Warm-up and Stretching Programs at Pipeworx Ltd.
By stretching the muscle effectively, tension can be minimized and joint range of motion and blood flow to the muscle can be improved. By warming up cold muscles, you can “prepare them for work”.
Although the implementation of on the job warm-up and stretching programs is somewhat controversial, some research has shown benefits to in-house stretching and its ability to lower work-related injury costs. When used as a component of an on-going ergonomic initiative workplaces have seen reductions in injury costs and improvements to employees range of motion, physical work habits and body awareness when working. To state that the warm-up and/or stretching program worked independently of other factors is often hard to conclude and this is one reason research has been inconsistent.
In many cases, workplaces state that the overall wellness of their workers improved when they implemented a stretching program. This result is likely not solely from of the physical act of stretching, but rather the combination of this and employees feeling that “management cares about their wellbeing”.
Job rotation, team production, or job enlargement are often suggested as methods to reduce the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This is intended to minimize the physical impact on any one individual and also give workers the skills to do several tasks.
Research continues to show, however, that the most effective strategy to prevent MSDs is using design to eliminate workplace MSD hazards. Job rotation has both positive and negative outcomes for both workers and organizations.
Similar to the advice given above for implementing a job rotation, when an organization is interested in developing a warm-up or stretching program for its workplace, it is advised that they review the physical and cognitive demands of the job tasks, the production and organization considerations and then outline the positive and negative impacts of such an implementation, including the impact on injury risk.
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