EMS wellness: Explained in pictures

The next time you have a craving or need a simple reminder to keep you on track, pull up this infographic and stay the course


What is wellness?

Is it health, lack of disease, good fitness, nutrition, stress management, financial wellness, lack of pain or mental health?

The answer is all of the above. There is not a single all-encompassing thing to create wellness; it is simply a lifestyle choice. In a busy EMS system wellness can become very complicated and difficult to follow.

Often we succumb to the sheer volume and constant stress of the job, which will rapidly erode your wellness on all levels and lead to a predictable path of disease. If it's predictable it's also preventable.

The beginning of this infographic depicts what a poor diet and lack of fitness will do to your body. No one wants to even think about it, but most EMTs leave the profession in less than five years due to injury and even more leave because they cannot handle the stress of the job.

One of the few things we can control when on the street is how we fuel our body and how we help it heal. They go hand-in-hand; we need good nutrition to give us energy and to help fight diseases caused by stress and fatigue. 

You cannot out exercise a bad diet. Making good food choices will help you feel better, have more energy and reduce your chances of getting hurt.

Movers with a medical complex

In EMS we are movers with a medical complex. I bet you never thought of it that way? EMS is a physical job that requires job-specific strength and conditioning.

Good cardiovascular fitness will reduce your chance of injury, help you to better deal with stress, and lead to more sleep. Good fitness also means that you will also eat better; you have got to feed the machine and it likes clean, natural foods.

So the next time that you have a craving for something bad, don't know what exercise to do, or need some motivation or a simple reminder to keep you on track, pull up this infographic and stay the course.    

About the author

Bryan Fass, ATC, LAT, CSCS, EMT-P (ret.), has dedicated over a decade to changing the culture of EMS from one of pain, injury, and disease to one of ergonomic excellence and provider wellness. He has leveraged his 15-year career in sports medicine, athletic training, spine rehabilitation, strength and conditioning and as a paramedic to become an expert on prehospital patient handling/equipment handling and fire-EMS fitness. His company, Fit Responder, works nationally with departments to reduce injuries and improve fitness for first responders. Contact Bryan at bryan.fass@ems1.com

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