WorkAbility Movement Screen

Musculoskeletal diseases affect more than one out of two working age adults. Unfortunately, most workplace wellness programs and annual physical exams fail to objectively measure musculoskeletal risks and provide guidance for suitable physical activity. As a result, workers often make poor healthcare choices when engaging in physical activity or searching for solutions to alleviate musculoskeletal symptoms such as back pain.

We approach movement health promotion by coupling our innovative WorkAbility Movement Screen with individualized Lifestyle Fitness Coaching (when indicated) to reduce movement deficits or obesity. This respects social distancing, provides for flexible appointment scheduling, and reduces workplace productivity disruptions and administrative burden for employers, compared to traditional workplace wellness events. 

Workers may schedule a 30-minute appointment that is administered in a private room to minimize workplace disruptions. This may be conducted in person or virtually with social distancing. Usual measures include:

  • Body Size Measures to determine Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist-to-Height (WtH) ratio.
  • Resting Vital Signs for seated heart rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and pain.
  • Active Movement Scale (AMS) rates ability to do 14 movements such as reaching, standing on one leg, bending, kneeling, and squatting as a screen for flexibility, balance, strength and coordination.
  • Two Square Agility Test (TSAT) is a timed test of stepping back and forth to assess agility/fall risk.

This is followed by an interactive discussion of recent physical activities and barriers to physical fitness. Participants receive immediate feedback with an individual fitness report of objective findings and follow-up recommendations to promote healthy physical activity and reduce musculoskeletal risks. Sponsoring employers receive a participant list and de-identified group report to evaluate workforce fitness needs, and support employer incentives for wellness programs.

Lifestyle fitness coaching

Workers with musculoskeletal movement deficits, symptoms, or obesity may participate in a 3-month program of virtual fitness coaching to promote healthy physical activity, self-manage symptoms, and diet management.

  • This intervention is designed to facilitate a healthy lifestyle culture in the workplace.
  • Coaching may be accessed at optimal times and methods (text, email, telefitness) for the worker.
  • Our coaches use an activity app to drive worker engagement in movement and weight loss goals..
  • Coaching may facilitate coordination of care with other health professionals to reduce work disability, healthcare over-utilization, or medical complications such as addiction, with worker authorization.
  • WorkAbility Movement Screen is re-administered after program is completed to measure progress.

The services described above are intended to improve employer return on investment in wellness programs by reducing work-related or off-the-job musculoskeletal injuries, lost productivity and healthcare costs

Telehealth Musculoskeletal Triage

Physical Activity Barriers: Employees with musculoskeletal concerns don’t know how to best manage their symptoms and transition to healthy physical activity. This contributes to a sedentary lifestyle, healthcare overutilization, and medical complications such as addiction.

  • A physical therapist will complete a brief telehealth consult with the worker to document musculoskeletal concerns, barriers to physical activity, and follow-up recommendations to promote self-management of symptoms and physical activity.
  • This service is a workplace wellness benefit to provide workers with a confidential telehealth option to report musculoskeletal complaints or difficulties in response to work or leisure activities. The worker receives a confidential telehealth visit report.
  • This may be done as a stand-alone service or provided as a follow-up to address abnormal findings during a WorkAbility Movement Screen of musculoskeletal fitness.

Return On Investment (ROI)

  • Monitor and inspire physical fitness for less than one-third of the cost for a traditional biometric screening.
  • This movement screen contains more relevant measures about risk factors for falls or musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Screen may be administered within a small work space.

PhysicalFIT Employment Screen

Establishing the physical qualifications of job qualifications is a key step to identifying suitable employment opportunities.

WorkerFIT Physical Screen (WPS) is an objective screen of musculoskeletal health and materials handling strength. This screen is usually administered at the start of a job search process. It establishes a baseline certification of physical health to assess readiness for physical work activities. The WPS includes measures of:

  1. Vitals (seated heart rate and blood pressure)
  2. Body size (weight, height, and abdominal girth)
  3. Quick screen of active movement flexibility
  4. Grip/pinch/pull strength
  5. Agility/dynamic balance
  6. Job-specific lift/carry tests

The Worker Search feature of WorkerFIT provides employers with the option to search for applicants that meet for specific job strength and mobility levels that are required for successful job performance. All workers that are cleared for employment are provided with a report card of their physical qualifications. Low risk or “fit” persons will receive positive encouragement to maintain their current fitness level, whereas higher risk persons will be encouraged to participate in appropriate fitness options to prepare for more physically demanding work.

WorkAbility Fitness Screen

Businesses are realizing that healthier employees are more productive and less costly. The key challenge in implementing cost-effective worker screening and health promotion programs is how to structure services in a manner that ensures safe job placement and motivates employees that would benefit most from healthier lifestyles.

WorkAbility Fitness Screen (WFS) is an objective screen of musculoskeletal health, physical fitness, and job-specific workabilities. This is initially administered after a contingent job-offer is made. It establishes a baseline of physical fitness and determines an applicant’s suitability for physical job demands to prevent fraudulent claims, unnecessary healthcare, and needless work disability. The WFS includes a baseline health history and measurement of:

  1. Vitals (seated heart rate, pulse oximetry, respiratory rate, and blood pressure)
  2. Anthropometric measures of body mass index (weight, height, and abdominal girth)
  3. Quick screen of functional range-of-motion/flexibility
  4. Near and far vision screen 
  5. Finger dexterity/wrist-finger speed (Sedentary or Light physical demands)
  6. Total-body manual dexterity (Medium or higher physical demands)
  7. Grip/pinch/pull strength
  8. Agility/dynamic balance
  9. Sub-maximal 8” step test of aerobic capacity (when appropriate).
  10. Job-specific lift/carry tests

Job analysis is required to validate any hiring cut-scores. WorkAbility eJobMatch provides employers with HIPPA-secured web-access to WorkAbility Summary reports that reference only the applicants’ specific workabilities compared to job demands. Applicants that are NOT cleared for FULL DUTY may be reviewed for job accommodation feasibility if they qualify for additional employment consideration based on disability or other protected status. All workers that are cleared for employment are provided with a detailed report card of their physical fitness results. Low risk or “fit” persons will receive positive encouragement to maintain their current fitness level, whereas higher risk persons will be encouraged to participate in appropriate wellness options. This WorkAbility Fitness Screen may be repeated when necessary to update the employee’s physical fitness profile and work abilities in response to specific issues such as:

  • Worker reports physical symptoms or difficulty in response to assigned work duties.
  • Worker is released to FULL DUTY after a 30-day or longer absence due to lay-off, work-related injury, non-occupational injury/illness, or FMLA leave.
  • Workers that have been on LIMITED DUTY for 30 or more days.

Re-administration of the WorkAbility Fitness Screen in response to any of the above issues helps to ensure safe, ongoing job placement. The employee is provided with a report card that compares current status with past performance on prior WorkAbility Fitness Screens to motivate worker participation in appropriate wellness, medical or therapy services in order to reduce needless disability or healthcare costs. An ERGO Accommodation Study may be needed to assess feasibility of worker accommodation.

This service may be bundled with a urine drug screen to meet Drug-Free Workplace requirements. For more information, download Why post-offer fitness screens are an absolute necessity.

Functional Capacity Evaluations

Comprehensive FCE (Functional Capacity Evaluation)

This is a completely mobile comprehensive evaluation of physical disability to substantiate work restrictions that impact job search, disability benefits eligibility, vocational rehab plan recommendations or claims settlement of workers with limiting health conditions. Standardized components include:

  • Review of past job performance barriers, medical history, records and lifestyle issues.
  • Neuromusculoskeletal exam for underlying physical impairments that may limit function.
  • Physical capacity tests (vision, strength, agility, finger dexterity, keyboarding speed, manual dexterity, aerobic capacity, posture tolerances and materials handling)
  • WorkAbility Summary with clarification of exam validity (consistency of effort), limiting health conditions, suitability for any specific occupational goals, and exercise/accommodation options.

A review of FCE findings by WorkAbility Physician may be added to clarify diagnoses, identify medical management needs, determine impairment rating based on AMA Guideline or to certify work release.

Comprehensive FCE Plus Vocational Screen

The scope of our completely mobile WorkAbility Comprehensive FCE may be expanded to include vocational screening and records review to addresstransferable skills, employment barriers, suitable occupations/training options, and accommodation needs. The following additional components help to identify strengths, limitations or follow-up services to support job development or retraining:

  • Screen of cognition, interests, and academic achievement (reading, math, spelling).
  • Multidisciplinary discussion between the examining physical or occupational therapist, physician reviewer, vocational expert and job placement specialist to establish realistic vocational goals and plan recommendations.
  • Consultation/feedback between vocational expert and consumer and/or referring counselor to discuss evaluation findings, vocational projections, and follow-up plan recommendations.

This state-wide service is an excellent entry point for consumers who identify multiple functional limitations and barriers to work – with unclear vocational goals. Our completely mobile, one-stop exam process minimizes transportation barriers, time delays, and contradictions among disciplines that delay or confuse eligibility determination or implementation of cost-effective plan services.  

Limited FCE

This completely mobile, limited functional capacity evaluation is done following a recent Independent Medical Evaluation (IME), Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation (CVE), Ergonomic Accommodation Study (EAS) or Functional Job Analysis (FJA). Its primary purpose is to clarify physical work restrictions.

Ergonomic Consultation Services

The critical inquiry under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is whether covered entities engaged in an interactive process that supports reasonable accommodation of qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. An accurate analysis of functional job demands is essential for ADA compliance, validation of fitness-for-duty exams and management of work injury claims.

Office Ergonomic Evaluation

This is an evaluation of musculoskeletal health and reported symptoms during use of office equipment to improve worker comfort and productivity. This mobile application uses the ExamFIT Platform for reporting to justify the need for office equipment modifications, workstation exercises or suitable physical activity to reduce musculoskeletal risk factors and alleviate symptoms. A WorkAbility Movement Screen may be included in this scope of services.

WorkerFIT Job Analysis

This is an interactive functional analysis of job functions with worker involvement to identify the physical demands of the job, using the WorkerFIT web-based reporting platform. Issues that may prompt referral for this service include:

  • Design of safe and productive work methods or controls to lower injury rates.
  • Validate fitness-for-duty exam protocols for job-applicants or workers with health limitations.
  • Identify safe work tasks & accommodation options to promote return to productive work.

Standard components of a WorkerFIT Job Analysis include Job Title, Summary, Review Process, Occupational References, SkillFIT Factors, PhysicalFIT Factors (Available Schedule, Disability Alternatives, Materials Handling, Physical Aptitudes, Posture tolerances, Safety Equipment), Related Groups, Exams, Modifications, Attachments (images).

WorkAbility Job Analysis data is managed in the WorkAbility eJobMatch System to support global access for worker-job match and job safety analysis. This innovative software solution…

  • Matches worker capabilities to job demands in a web-based HIPPA-compliant platform.
  • Links employers, insurers and providers for more effective injury prevention and medical management.
  • Supports hiring decisions, ADA Accommodations, transitional work programs, job-specific rehab planning, and design of safety and risk management strategies.

ERGO Accommodation Study (EAS)

This is an interactive, ergonomic analysis of how an applicant or worker’s restrictions impact safe job performance, with assessment of feasibility of temporary or permanent job accommodations. This includes a WorkerFIT Functional Job Analysis. Issues that may prompt referral include:

  • Support documentation is requested to help render a final hiring or job placement decision
  • Identify accommodations options to address job safety or productivity barriers.
  • Evaluate readiness of a disabled worker to return to full or temporary, modified duty.

Expert Testimony

Rick Wickstrom, PT, DPT, CPE, CME may be consulted on litigation cases that require expert testimony on matters that related to extent of physical disability, ergonomic job demands, and job accommodation. He also provides proactive consultation with employers to develop ergonomic, transitional work and wellness programs to promote safety and integrated disability management.