Stretch breaks for employees have big benefits. You lose a little production time, but make bigger gains in productivity.
Workers doing the same task all day need to occasionally loosen up to prevent stiffness and workplace injuries. Company scheduled stretch breaks are an excellent way to encourage employee participation.
OSHA says workers should do stretching when they can, if their company doesn’t provide the time.
In this podcast, Dan mentions many computer and mobile apps to schedule and time a stretch break. Links are listed in the transcript below.
Also scroll down to see the video of Arthur Boorman who could barely walk, then found a great stretching program from pro wrestler Diamond Dallas Page!
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(:04) Dan Clark: Take a one minute vacation every hour. What’s that sound? Oh, it’s called a Stretch Break, and you’ll feel better for it. Ohh!
Hi there, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.
(:24) Doing the same thing all day? Take a stretch break. Assembly-line workers, truck drivers, forklift operators and office staff all tend to have upper body pain. You know, a pain in the neck. And shoulders. And back.
Standing all day can lead to sore feet and legs too. So if you’re sitting or standing, and that includes just about everybody in the work force, your body is in need of a stretch break.
(:52) Company-wide stretch breaks are a good safety practice. If your company has no formal stretch breaks, lobby for a test run. Or act independently. Workers can go rogue and stretch on their own.
Why? Stretch breaks give the muscles time to recover and prevent soreness, stiffness and future injuries. Stretch breaks can help workers refocus. People tend to go into autopilot mode, so getting up and stretching can prevent possible accidents by giving employees a little more snap.
(1:24) We’ve got some stretching examples in links in the transcript of this podcast at TheSafetyBrief.com.
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Also, there are reminder applications for your computer. One is called Stretch Clock.
Industrial workers not near a desk can use mobile apps. There are many stretch timers for iPhone and Android. A stretch timer is a good idea. If you’re stretching and doing the Mississippi count—you know, one Mississippi, two Mississippi—you may be coming up short. You may think it was 45 seconds when it was actually 35.
(1:57) If you need to go beyond just stretch breaks at work, here’s a great story about stretching at home. Arthur Boorman, a disabled Gulf War 1 vet, weighed nearly 300 pounds, was barely able to walk, even with crutches. Arthur wore a back brace and needed help just dressing himself. He started a stretching program, trimmed the weight and his joints and muscles worked again.
(2:23) The program’s called DDP Yoga. Ah, yeah, yoga. And “It Ain’t Your Mama’s Yoga” is what they say. I’m even doing it, and no, I am not a paid endorser.
You have to see Arthur’s before and after video. It’s linked in the transcript of this podcast at TheSafetyBrief.com.
(2:40) That’s it for this episode on Stretch Breaks At Work. Come back for more tips and techniques on how to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, sponsored by Creative Safety Supply. See the website at creativesafetysupply.com