Workplace injuries can strike at almost any moment. You probably take safety precautions whether you work for the City of Portland, ConAgra in Boardman, or the WalMart Distribution Center in Hermiston. But, your work safety plan can be more complete with a pre-shift warm-up and stretching program. And you don’t have to work a Nike, or be a Portland TrailBlazer, to do this!
Warming-up and stretching is beneficial for all types of workers, and it’s especially important for those who perform manual labor. Here’s what you need to know about pre-shift stretching.
Benefits of Warming-up and Stretching Before Work
Warming up increases your heart rate, circulation to your muscles and tendons, and makes you more mentally alert. It is like oiling a squeakly wheel, or letting your car warm up on a frigid morning. All this takes is a mere 5-10 minute brisk walk, or jogging in place.
After warm up, you should spend some time stretching. Muscles and other soft tissues in your body sometimes deal poorly with gravity, which affects your balance. Bad posture habits, like slumping, also contribute to weakened muscles. If you stretch on a regular basis, you help the soft tissues in your body realign. The more aligned your muscles and soft tissues are, the stronger and more balanced they become. Remember that stretching is about relaxation, breath evenly and don’t push through pain. Pay attention to your body and move smoothly. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds.
Exercise Improves Coordination
A mere 15 minutes a day can help the various muscle groups in your body work together. The better your arms and legs work together, the less likely they are to slip and sustain an injury.
Exercise can also calm nerves
There’s a reason so many people love yoga. Stretching helps your body relax, which in turn helps your mind relax. Stress is a leading cause of on-the-job injuries, but by stretching, you can decrease your stress levels and feel more level-headed as you work.
How to Implement a Pre-Shift Warm Up and Stretching Program
You don’t have to be a manager or team lead to incorporate a pre-shift program into your routine. You can complete your own program right when you arrive each morning, or even before you go to work!
Although you don’t need to this every day; you should! Your body is your tool. You need it to be healthy to work. You can protect and prime your muscles for any work situation you face. It is up to you.
A good routine program can even lessen the harm caused by injury and make recovery faster. But, if you do sustain an injury on the job or you are having trouble recovering from a work injury you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your accident.