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Last updated: May 8, 2017

What Does Overexertion Mean?

Overexertion refers to excessive physical and skeletomuscular that results in discomfort or injuries.

Safeopedia Explains Overexertion

Overexertion in the workplace causes injury when a person works beyond his or her physical capacity and tolerances of his or her body’s soft tissues. Factors related to overexertion are age, physical condition, body flexibility, obesity, strength and tolerance.

Overexertion injuries are generally of two types:

  • Sprains - stretching or tearing of ligaments
  • Strains - stretching or tearing tendons or muscles

Overexertion is generally caused by the following activities:

  • Lifting, pulling, pushing and carrying heavy items (usually more than 50 pounds)
  • Repeated or long term bending or twisting at the waist
  • Reaching
  • Long term poor posture such as sitting or standing
  • Long time absorbing vibration from machine or transport

Overexertion injuries such as shoulder and back injuries lead to the most days away from work after medical concerns linked to musculoskeletal disorder, multiple sclerosis (MS), and fibromyalgia.


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