Stretch to Save Lost Work Time

Fall is now here and with it comes cooler mornings for everyone working outdoors (sometimes indoors, too).  In cooler weather, the human body is much more susceptible to injury.  However the number of injuries can be reduced if workers will warm muscles and stretch before beginning physical labor.  With that here are some activities and a few stretches that are recommended before beginning a day of physical labor / work.

1.  Walk briskly to work site from car or mode of transportation.  This activity will warm the body and pump blood to extremities with minimum effort.

2.  Upper body stretch – put right hand on left elbow and gently pull over and back of heard.  Hold this stretch for 10 seconds before moving to left hand over right elbow.
3.  Put left arm across body and use right forearm to push the arm vertically across body as seen in sketch below.  Hold for 10 seconds and switch arms for right arm across body.

4. Bend right knee and straighten left leg with hands on side of body to stretch groin and hips as seen in sketch below.  Hold for 10 seconds and switch legs.

5. Stretch calf muscles by putting hands against wall, holding body straight but to an angle, and pushing lightly on calf muscles in back of the legs.  Hold this for 10 seconds.

What can employers gain by having a warm-up stretch time for their workers before physical labor begins?  Reduced workplace injuries and injury costs, reduced absenteeism, and improved health and satisfaction for your employees.  All of the items mentioned will help your employees to become more productive thus making the company more productive.


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