An occupational physiotherapist is an occupational health specialist who helps to improve work ergonomics, restore reduced working ability and prevent work-related illnesses. In Estonia, physiotherapists, occupational hygienists, ergonomists and occupational therapists work in parallel with each other. In the Nordic countries, occupational physiotherapist is responsible for occupational hygiene, i.e for occupational ergonomics and generating healthier working conditions.
People imagine that physiotherapist works primarily in the rehabilitation of the sick, where patients engage in physical training, massage and mobility-enhancing exercises. In contrast, occupational physiotherapist is a specialist whose main role is to prevent employees from becoming ill. Tasks of an occupational physiotherapist include promoting health, tackling temporary health problems as well as occupational rehabilitation.
Medihub’s occupational physiotherapy is based on the Finnish model and trainings. An occupational physiotherapist is an independent specialist and a part of an occupational health care team who advises entrepreneurs and employees on the physical risk factors of the work environment. Occupational physiotherapists can help your enterprise in creating an ergonomic work environment (ergonomic tools, furnutire, rooms etc.) and perform an audit or analysis of the work environment.
The best way to create an ergonomic work environment and habits is to involve employees in the process. It is also called inclusive development. People are asked for ideas and opinions about the work environment, with occupational physiotherapist moderating the discussion as a leading specialist. During this process, problems connected to the work environment which disturb the employees can be highlighted, and changing them will improve employee satisfaction and motivation. This contributes to increasing the company’s productivity, reducing physical and psychosocial stress, and to better control over the risk of illnesses.
During an individual appointment, occupational physiotherapist is a specialist who helps specific employee to restore working capacity and prevent work-related illnesses. Generally, occupational physiotherapist does not offer massage or other manual therapy techniques. The aim is to get the employee himself or herself make work-related activities more ergonomics, add physical activity and perform exercises supervised by a physiotherapist, if necessary. The most effective results are achieved when the employee himself or herself is motivated to improve his or her well-being and ability to work.