Osteopath keeps employees standing tall

We values all employees at Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) and believe investing in their wellbeing at work is as important as investing in their career development.

We talked to resident Osteopath, Dr Tom Peasley of R&R Corporate Health, about his role in helping staff to achieve their health goals at SMCT.


What were your initial thoughts about working at a cemetery? 
I had no idea of the size of SMCT. When I heard there were over 300 staff with a large proportion of them performing manual work it all made sense. There has definitely been plenty of curiosity from friends and family about an osteopath’s role at a cemetery. I’m sure I am still yet to hear the best puns.

How has your perception changed over time? 
My role at SMCT started in July last year. I remember driving out to Cheltenham for the first time. It was around 6.30am, pitch black, and there was a thick fog covering the grounds. I found myself driving past memorials searching for reception. It was an eerie moment, but within 5 minutes of finding the reception (and the sun coming up) I was met with some of the most genuine and committed people who continue to impress me with their motivation.

What has been the biggest surprise about SMCT? 
I began to wonder about the people who work here. This conjured up all sorts of images and stereotypes, which I ignored as I really didn’t know. The biggest surprise has been how eager all the staff have been to listen and take the advice I give seriously.

What is your favourite part of working at SMCT? 
At SMCT everyone is working toward a common goal, and depending on their department, there may be a recurring problem affecting multiple people. I can identify these problems and provide solutions across SMCT, which is really fulfilling. I hope everyone who I treat gets as much out of it as I do.

Can you share your top three ‘life hacks’ for a strong back? 
If you have back pain, I recommend a few tips to keep it stable and to avoid further aggravation.

  1. Stretch your ‘glutes’ (the muscles in your bottom) – A seated glute stretch generally relieves most lower back pain. Sit down, place your right ankle on your left knee, gently lean forward with back straight until you feel a stretch, hold, release. Repeat on other side.
  2. Squeeze your ‘glutes’. When you’re standing, spend a spare 10 seconds clenching your glutes, hold, relax and repeat.
  3. Avoid bending – Always be aware of a bent back, when sitting forward at a desk, doing dishes, lifting children, and doing laundry etc. Losing focus on keeping your back straight and strong is a key player in back pain


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