Multiple research studies have shown that stretching is an effective way to reduce physical injury. Back injury is one of the most common injuries that can plague city workers. Severe injuries will place a strong health and financial burden on yourself and the city from lost productivity.
Taking the time every day to warm up and stretch before engaging in your workplace duties will allow you to feel refreshed, increase your flexibility, and lower your chances of injuring a muscle. Take special consideration if any of the following risk factors for back injury apply to you:
- Age - back pain begins to happen between the ages of 30-40 years and is increasingly common as we get older
- Physical Fitness - inactive people are more likely to have back pain
- Obesity - being overweight places additional stress on the back
- Repetitive motion
Here are a few guidelines to take into account when stretching:
- Do not stretch "cold" muscles. Your muscles will elongate better when they are warm, so take a few minutes to elevate your heart rate. This can be done by a brisk 5-minute walk.
- Stretch all the major muscle groups listed here, but pay close attention to the muscles that are commonly used for your specific job duties. Repeat each stretch 3-4 times.
- Keep proper technique when stretching. Do not stretch yoruself to the point of pain, and tension should only be felt in the muscle, not the joint. Do not bounce when doing the stretch, just move slowly and breathe deeply.
- Do not force yourself into a stretch, work at it gradually every day. Eventually you will gain the flexibility to do all the stretches with ease!
Take a few minutes before work every day & WarmUp! Click on the images below for Workout Specific Instructions and Guidelines!