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Stretching Before Work... Right Or Wrong?



Much has been said and advertised about the great benefits associated with pre-shift stretching exercises to reduce injuries in the workplace, but do they work? Many athletes and coaches also believe that pre-sport stretching decreases the risk of injuries, but do they?

This all comes down to flexibility. It is commonly believed that people who are less flexible are much more likely to have musculoskeletal pain and injuries. This is not proven at all. In fact, there was a recent study that shows that athletes that stretch before a workout were NOT likely to have reduced injuries. And there has been no scientific research that supports the fact that stretching exercises before work reduces injuries. Balance, strength, coordination, and using your body correctly are far more important factors in avoiding injury than just flexibility.

If you want to reduce the risk for injuries, the research indicates that it would be better to do general warm-up through movement such as walking (increased muscle temperature enhances the muscle’s resistance to tearing and reduces stiffness), secondly, do movement drills (with gradually increasing intensity) that focus on the body’s key joints and that mimic the motions being done at work, and thirdly, increase general fitness.

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