In the interest of workplace health and safety, we are encouraging a change in the work day routine for many industrial workers. Just like any athlete participating in a pre-game stretch, The Working Athlete ™ should not underestimate the importance of incorporating a pre-shift stretch and warm-up before beginning their work day.
The Working Athlete ™ might find themselves rushing into their field to complete the immediate task at hand, due to an emergency such as a downed tree or a broken line. As a result, The Working Athlete ™ may experience ergonomic challenges leading to increased muscle fatigue.
It may seem easier to skip the warm up and dive into the task at hand, but studies have shown that a rapid warm up can prevent common musculoskeletal injuries. Rapid warm ups increase tissue blood flow, elasticity and improve movement patterns leading to increased safety awareness and decreased injury risk when performing job tasks.
With this research in the spotlight, employers are placing more importance on the health and safety of The Working Athlete ™ and are training their employees to stretch and warm up before beginning their work day.
Why is this important?
A warm-up activity serves two major purposes—to enhance performance and prevent injury. The warm up leads to an increase in blood flow which directly results in an increase in muscle temperature. Higher tissue temperature allows the hemoglobin in your blood to release oxygen more readily, contributes to improved nerve transmission, muscle metabolism and muscle contractions to perform efficient work output.
It has been noted that acute muscle tears occur more often when the muscles are “cold” or not warmed up. A rapid warm up is also essential because it improves movement patterns, leading to safer biomechanics while working.
Getting your “head in the game” is important. The significant mental requirements of certain job demands require a clear, concentrated mind for the body to appropriately react and respond. Mentally preparing for the upcoming activity can improve technique, skill and coordination.
Rapid warm ups are an important tool to keep The Working Athlete ™ injury-free. Taking a few minutes prior to work for a warm up will improve performance, decrease the prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries, and aid in mental awareness and preparation for the job.
In the interest of workplace health and safety, we are embarking on a change in the starting habits for many industrial workers. Just like any athlete fitting in a pregame stretch, The Working Athlete ™ should not underestimate the importance of a pre-shift stretch before beginning the work day!