Department of Health and Human Services

Reduce workplace injury while increasing productivity via stretching

Aid physical ability to increase worker productivity and reduce workplace injury. Sore muscles and general aches are common, so why not take an idea from private industry, both industrial and office based, that have optional (and somtimes mandatory), calisthenics and stretching exercises openly available to its employees. For example, I’ve been in a manufacturing facility which provided their workers stretches and routines to follow to limber up before shift, reduce fatigue and soreness during shift, and after shift cool down their muscles preventing next day symptoms and long term injury. They found that it increased productivity and decreased workplace injury, and as an added bonus, light exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins create a positive outlook, which leads to furthered productivity and increased quality of work.

 

In the office, calisthenics and stretching increase circulation, ergonomics (reduced carpal tunnel), and again endorphins. At another facility, the company had workout facilities available in every building for people to use on their lunch hour or before and after work. Yes, I realize the Government establishments I’ve been to provide discounted gym memberships or provide a workout facility somewhere on site, but the key here is readily available. I know I don’t have time on my lunch period to walk 15 minutes each way to get to our workout facility and before and after work there’s no parking available there.

For ideas of programs and companies that have successfully implemented programs go to http://startwalkingnow.org/start_workplace.jsp as discussed in http://forbescustom.com/HealthcarePgs/AHAHealthyWorkplaceP1.html which states “Research shows that for every $1 invested in worksite wellness, companies can receive up to $3 in return”. According to the 2008 federal census, there are over 2.76 million employees, which equates to a cost savings of over $8 Million if just $1 a person is invested.

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Idea No. 16999