Every year over six million injuries occur in the workplace, and many aren’t caused by accidents. Injuries from standard work procedures are more common than you think and can have an impact on a jobsite. Having your employees utilize a stretch and flex program can assist in the prevention of any onsite injuries.
Companies have seen increased popularity in incorporating a stretching routine as it has helped to prevent and decrease the number of injuries (or re-injuries) and enhance the overall wellbeing of all employees. Stretching can keep your muscles strong, and flexible, and maintain a good range of motion. If conducted correctly, all employees will see increased flexibility, reduced stress, better coordination, and an increase in energy. Below are three simple stretches you can begin to incorporate into your daily routine to help prevent an injury from occurring.
- Chest and Shoulder Stretch
This stretch will target your chest and shoulder area, which will lengthen and loosen your muscles to improve your range of motion in your upper body area. To begin, stand upright and bend both elbows at a 90-degree angle with your fingers facing upward. Squeeze your shoulder blades and hold your stretch for 3-5 seconds and repeat five times.
- Side Bend
This stretch will target your lower back and torso area to improve your range of motion and protect your back. To begin, place your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your arms by your side. Raise your right arm overhead and lean towards your left side. Hold your stretch for 3-5 seconds and repeat twice. Change arms and repeat the exercise on opposite sides.
- Hamstring Stretch
This stretch will target your hamstring, hips, and pelvis area which will improve your ability in bending and extending your joints. To begin, stand upright and place a secure elevated object in front of you. Raise one foot onto the elevated surface and slowly bend forward. Once you begin to feel tension behind your thigh, stop. Hold the stretch for 3-5 seconds, switch legs, and repeat on each side twice.
As you begin to stretch, it’s important to listen to your body’s limits. Remember to breathe throughout the duration to avoid tension and pain. Since many employees may be new to a stretch and flex program it’s important to start slow as moving too quickly can strain your muscles. If a particular stretch is causing you pain, or discomfort, modify the stretch or take a break. Remember to remain consistent with stretching so your muscles and body get accustomed to a routine. If you’re regularly stretching your muscles, the risk of spasm, tightness and injuries are reduced. If you are unsure about where to begin speak to your primary physician.
If you have concerns about your workforce, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, and your employees. We offer the following services to help: