Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 17 February 2019

Could your quad be doing you more harm than good?

Stock pic
Stock pic
Catherine Hurley

Catherine Hurley

Irish farmers are more five times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than other workers, new research shows.

And there’s one implement on the farm that might be lending itself to this figure – the trusty quad bike.

Traditionally, farming has been considered to be one of the most active occupations, according to Dr John McNamara, Health  and Safety Specialist with Teagasc. However, he says that tractors, ATVs  and off-road SUVs have taken some of the hard work out of farming and, as a result farmers are not as physically active as they were previously.

However, new on-farm research shows that while farmers are, on average, hitting the 10,000 step mark a day, they’re spending two thirds of their day asleep, sitting or lying down.

The study carried out by Teagasc, WIT and UCD shows that farmers spend more time sitting while the machinery does the work and many farmers struggle to find the time to exercise.

A health booklet for farmers recommends farmers:

Cut down on: watching TV; being on a computer; excessive use of quad bikes and tractors when moving around the farm and sitting for more than 30 minutes.

Two-to-three times a week: Do strength and flexibility exercises.

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Five-to-seven times a week: Do aerobic exercise  - at least 30 minutes of jogging, cycling, brisk walking or swimming.

Every day: Be active, making a conscious effort to walk or exercise instead of using vehicles.

Exercise Benefits

  • Keeps your heart strong
  • Helps to manage your weight
  • Strengthens your muscles and bones
  • Helps you to relax and sleep better
  • Gives you energy and zest for life
  • Gives you a feeling of well being

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