As long as people live and breathe, there is always a need to work with our bodies. Whether it is getting up and about for the day, carrying simple items, or toiling away in the soil or construction site, physicality is a must.
In terms of professions, there are many such jobs that require hard physical work. Most, if not all, people can do or participate in physical jobs like these. However, it will require great ability to be effective. In addition, it may introduce changes to a person’s body.
Let’s learn more about manual labour and its effects on the body.
What is This Kind of Labour?
Manual labour is any type of work that is done with the hands and/or physical strength. It is often manual jobs that are considered to be “blue-collar” work. These are the types of positions that do not require higher education or extensive training.
Different Labour Jobs
This physical kind of labour can involve a lot of different tasks and span various professions. Here are the most common ones.
A construction worker is responsible for the labour involved in building and repairing structures. This can include tasks like digging trenches, moving heavy materials, using power tools and much more.
A person who chooses this profession will have to get acquainted with a variety of tools and processes. It is a job that also requires a lot of mental capacity, as the right practices will create sturdier buildings and the like.
A farm worker is responsible for manual a variety of activities on a farm. This includes tasks like planting seeds, watering crops, and harvesting fruits and vegetables. However, it extends to much more than this.
Taking care of animals is also one responsibility of a farm worker. It largely depends on what animals one is taking care of, but exertion and physical activity are present for all of them.
For instance, horses eat hay. The act of stacking, collecting, and moving hay for when they need it is physically demanding.
Another similar job is a factory worker. There are many companies today that require the services of a factory. This could be for electronics, manufacturing, food, and even clothing. The tasks can include things like operating machinery, packing products, and loading/unloading trucks.
Factory work is the one that is most associated with a line. Tasks are often narrowly focused, and can be monotonous. However, there is also a simplicity in having singular tasks as a factory worker.
A mover is responsible for the labour involved in moving furniture and other items from one place to another. This can include tasks like lifting heavy objects, carrying boxes, and assembling/disassembling furniture.
While this may seem simple, it is one job that requires precision. Moving furniture and objects is not the hard part. It is keeping them intact.
These things that movers handle are precious to the homeowners. Thus, they must be moved with the utmost care. This requires much more skill and strength.
Finally, we have the housekeeper. They are involved in cleaning and maintaining a home. This can include tasks like sweeping, mopping, dusting, and vacuuming.
While this job has less lifting required, it is no less physical. It still requires the constant movement of the body through a variety of tasks.
What is it Like to Have a Manual Labour Job?
Working a job that is heavy in physical labour can be tough on the body. It is often physical work that requires a lot of strength and stamina. There are always two sides to every coin in this regard. These labour jobs can be repetitive and monotonous to some. Its straightforward nature can bore some people who crave a challenge.
However, these labour jobs can also be rewarding. They offer a sense of satisfaction that comes from completing a task with your own hands. There is also some peace to be felt in the simplicity of the physical work.
In addition, these jobs often pay well and provide good benefits.
How do Labour Affect Bodies?
Continuous labour will often alter the body in many ways. Let’s take a look at several of these changes.
Does it Sculpt a Person’s Physique?
Physical labour can actually help to sculpt the physique. This is because labour often requires the use of large muscle groups. Working these muscles can lead to an increase in muscle size and definition.
In addition, this type of labour often involves working with heavy objects. This can lead to an increase in strength.
Does it Build Muscle?
Manual labour can build muscle due to the same reasons mentioned above. Working with heavy objects and using large muscle groups can lead to an increase in muscle size and strength.
Take note though that lifting heavy objects and working muscle groups do not guarantee these. It is true that working certain muscles will break them down. If one has exercised or gone to the gym, they will know this pain.
This breaking down is essential in the building of muscles and crafting physiques. Once they are broken down, they will then need to be repaired, thereby making the muscles bigger.
The repairing of these muscles will need a lot of rest, the right food, and a lot of protein.
Does it Make Hands Bigger?
There is no definitive answer to this question. However, this kind of labour does often involve using the hands for tasks like gripping tools or carrying heavy objects. This could potentially lead to an increase in hand size.
In addition, physical labour can also lead to an increase in callouses and roughness of the hands. This is due to the constant contact with rough surfaces and materials.
Does it Keep People Fit?
Constant physical work each and every day is bound to keep a person fit. The people who work behind a desk or on a computer spend 40 work hours a week sitting down.
When comparing this to those who are doing labour, it means that these people are spending a minimum of 40 hours moving and pushing their bodies. Putting it into perspective, this is way more hours than a person spends in a gym each week.
Thus, one can expect that calories are burned and obesity is kept at bay.
When paired with the right diet, there is no reason why a person doing physical labour would be unfit.
Does it Help Without Any Conditions?
Jumping off from the previous benefit, constant physical activity not only keeps people fit, but it also reduces the risk for certain conditions. This is mainly part due to the reduced fat or weight. The other side of it is due to the active lifestyle.
Several conditions that are affected include diabetes and heart problems.
Does it Improve Coordination?
Like many things in this world, improvement all boils down to understanding and practice. People who constantly work at one thing will inevitably improve. If a person chooses to focus on a physical activity that uses tools, it will also no doubt improve a person’s coordination.
This could be hand-eye coordination, or just being in tune with the various body parts.
How to Prepare the Body?
Physical labour is very demanding and taxing on the body. The constant effort is not something that all people can handle each and every work day.
However, if one is really determined to get into and stay at a labour job, then there are ways one can prepare their body. Let’s take a look at several of these ways.
If you are aiming to land and stay at a labour job, then it is best to train the body early. Before even starting the position, start exercising and improving one’s fitness. This has many uses.
The most obvious use is that it works for muscle groups. if you know what type of job you’ll be getting, as well as what are the most worked parts of the body, then you can start to strengthen them.
Another use is that it gives people a read on their own fitness level. If people find that they aren’t that fit, then it is a good indication that they need to work on improving it for the daily grind they will be getting into.
Learn the Movements
The next thing a person can do is to learn the right movements for the job they’ll be taking. A physical job is all about movement. It could use pushing, pulling, lifting, and even using a variety of tools.
People have already developed the right ways to do things. All one has to do is learn them.
Learning these movements will not only make it easier, it can also save them from some form of injury or another.
One example we have is manual handling or the act of lifting and moving loads. People may think that lifting is easy. In fact, some people do it every day. However, if it is done wrong, it could lead to serious injuries.
Start a Good Diet
Next up, it is important to start a good diet. The food that people eat gives them fuel to go about the day. However, some foods are better than others. With the right food, a person can get more energy, good recovery, and a pathway to bigger muscles.
There are many foods to choose from, and it is all a matter of finding what one likes best. Just make sure to eat lean protein and complex carbohydrates. A variety of fruits and vegetables will also be beneficial in the long run.
The last thing we have on the list is to stretch often and early. Stretching makes certain body parts and muscle-tendons flexible. Even for people who aren’t in a physically demanding job and just enjoy certain activities, stretching has many benefits.
For starters, the increased flexibility generally lessens injuries for specific body parts. It also improves the range of motion which can improve performance.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, it improves blood circulation to the various parts of the body. This improved circulation means that body parts and muscles will receive more nutrients.
Common Physical Labour Injuries
Despite all the many benefits of these labour-intensive jobs, they are also the ones where people have an increased chance of getting certain injuries. Here are some common injuries people can sustain with these types of jobs.
Slips and Falls
One of the more common injuries is slips and falls. It could be from a wet floor, oil spills, or even loose carpets or mats. These accidents can lead to minor scrapes all the way up to serious concussions.
The best way to avoid these accidents is always to be aware of one’s surroundings. If possible, clean up any messes right away. Also, be sure to wear shoes with good traction to prevent any accidental slips.
Another common injury is broken bones. This could be from a fall, lifting something too heavy, or getting hit by an object. These injuries generally take some time to heal properly and may require surgery in more serious cases.
To help prevent this type of injury, be sure not to lift anything too heavy. If an object is too big or heavy to lift alone, ask for help. Also, try to avoid any potential hazards that could cause a fall or get hit by something.
Cuts and Scrapes
Cuts and scrapes are some of the more minor injuries that can occur in these types of jobs. They generally happen from coming into contact with sharp objects or surfaces. In most cases, they will heal on their own within a few days.
However, these cuts can also be quite serious depending on where they are on the body. A cut to the eye is life-changing, while a cut through an artery could be fatal.
The answer to these is to always wear protective gear. This could be gloves, goggles, or even a face mask. Also, try to avoid any sharp objects or surfaces if possible.
Demanding and Rewarding Work
Manual labour can be quite demanding on the body. However, with the right precautions, people can still enjoy these types of jobs without sustaining any serious injuries. Furthermore, it can be quite rewarding on many levels.
Be sure to learn the proper techniques, start a good diet, and stretch often to stay safe and healthy.
One of the best things to do when getting into physical labour is to learn first aid. This ensures that if injuries do happen, you know what to do to treat a person and save a life.
Learn more about it through CPR First Aid’s Liverpool course.