Why Does Pipeworks Encourage a Daily Warm-up Stretching Program?
Temperature has an impact on the physical demands of work. There is an overall added physiological load when the human body is exposed to either very warm or very cold environments. With muscle contractions, there is a tendency to exert more force when muscles are cold which further reduces the blood flow to the tissues. This is why the concept of a warm-up is so useful, prior to starting physically demanding activities. Pipeworx allows all their workers time to acclimatize to these extreme work environments, reducing the risk of work demands exceeding the tissue capacities.
Education is critical so that when we exposed to extreme temperatures we can recognize early symptoms and take action before problems develop. As an example, we need to be specifically educated about the need to drink fluids in hot environments, even when we are not feeling thirsty. Feeling thirsty or light headed/dizzy are typically early signs of the onset of dehydration indicating that the body requires more fluid. With significant muscle work at times, it can be a challenge for the body to excrete the heat generated in the muscles.
Problems occur if internal heat production exceeds the body’s ability to get rid of the heat. Air temperature, humidity, radiant heat, air movement, body hydration, and clothing can all affect this heat balance. Heat stroke is most common in the very young or elderly people. With prompt first aid, there is typically full recovery in a relatively short period of time.
The body’s normal response to cold temperatures is to tighten up and reduce its ability to function optimally. Keep in mind that cold muscles and joints do not have the same range of motion, coordination or strength. Studies have shown reductions in maximum grip strength in the order of 13-18% following immersion in cold water and nerves cease to conduct when skin temperatures are between 8-10ºC. Cold can affect tissues directly or indirectly from wearing personal protective equipment, such as gloves. Gloves have been shown to increase the musculoskeletal load required to perform a task due to the fact that hand grip forces increase in the range of 7-28%, depending on the type and fit of the gloves.
Share This Article
Subscribe to our RSS Feed. What is RSS?