Stretch & Flex
Active movement has been shown to prevent injury, reduce the risk of injuries, and promote healing after an injury. For physical jobs, like construction and manufacturing, staying active throughout your workday and following an injury is important. Staying mobile is also crucial for jobs considered less physical, like office positions, to allow for change of position and provide blood, oxygen, and nutrients to sore muscles. Such programs may also be called mobility programs, stretch and flex programs, or daily stretching. These programs have the most benefit to employees when performed frequently throughout the work day or when appropriate to the work tasks.
Joe works at a large warehouse in the shipping department. His job includes retrieving items from shelves, stacking pallets for shipping, wrapping the pallet, and labeling the pallet for shipping. He and his team perform a morning stretch program at the start of their shift. Recently he has begun to notice soreness in his shoulders and mentioned it to his supervisor. Together they encouraged the team to perform the stretch program in short 1-2 minute microbreaks throughout the work day. This routine was done as often as every 30 minutes. This provided a change in positioning and allowed muscles to recover, reducing Joe’s shoulder soreness and allowing the team to stretch throughout the work day.
Let’s also discuss Becky, who works in a call center. She sits with a headset to take customer calls and enter data into her computer over two monitors. Becky has been noticing right wrist soreness gradually increasing over the last few weeks. She contacted the onsite therapist at work and together they reviewed the wellness and mobility program in place. They reviewed specific activities that can help reduce wrist soreness related to her work tasks. After performing the activities throughout her work day in small sessions, over the next week her symptoms resolved.
These examples demonstrate the benefit of stretch programs to the employee and the employer, as well. The employee was able to avoid medical attention to resolve their soreness while also able to continue working at full duty.
PDRWorks in Edina, MN offers stretch programs to employers through video training, in person training, or as part of our injury prevention services. Get your employees started on a program now to reduce injuries!