Stretching routines do not reduce injuries. At least that’s what several recent corporate health and wellness studies have shown—and it could be the primary reason so many corporate injury prevention programs are failing.
We now have more than 10 years of data to prove that low-impact exercise is vital to reducing injuries and maintaining a healthy workforce. Unfortunately, many physically demanding jobs can produce a high rate of injuries and other health-related problems. Some research even suggests that labor-intensive jobs can lead to a greater risk of heart disease. As many already know, staying active is key to a healthy heart and maintaining optimal energy levels.
“Some mistake physical activity in the workplace for exercise, when, in fact, it’s very important for workers to set aside some time for exercise. “
Reducing costs due to injuries is all about prevention
In addition to helping workers stay fit and healthy, low-impact exercise can be essential to preventing workplace injuries. Warming-up the body through low-impact exercise before work begins provides a myriad of great benefits to the individual, none of which stretching can produce. For example, warming up the body provides:
• Increased blood circulation
• Enhanced psychological preparedness
• Primes the somatic nerve system
• Increases lymphatic circulation
• Warms up muscles
• Dilates the lungs
• Readies nutrients from the liver
• Increases synovial fluid to loosen tendons and ligaments
and more …
But how can you encourage employees to obtain the low-impact exercise they need and can benefit from so much? Here are three suggestions:
1. Provide your employees with corporate exercise programs
Some mistake physical activity in the workplace for exercise, when, in fact, it’s very important for workers to set aside some time for exercise. The toughest part of preparing the body for workplace labor is knowing the right exercises to perform. BIOKINETIX has been providing work-integrated warm up programs for businesses for over a decade. You can learn more here.
For many workers, the simplest solution is through one of the many helpful exercise programs. These can lead the way in showing workers how to best go about reducing workplace injuries through low-impact exercise and injury prevention. An added bonus: FitBit acknowledges a study that shows these programs can help boost productivity in the workplace by more than eight percent.
2. Encourage workers to take a walk, literally
Never underestimate the power of a walk. Walking can lead to a healthier heart, better mood and makes for an excellent warm up to help the body fight off injury and sickness. Walking burns about 300 calories per hour, making it a very low-impact exercise with major payoffs. Think a lower risk of hypertension and diabetes. Most importantly: walking dilates the body’s blood vessels, ensuring that the muscles receive plenty of oxygen throughout the workday.
3. Encourage workers to go for bike rides
Not only is biking an excellent way to get the heart pumping, but it does so with very limited impact on the joints. A 20-minute commute to work could burn more than 300 calories per day if done on two wheels. In addition to decreasing joint damage, low-impact exercises like biking may even have the ability to help heal already injured joints.
The bottom line? These low-impact exercises are simple to adapt and great for overall health. Better yet: they help prevent injuries, inspiring healthier, more productive employees.
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