Top Menu

Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Sponsored Links

14 February 2016

Risk in the Navy and How to Avoid it

Here are a few unique risks we take as Navy/Military personnel and how we can minimize/avoid that risk...

Lower Back Injuries

Every military member’s body is abused by the level of work expected of them causing joint and back issues.  The rate of lower back injuries in the military is higher than the national average.  These issues have a greater impact on Navy sailors due to the constant movement of ships.  In addition, things that are supposed to make us healthier could be compounding the issue such as our PT program.  Most sailors do sit-ups and crunches to build their core, many studies have found the repetitive motion of sit-ups/crunches to be extremely bad for your lower back.

So what can you do to protect your back and still get that strong core?  

  1. Try doing planks, they target more muscles then a sit-up and will improve balance.
  2. Pilates also will help strengthen your core.
  3. Get more advanced by using a fitness ball, place your elbows on the ball in a plank position then extend out your arms and bring back in.   Not only will this target your abs but it will also target your arms as well.


We all have seen the ads and mesothelioma is a real risk for military personnel.  Navy vets are the largest group of mesothelioma victims. This, in part, is due to the use of asbestos on ships going all the way back into the 80’s.  Many of these ships are still commissioned today, while decommissioning my first ship they found asbestos and had to go through many extra steps to ensure the safety of the crew.  There are many other carcinogens navy personnel deal with such as Nickel, Benzene, and Crystalline silica… 

How do you minimize the risk of cancer?

  1.  Knowing is half the battle, when you know the risk you can take proper steps to avoid it.  Many sites have info about different carcinogens including;

Asbestos info

Agent Orange


  1.  Quit smoking,  cigarettes include 43+ known carcinogens  including tobacco, tar,  formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT.   Quitting smoking can really help your health.  For military resources you can go here and if you need encouragement look to people that have already quit, that was the number one thing that helped me quit.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is a complex and chronic disorder caused by exposure to a traumatic event.  Military personnel and veterans are more likely to experience PTSD due to the environment they work in and their likelihood to witness or be a part of a traumatic event.   PTSD causes substantial distress and interferes with personal and social functioning.   This can be amplified by by a rigorous deployment schedule and weak support structure at home.

Many factors contribute to PTSD, lower rank personnel and those with less education have a higher risk of PTSD than an officer might. Many other factors increase your risk of PTSD such as being a reservists, female, prior exposure to traumatic events, being single, and longer or repetitive deployments.   

What can be done to decrease the effects and lower your risk?

  1. Build a good support group.  Maintain contact with family back home, find friends within your community and find someone in your command you can talk to.  All this will decrease your chance of reacting negatively to future traumatic events that can possibly lead to PTSD.
  2. Live a healthy lifestyle, physical fitness has been linked to mental fitness, so being more physically fit will lower your chances of being traumatically scarred by an event.
  3. Know the risk predictors. If you can identify your risk you can mentally prepare yourself and lower your risk.

Here are some factors that increase your risk of PTSD;

Being female

Being a minority

Low education

Non-officer ranking

Army service

Combat specializations

High number of deployments

Longer cumulative length of deployments

Other adverse life events outside of the service

Prior trauma exposure

and Prior psychological issues.

Lastly know your resources and if you know someone that may need help talk with them and point them in the right direction.   Here are a couple of sites that may help:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sponsored Links