Stretching & Injury Prevention
Stretching brings nutrients to your muscles and relieves tension. It increases the feeling of well-being and improves flexibility. When possible, take breaks from the computer and stretch. When you stretch, make sure you stretch slowly without bouncing, and gradually increase the stretch to your tolerance. Improved muscle resiliency, coordination and power as well as higher energy levels are all benefits of stretching.
We know that stretching even on an airplane or at your work desk promotes circulation, reducing stress, and repetitive movement injuries.
FIVE to TEN minutes is all it takes to stretch.
Although stretching can be beneficial, stretching and exercise programs are not recommended as a method of injury prevention. Studies have not shown that stretching programs reduce the incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Fitting the job to the person by assessing and designing the task appropriately to meet the capabilities of workers’ is needed and is a far more effective in preventing injury.
With increased computer use, the risk for pain and discomfort increases due to the way we work, duration we sit in awkward postures and the frequency of use of computers, laptops, tablets and phones which were not intended for extended use. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), also called Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs) or repetitive motion/strain injuries, continue to be an issue in the workforce. These injuries can be chronic and debilitating.
WMSDs can affect any area of the body (neck, shoulders, hand, wrists, elbows, knees, and feet, etc.), affect the body in different ways, and present different symptoms. Understanding the signs and symptoms of injuries and knowing that early reporting is beneficial to prevent chronic injury is important.
Signs and symptoms of CTDs include but are not limited to:
Aches and Pain
Decreased Range of Motion (ROM)
Body Parts “Falling Asleep”
Loss of Strength
Focus should be paid to the design of the workstation, tools and equipment in order to ensure the capabilities of workers are not exceeded. If this is not given proper consideration, the risk for injuries increases.
Contact CSU’s Ergonomics Coordinator
for additional information or with any questions.