Category: Staff

Overexertion: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

What Is Overexertion?

To put it simply, overexertion is the state of being physically and mentally pushed beyond one’s limits. This relates to your physical capability, age, strength, and tolerance. 


Overexertion injuries are usually caused by repetitive motion, such as prolonged typing, lifting or handling heavy objects, extreme physical labor, or working in an awkward position (poor posture while performing a task, prolonged bending at the waist, reaching above the shoulders). As a non-impact injury of excessive physical effort, it is linked to pulling, pushing, lifting, holding, carrying, turning, and throwing.

In terms of overexertion injuries, we refer to the two types of such injuries: strains and sprains. Any strain injury is the tearing or stretching of the muscle or tendons; and sprains are stretching or tearing of the ligament. It is important to understand and recognize the signs of overexertion to prevent further complications.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Overexertion?

There are signs alerting you to slow it down and take a break or rest from your current activity. Overexertion symptoms should be taken seriously to avoid more serious injuries.

1. Difficulty Speaking

If you cannot speak because you are breathing too roughly, slow down or take a break.

2. Pain

During the task you may have a form of pain such as a pinch, tightness, or a throbbing or burning sensation. At this point, stop the activity and rest.

3. Dehydration

A dry mouth, fatigue, and dizziness are all signs of dehydration, slow down and replenish with fluids.

4. Fatigue

In addition to feeling worn out, you may experience dizziness, irritability, and become irrational. This requires not only limiting yourself, but also being mindful of the amount of rest and sleep you get.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience difficulty breathing with dizziness and chest pains or pressure. These can be signs of an impending heart attack.

Image of person experiencing back pain after lifting boxes.

Treatment of Overexertion Injuries

Immediate treatment for overexertion is to stop the task or activity and rest. Take stock of any signs and symptoms of overexertion and treat the symptom. Use ice or heat compresses for muscle and join soreness or stiffness. With muscle knots or tension, have a warm bath infused with Epsom salts for relief.

Overexertion Prevention Tips

   At Work:

  • Plan and understand the job or task before attempting it.
  • Limit the weight of any objects you are handling, especially when carrying or lifting.
  • Take frequent short breaks when performing repetitive tasks.
  • Maintain proper posture when walking, sitting, and standing.
  • Keep hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
  • Push instead of pulling when possible.
  • Follow proper procedure when working with machines and large objects.
  • Use appropriate equipment or machinery for task.
  • Use ergonomic workstations.
  • Avoid working or exercising in extreme temperatures.

At Home:

  • Stretch before and after exercise workouts.
  • Exercise regularly, including strength training.
  • Get proper rest and sleep every night.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.

The only way to avoid overexertion is to be alert to personal limits.

Information modified from

New Employees/Promotions

If you see them on campus, please welcome them to Lawrence!

New Employees:

Miki Aoki – Lecturer of Music

Timothy Bean – Trevor-Sage Hall Director

Omar Ward Jr. – Healthy Viking Intern

Aaron Wojciechowski – Assistant Director of the Diversity and Intercultural Center

Brittany Worden – Student Account Specialist

Claire Schmidt – Allegretto Girl Choir Manager


Jacklyn Fischer – Interim Dean of the Career Center

Mike O’Connor – Special Assistant to the President

Megan Scott – Vice President for Communications and Marketing

Free Webinars and Monthly Live Talks Provided by ERC

Did you know our Employee Assistance Program, ERC, provides free webinars and live talks on various topics? Here is what’s coming up this month:

  • Resiliency Today: Mindfulness Meditation – February 3rd from 12:00 – 1:00pm
    • In this talk participants will explore what mindful meditation is and isn’t, identify the benefits, discuss data that supports mindful meditation and have an opportunity to experience it.
  • Parenting Your Child with Special Needs/Disabilities: The Importance of Nutrition and Exercise  – February 8th from 12:00 – 1:00pm
    • Overall wellness plays a significant role in maximizing your child’s potential. In this talk, participants will look at how to incorporate special diets, such as gluten intolerance and nut allergies, into family meals; provide healthy snacks that support medical therapies and get help with picky eaters. You will also get creative ways to fit in exercise for parents and children
  • Financial Wellness: Tax Tips– February 9th from 12:00 – 1:00pm
    • This talk will help you understand the secrets of reducing taxable income, how to break down the federal tax reporting system and remove the mystery of the tax return. You will learn to use deductions, exemptions and strategies to save tax dollars.
  • Caregiver’s Network: Sleep and Relaxation to Calm Caregivers  –February 16th from 12:00 – 1:00pm
    • Sleep is vitally important to caregivers and their overall health. This talk reviews sleep debt and good sleep hygiene habits but also how to calm the mind and body, avoid Monkey Mind Syndrome and find relaxation techniques that work.
  • Succeed at Work: Concentration– February 17th from 12:00 – 1:00pm
    • This month’s talk is specifically designed to assist parents in advancing their capacities to further equip children with valuable life skills as they continue securing the strong foundation for their lives. Planning, preparing and pursuing life dreams alongside your children is a journey well worth investing in with long lasting benefits for all.
  • Strong Parents, Strong Families: Managing Fear & Anxiety in Children – February 23rd from 12:00 – 1:00pm
    • In this talk participants will discuss important tactics to help children of all age groups deal with anxiety and fear and how their own fears and anxieties must be handled in order to provide proper support to children.
  • Your Healthy Lifestyle: Sleep Basics– February 24th from 12:00 – 1:00pm
    • In this talk you will learn the physical and mental benefits of a good night’s sleep, how to establish daily habits that promote sleep and ways to improve your sleep environment. Participants will discuss techniques for relaxation and dealing with insomnia.

Click here to register for any of the upcoming monthly talks. To login to their website and view more resources, use the following credentials:

  • Username: ERC
  • Password: ERC

DEI Peer Educators are Now Available

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has peer educators who are available to speak with student organizations, groups, and classes regarding anti-racism and allyship. Our goal is to listen, engage and learn respectfully with and from each other. Join us!

Details for the workshops are below:

The antiracism workshop is a one-hour session intended to help participants better understand the concepts of race and racism, discuss the consequences of systemic racism and help participants consider committing to a daily practice of antiracism.

The allyship workshop is a one-hour session intended to provide better understanding of the active process of allyship, discuss how we each can use our power to support marginalized folks and to help participants consider committing to a daily practice of allyship.

To arrange a workshop or presentation please contact Nora Robinson, Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Fellow,

Lunar New Year Celebration

Saturday, January 29th @ 6:30 PM-Warch (Somerset & Esch/Hurvis)

Happy Lunar New Year! We will be celebrating the year of the tiger in person on Saturday, January 29 and virtually on Sunday, January 30 this year with Chinese Student Association, Korean Culture Club, Lawrence International, Pan-Asian Organization, and Vietnamese Culture Organization. The event will include a lion dance, cultural presentations, and cultural expo.

Live Celebration
(Open to LU students, staff, faculty)
Saturday, January 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Warch Campus Center

*Grab & Go Mai’s Deli. First Come, First Serve

Virtual Premiere
(Open to the public)
Sunday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m.
The virtual link will shared on the Lunar New Year page: Join our celebration via the virtual premiere on Sunday, January 30 2022 at 6:30pm

Contact: or

World Music Series: Dreamers’ Circus

Dreamers’ Circus

Monday, January 31, 2022, 8:00p.m.,

Harper Hall, Music Drama

Join us for the first event of the new year! For Tickets, please visit the Lawrence University Box office or call 920-832-6749.

Purchase tickets to the webcast at or call the box office at 920-832-6749.
Ticket price: $10 + processing fee

(Limited to current Lawrence students, faculty, and staff only)
Purchase tickets in person at the box office or call the box office at 920-832-6749. Valid Lawrence ID must be presented.
Ticket (general seating) prices:
Lawrence students, faculty, and staff – free

A new driving force in Nordic world music is the young Danish trio, Dreamers’ Circus. Contemporary and endlessly innovative in their approach, they draw inspiration from the deep traditions of folk music in the region and reshape them into something bright, shiny and new.

Dreamers’ Circus are: Nikolaj Busk (DK) on piano and accordion, Ale Carr (SWE) on Nordic cittern and Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen (DK), also of the Danish String Quartet, on violin.

Dreamers’ Circus display inventiveness and talent in their approach to performances that include music from Denmark and Sweden as well as Iceland, Finland and the far reaches of the windswept Faroe Islands. The ensemble has won five prestigious Danish Music Awards and toured throughout Europe and beyond, with performances in Japan and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Their first US tour in 2019 opened ears, eyes, minds and hearts. The trio collaborates regularly with the Danish String Quartet and the Copenhagen Philharmonic and performs with other orchestras.

Dreamers’ Circus views their traditional roots as a point of departure and know tradition should not be a straitjacket. This adventurous attitude, coupled with their outstanding musicianship, has brought the band to the forefront of the Nordic folk and world music scene.

Off-Campus Programs Application Deadline Extended to February 8

The application deadline for 2022-2023 Off-Campus Programs has been extended to February 8, 2022. If you are planning to apply to any of our 50-plus affiliated study abroad programs or domestic off-campus opportunities, please have your application submitted by that date. The deadline for London Centre applications remains March 1, 2022.

If you have any questions about your application or if you want to know more about a program you are interested in, please contact or drop into our office hours.

To learn more about programs we offer, go to the Off-Campus Programs website.

Submit Questions for Winter Term All-Staff Meeting

We are still collecting questions ahead of the Winter Term All-Staff Meeting, which is scheduled to be held virtually February 16 from 9-10:30 a.m. If you have a question for the President or Cabinet or a general topic you would like to see addressed, please let us know by filling out our All-Staff Meeting Questions form. This form is completely anonymous.

For more details on the meeting and a Zoom link, please go to the Staff Governance page.