Stretching brings nutrients to your muscles and relieves tension. It increases the feeling of well-being and improves flexibility. When possible, take breaks and stretch. When you stretch, make sure you stretch slowly without bouncing, and gradually increase the stretch to your tolerance. We know that stretching can promote circulation and reduce stress.
FIVE to TEN minutes is all it takes to stretch.
Although stretching can be beneficial, stretching/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.
The risk for pain and discomfort can increase with any type of work if the work exposes employees to awkward postures or excessive force especially when exposure is repeated and/or sustained for extended durations. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), also called Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs) or repetitive motion/strain injuries, continue to be an issue in the workplace due to the expose to injury risk factors. 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 can increase.
Contact CSU’s Ergonomics Coordinator
for additional information or with any questions.