Tradies: Endurance Athletes - The Hidden Sport

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The Sports Injury Clinic

Liam Staines

August 22, 2014


The following information is a checklist to ensure our tradies remain injury free. The most common injuries or overused areas of a tradie that we see are; lower back, hips, knees, shoulders & neck.


Likely injury triggers

Loading Postures/Techniques/Repetition:

i.e. wear & tear from constant -bending, lifting, twisting, reaching and overhead work.

Here are a few reminders to reduce the strain

  • Reduce the distance of objects away from the body -lift & carry as close to your body as possible.
  • Widen your stance and keep your spine as vertical as possible.
  • Use lifting/ carrying equipment wherever -this applies to having work colleagues help too.

Roof Tiler example:

I know of a roof tiler who has been years in the trade. He's been working 30-odd years on the tools. He walks around all day climbing ladders, on un-level surfaces, bent over. Cutting & fitting tiles to rooves for hours on end, 5-6 days per week.

The lifting of tiles he does in a day equates to anywhere between -5-10 tons of load per day or 30-50 tons per week.

Mixing trades with sports & recreation:

In training sessions after a hard day's work it is a good idea to reduce the intensity of exercise/ training sessions. Eg. Footy training after a hard day.

Keeping a diary of the working week is a great idea -hours of intensive work/ diet etc.

Also, try to make smart choices about the type of leisure activities chosen after work hours, as being self-employed relies on you being at work!

Listen to your body, niggles that don't go away are often injuries just waiting to happen.


Intensive physical work or hot environments reduce the body's ability to absorb water (H2O). Electrolyte drinks greatly assist with the absorption of water back into the body.

After the first 1.5-2 hours of intensive work 500mls of electrolyte drink should be consumed each hour after to ensure the body stays replenished. This will safely reduce the likelihood of dehydration, which could lead to increased fatigue and possible injury.

Proven benefits of regular maintenance -massage/ myotherapy:

  • Risk -Injury reduction/ prevention.
  • Pain management.
  • Increased productivity through improved conditioning.
  • Improved quality of sleep.
  • Insurance you are investing in a healthier life.


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The Sports Injury Clinic acknowledges the traditional owners of the land, the Bunurong people, and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
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