My research supports the view that many workers are not aware of the impact their workplace has on their physical well being. Conversely, health practitioners, surveyed, indicate that 50% of their patients presenting with back, knee, hip and foot pain, present with symptoms directly attributable to workplace conditions. These conditions include: ergonomics, length of time spent standing or walking, the floor surface they work on, footwear and posture when working.
As well as assisting in general workplace wellbeing, Podiatry plays an important role in the prevention of lower limb Diabetic related complications and in identifying early signs of undiagnosed diabetes or Pre-Diabetes. This involves diabetes Risk Assessment, Hba1C testing, Complications Risk Assessment (checking vascular and neurological markers), health and lifestyle questionnaires, encouraging exercise and assessing biomechanics to remove any impedance to this. Helping the patient understand the relationship between diet, lifestyle and blood sugar and why this can cause complications such as neuropathy, and educating patients on the need for suitable and protective footwear and professional preventative foot care.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013),
Around one in five adults with diabetes do not know they have the condition. It is estimated that in Australia, approximately 500,000 people who remain undiagnosed, may well be progressing through the disease process and may develop diabetic complications well before diagnosis. Simple workplace risk assessments can help identify those at risk or as yet undiagnosed.