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  1. #1
    Registered User Technoidy's Avatar
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    Make long shifts easier?

    So I work in a kitchen. I'm standing in place constantly, when I'm not doing that I'm doing heavy repetitive lifts or bent over a sink. Inevitably, 2 hours in I get slight back discomfort. That progresses through the whole day, until it's very uncomfortable 4-5 hours in, then it just gets worse until I leave. After my shift I walk 3 miles home (don't have a car). The walk back is incredibly uncomfortable from the moment I leave. By the time I get home it's excruciating.

    The next day just adds more wear on top of the previous day. I never fully recover, even when I'm off for 2 days, regardless of how active or inactive I am, how well I sleep, or how well I eat.

    My previous job I used to power walk 1.5 miles to and from every day, and I felt great. But taking some time off and switching jobs and the excessive standing in place and the added mileage is really wearing down my body.

    I know I need to strengthen my core, and I'm working on that, but is there a more targeted way to make this particular job (and the 3 miles after) more bearable than just "whatever core exercises you wanna do"?
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Technoidy View Post
    I know I need to strengthen my core, and I'm working on that, but is there a more targeted way to make this particular job (and the 3 miles after) more bearable than just "whatever core exercises you wanna do"?
    Not really, they say kitchen work is the most physically demanding job out there.

    Seriously though, this doesn't sound like a core-related issue, just overall fitness/strength. I do suggest a little razor scooter for the trip back home though.
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    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I do suggest a little razor scooter for the trip back home though.
    Then there is no doubt we'll see a thread appear in the injury board in the not too distant future, complaining about an excruciating ankle pain...
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    A guy I know used to ride motorcycles (he has 3). He rides a scooter now because of gas prices. It's weird seeing him in full gear and helmet riding that thing but you gotta do what you gotta do.
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  5. #5
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    Technoidy, read up on "MSI Prevention". Tons of material online. It is painful to read your post. You are heading towards an injury which will put you off work for long time. There is no way you can train your core, which will fix the poor ergonomics at work.

    Secondly. Since you are on your way to disc issues. Buy yourself a bicycle, or steal one. Cycling is the best exercise to heal the compressed discs.
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    Make sure you are doing the easy things right. Adequate sleep, enough food (and protein).

    With that in line, I'd slowly start introducing some type of resistance training. It will do wonders and guarantee your job will become easier.
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    Registered User Rsurf72's Avatar
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    I'd quit and find a different job. That's absolutely ridiculous to have you stand for that long straight, your going to need surgery from vericose veins by time your 40.
    Americans are nuts when it comes to what's "normalized" at a job.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Technoidy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by weiss1967 View Post
    Technoidy, read up on "MSI Prevention". Tons of material online. It is painful to read your post. You are heading towards an injury which will put you off work for long time. There is no way you can train your core, which will fix the poor ergonomics at work.

    Secondly. Since you are on your way to disc issues. Buy yourself a bicycle, or steal one. Cycling is the best exercise to heal the compressed discs.
    Actually, it's too late for that. I fractured a vertebrae two nightmarish years ago and it never seemed to start healing until last January. I just hadn't mentioned it to keep the post brief, and it seems that at this stage in my healing process I'd still be having discomfort from this job regardless of it.
    The little googling I've done so far hasn't come up with much for "MSI prevention" except employer-focused handbooks. Is there anything in particular you recommend?

    I had actually worked in a much more physically demanding kitchen until March when I switched to my current one. Worked there two years before my back injury, so I'm having a hard time understanding why that went so well for so long (the job wasn't the only contributing factor to the injury) when this job is easier yet so much more uncomfortable. I think doing the same thing for longer, even though it's easier, is stressing my back in new ways that I just haven't trained my body for.

    From what I've read, cycling can make it worse? Although it probably wouldn't be much worse than more standing/walking after 8 hours of standing. I have considered getting a longboard or some such to aid the trip back, although I've been concerned about worsening my injury if I fall. The odd thing is that whenever I walk 3 miles on days off it helps tremendously, but doing it after work doesn't improve how I feel at all, at best.


    Originally Posted by Rsurf72 View Post
    I'd quit and find a different job. That's absolutely ridiculous to have you stand for that long straight, your going to need surgery from vericose veins by time your 40.
    Americans are nuts when it comes to what's "normalized" at a job.
    I mean, I do get a 30 minute break, and sometimes we're allowed to sit for some amount of time at various times throughout the shift, but it never seems to make a difference. If anything I'm worse and more stiff once I stand up again. Also for my long-term career I'm looking into either 12 hour factory or construction work, which is going to be far more physically demanding than this, so I really need to get something figured out.

    Thank you all for your responses!
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by Technoidy View Post
    Actually, it's too late for that. I fractured a vertebrae two nightmarish years ago and it never seemed to start healing until last January. I just hadn't mentioned it to keep the post brief, and it seems that at this stage in my healing process I'd still be having discomfort from this job regardless of it.
    The little googling I've done so far hasn't come up with much for "MSI prevention" except employer-focused handbooks. Is there anything in particular you recommend?

    I had actually worked in a much more physically demanding kitchen until March when I switched to my current one. Worked there two years before my back injury, so I'm having a hard time understanding why that went so well for so long (the job wasn't the only contributing factor to the injury) when this job is easier yet so much more uncomfortable. I think doing the same thing for longer, even though it's easier, is stressing my back in new ways that I just haven't trained my body for.

    From what I've read, cycling can make it worse? Although it probably wouldn't be much worse than more standing/walking after 8 hours of standing. I have considered getting a longboard or some such to aid the trip back, although I've been concerned about worsening my injury if I fall. The odd thing is that whenever I walk 3 miles on days off it helps tremendously, but doing it after work doesn't improve how I feel at all, at best.




    I mean, I do get a 30 minute break, and sometimes we're allowed to sit for some amount of time at various times throughout the shift, but it never seems to make a difference. If anything I'm worse and more stiff once I stand up again. Also for my long-term career I'm looking into either 12 hour factory or construction work, which is going to be far more physically demanding than this, so I really need to get something figured out.

    Thank you all for your responses!
    Try this:

    Turn the next day that you work into a workout.

    For instance...If you need to pick something up, consciously think about the task and deliberately make the most of the movement, centering yourself over the object and performing a proper depth squat to retrieve it, as opposed to bending at the waist and counterbalancing with your back leg in the air.

    It does take more effort to do this, but not only will you build core strength, you may also prevent some of discomfort you're feeling from a garbage posture while lifting things.

    Most people are lazy and will abuse their bodies for leverage.
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  10. #10
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Technoidy View Post
    Actually, it's too late for that. I fractured a vertebrae two nightmarish years ago and it never seemed to start healing until last January. I just hadn't mentioned it to keep the post brief, and it seems that at this stage in my healing process I'd still be having discomfort from this job regardless of it.
    The little googling I've done so far hasn't come up with much for "MSI prevention" except employer-focused handbooks. Is there anything in particular you recommend?

    I had actually worked in a much more physically demanding kitchen until March when I switched to my current one. Worked there two years before my back injury, so I'm having a hard time understanding why that went so well for so long (the job wasn't the only contributing factor to the injury) when this job is easier yet so much more uncomfortable. I think doing the same thing for longer, even though it's easier, is stressing my back in new ways that I just haven't trained my body for.

    From what I've read, cycling can make it worse? Although it probably wouldn't be much worse than more standing/walking after 8 hours of standing. I have considered getting a longboard or some such to aid the trip back, although I've been concerned about worsening my injury if I fall. The odd thing is that whenever I walk 3 miles on days off it helps tremendously, but doing it after work doesn't improve how I feel at all, at best.




    I mean, I do get a 30 minute break, and sometimes we're allowed to sit for some amount of time at various times throughout the shift, but it never seems to make a difference. If anything I'm worse and more stiff once I stand up again. Also for my long-term career I'm looking into either 12 hour factory or construction work, which is going to be far more physically demanding than this, so I really need to get something figured out.

    Thank you all for your responses!
    Get some disability insurance (srs).
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by 401Delta View Post
    Try this:

    Turn the next day that you work into a workout.

    For instance...If you need to pick something up, consciously think about the task and deliberately make the most of the movement, centering yourself over the object and performing a proper depth squat to retrieve it, as opposed to bending at the waist and counterbalancing with your back leg in the air.

    It does take more effort to do this, but not only will you build core strength, you may also prevent some of discomfort you're feeling from a garbage posture while lifting things.

    Most people are lazy and will abuse their bodies for leverage.
    This is very important and underrated.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Technoidy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Get some disability insurance (srs).
    Wouldn't they just tell me to get a desk job? My desk job-equivalent home life was probably a huge contributing factor to the cause of my injury in the first place, so that's definitely a road I don't want to go down.

    Also I've been mindful of how I move and treating work like a workout for the past two years.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by Technoidy View Post
    Wouldn't they just tell me to get a desk job? My desk job-equivalent home life was probably a huge contributing factor to the cause of my injury in the first place, so that's definitely a road I don't want to go down.
    This may shock you, but restaurant work isn't considered to be one of the most dangerous, uninsurable types of employment out there.
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    As someone who has worked his fair share of shifts where you are on your feet the entire time, a few things to try.

    Try to take a short "stretch break" every hour or so. Spend 3-5 minutes doing different stretches. You can often multitask while you do this. Also stretch when you get home before you go to sleep.

    Good quality shoes are a must. Insoles are useful if you need them.

    If you have a bad back, core work is a must. Front and side planks are your friend.
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    Have you tried some sort of back brace?

    And maybe go see a doctor?
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    Registered User Technoidy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    This may shock you, but restaurant work isn't considered to be one of the most dangerous, uninsurable types of employment out there.
    I have no idea what this means.

    Originally Posted by GrouchyUSMC View Post
    As someone who has worked his fair share of shifts where you are on your feet the entire time, a few things to try.

    Try to take a short "stretch break" every hour or so. Spend 3-5 minutes doing different stretches. You can often multitask while you do this. Also stretch when you get home before you go to sleep.

    Good quality shoes are a must. Insoles are useful if you need them.

    If you have a bad back, core work is a must. Front and side planks are your friend.
    That sounds like a good idea. Any particular stretches you'd recommend? Also what should I look for in shoes and insoles? I've found that shoes with a higher heel-toe drop make my back feel better, but finding info on the toe drop of slip-resistant work shoes is nigh impossible.
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by Technoidy View Post
    I have no idea what this means.
    It's a direct response to what you said would be the response of an insurance company. Your original post indicated that the demands of your current job is causing a problem, so I suggested disability insurance in case it creates an injury or condition such that you can no longer work temporarily or permanently.

    If you're now saying it's being caused by something else instead, then I guess my advice no longer applies. It's hard to tell from your posts exactly what the problem is.
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    Can you get a bicycle for your mode of transportation?

    Not to sound disrespectful, but my town is full of people on meth. They all ride bikes while wearing a backpack. Some of them have broken into the places you see on my sig. I could have gotten killed if I didn't back myself out the front door of a house and call the police. PD was 5 blocks away. They were there in 25 seconds and went in with guns drawn. 90 seconds later they come out with a meth head in handcuffs.
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    Originally Posted by GrouchyUSMC View Post
    As someone who has worked his fair share of shifts where you are on your feet the entire time, a few things to try.

    Try to take a short "stretch break" every hour or so. Spend 3-5 minutes doing different stretches. You can often multitask while you do this. Also stretch when you get home before you go to sleep.

    Good quality shoes are a must. Insoles are useful if you need them.

    If you have a bad back, core work is a must. Front and side planks are your friend.
    And bird dogs.
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    And bird dogs.
    German shephards will also work.

    Source: Joey, Ginger, Sonny, Butch, Sonny II, Sonny III, Lucky, Katie and Coyotee.
    Furnished rental houses in Coffeyville Kansas. Bills paid, weekly rates, full kitchens, washer/dryer, cable/wifi. For refinery contractors.
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    Worked a super busy restaurant for 18 years as a chef and having to cover the kp's for 8-12 hours shifts..

    So much of the advice here isnt gonna do ****, what you do in the gym for 'core work' is gonna do very Little if anything...

    10 minutes per gym session vs your entire shift at work? Nah

    #1 rule.
    Stand properly. Flex your ass all the time your stood and flex your core when your back aches.

    Give it few days, you will build the habit and you're gonna be fine.

    And yes. I lifted during most of this time.
    Competed in pl.
    Maxed out daily
    Cycled for commute 70km+ week

    You got this
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 08-03-2022 at 01:33 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Technoidy View Post
    That sounds like a good idea. Any particular stretches you'd recommend? Also what should I look for in shoes and insoles? I've found that shoes with a higher heel-toe drop make my back feel better, but finding info on the toe drop of slip-resistant work shoes is nigh impossible.
    A quick routine that I often do - I typically work this in at least once during a shift. Hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds.



    As far as shoes and insoles, you'll have to experiment but you definitely want ones designed for standing and walking in for long periods of time. Heck, maybe even a good low cut hiking boot.
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