Being a farmer is a unique occupation. Depending on what you farm, each month of the year may involve different tasks. From sitting on a tractor all day to shearing time, before a livestock sale or maintenance work on fences, the list is endless. Due to the nature of farming, farmers may gain cardiovascular and muscular endurance from their jobs. Ask any farmer whether they are fit and their likely response may be, "I'm not gym fit but I'm farming fit".
There can be a downside if tasks on the farm change rapidly from mainly sedentary to very active, or, if age becomes a negative factor. Farmers may start to notice the physical strain on their bodies. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Industry has highest rate of serious injury claims compared to all industries in Australia (Safe Work Australia 2021). Sheep, beef cattle and grain farmers make up 30% of these claims (Safe Work Australia 2016). The main reason farmers were injured was as a result of muscular strain.
Our bodies often need more than our jobs to stay in tip top condition. Farmers have two options when it comes to their fitness; improve the horse power of their body, or make their jobs easier. To improve the horse power of their body might involve a walk or lifting weights if they had a less active day or a stretching session if they had an very active day. Starting small with exercise and gradually increasing it overtime is the best way to gain fitness whilst keeping injuries at bay.
Farmer's, your best asset is your body. Invest time and money into it and you will reap the rewards.
We are here to support you in improving your fitness so should you need any help or advise, please get in touch with your nearest clinic today for an appointment with one of our physiotherapist's.
Safe Work Australia (2021), Key work health and safety statistics Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-10/Key%20work%20health%20and%20safety%20statistics%20Australia%202021.pdf.
Safe Work Australia (2016), Work Health and Safety in the Agricultural Industry. [online] Available at: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/whs-in-the-agricultural-industry.pdf.