Work Conditioning, Work Hardening


Working conditioning or work hardening is a rehabilitation exercise program that helps an individual return to his optimum capacity after he comes back to work after being treated for an injury.  This rehab program includes muscle strengthening, cardiovascular, neuromuscular and biomechanical fitness.  In other words, the person is asked to perform real tasks or simulated activity that matches his or her profile.

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It is due to work conditioning that one can really find out if a person is really fit to do the job that has always been a part of his or her profile. In case, it is found hat that the person is not fit to do so, an alternative line of work related to the same job or more treatment is advised  Regular exercises and mental strength ensures that we are on the right track.

Work conditioning benefits

1.        The person can become physically and mentally fit for the job. He or she will develop a more confident persona and will be able to avoid issues that can cause further health problems

2.       Better productivity: it has been found out that people who go through work conditioning program or work hardening program (same terms) are able to perform better at work.

3.       Better health: Due to the daily exercises and fitness program, the individual becomes fitter and healthier even more so compared to how he was before he met with injury or accident.

4.       Increased motivation: There is higher amount of self-esteem and the employee derives more satisfaction out of work.

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What is included in work conditioning?

Work condition involves exercise program that are related to improving cardiovascular functions, better body mechanics, muscle strengthening exercises etc.  Work conditioning is recommended when we undergo medical treatment after illness. It is evident in many cases that even if we are fine after treatment, we do not have the same level of fitness and health suited to match the style of work that we do as a profession..  So work condition or work hardening is  a series of program that look into what we lack and help us fill this gap.

In work conditioning, there are tests done to find if he or she has occupational fitness. They check body fat, aerobic fitness, coordination, cardiovascular strength etc.  To find out a person’s functional ability, the individual is asked about his or her line of duty.  The detailed history checks into the present progress and what has been the person’s fitness when he or she was fine, before the injury. . Functional testing is done to assess the person’s aptitude to do exercises like squats, bending, lifting objects, push-ups,  using of hands  for various tasks

Work conditioning evaluation can last for about 3 hours.  He or she is motivated to do work through simulated activities. If he or she is not able to do the kind of work that is deemed satisfactory, then a report is sent to the employer for alterations in the work profile.  The best time to go for work conditioning is when the individual is deemed medically fit to walk out of the hospital but not ‘fit enough’ to do professional work of his or her caliber.  Also instead of lying and resting or rather stagnating at home and becoming unhealthy after being discharged, it is better to be active mentally and physically to bounce back to our work with full zeal-that is what work conditioning endeavors to do.

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