Most of us don’t really think about how we’re able to reach for this or bend down to grab that. We just do it. We don’t think about all the intricate parts of our bodies and how each must work in concert just for us to stand up. One of those intricate body parts that helps us to stand, bend and make everyday movements is synovial fluid. It’s kind of like motor oil for our bodies. More specifically, it helps your joints stay loose and ready to perform the everyday tasks you do. Synovial fluid is key in moving joints, but it can be depleted and cause damage to your body. To keep that precious fluid flowing, sometimes all you need is a little warm up.
How Synovial Fluid Works
In order for us humans to move our arms, legs, hands and feet, our joints need synovial fluid to allow our bones to slide past each other without damaging the ends of each bone. At the end of each bone in a joint is a layer of cartilage which is separated by synovial fluid that keeps the cartilage from rubbing together and damaging the bones. When we complete the same repetitive tasks, don’t get enough water or have too much salt in our diets, that vital synovial fluid can be depleted. And when that happens, we increase our chances for injury.
There are two types of blood cells that hang out in synovial fluid, one produces the lubricant that helps you move and the other gets rid of the waste from the normal wear and tear that occurs in your joints. After the continued stress of repetitive movements, that fluid can start to thin out, which then increases the chance of the cartilage rubbing together and causing an injury.
Warming Up Is the Key
So what’s the best way to keep the synovial fluid flowing? Low-impact exercise is the perfect way to recharge your synovial fluid. Warming up your body before work or performing any stressful and/or repetitive task is always a good idea, not only because it physically prepares your body for that particular task, but it’s also a great way to avoid on-the-job injuries.
Warming up your body is not the same as stretching. Stretching simply improves a muscle’s elasticity, but through low-impact exercise (warming up), you can increase blood circulation, prepare specific muscles for the tasks ahead, open your lungs for easier breathing and produce enough synovial fluid to keep you moving injury free.
The Effects on the Bottom Line
Work-related injuries are one of the largest problems facing the private sector. Not only do these injuries involve lost time, they can be costly when it comes to workers’ compensation claims, giving organizations a one-two punch in the bottom line. Of course, not all work-related injuries can be prevented, but it would seem prudent to do all you could to avoid those than can.
By providing employees with a warm-up routine before each shift, organizations can avoid costly work-related injuries and know their workers are ready to perform at their best. Sometimes all it takes to keep employees safe and well prepared is enlisting a program that prevents problems before they occur.
To stay on the job—and hit the dance floor, too—all you need is a little warm up.
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