometimes it is worth a few extra bucks for the arch support in your boots. If your back always hurts, get better shoes.
10. You might also think about taking up Yoga. No, seriously.
This might seem like a lot to keep in mind for a little bit of back pain, but remember that these are action you will take thousands if not millions of times over the course of a career in telecom cabling.
The more consideration you take doing these tasks, the longer your body will physically be capable of doing them. Also, the more you body will be available to you for tasks outside of work, which is really what we reserve ourselves for, right?
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