Ready to implement a warm-up stretching program at your facility? Learn how a best practice approach leads to exceptional results.
Are you considering instituting a warm-up stretching program for your workplace athletes? Are you counting the cost and weighing the potential value of such a program? Are you asking yourself questions like… is it really worth the effort and time investment? Will a work readiness program really improve workplace athlete performance? Will such a program reduce injuries? Will employees engage in and embrace the program?
If you’re considering establishing a work readiness system or revamping an existing system for your workplace and workers, you might be looking for some best practice ideas and inspiration. We’re hoping that we can help you with the following best practice example.
Case Study — Best Practice Warm-up Stretching Program
We recently partnered with the leadership team at a large distribution facility to implement a comprehensive musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention process to combat rising costs associated with MSDs. The leadership team embraced the philosophy of building a comprehensive process to address all MSD causative risk factors through ergonomic improvements, MSD prevention education, and early MSD detection and intervention.
One of the first initiatives in the establishment phase of this facility’s MSD prevention process was to establish a Work Readiness System (WRS) for the facility.
Here are some of the key elements that were used to get the system up and running:
Leadership support: A leadership meeting was held to review the costs and benefits of the WRS, and to secure leadership’s commitment to the warm-up stretching program. It was critical that the entire leadership team demonstrated their support for the program in a visible and consistent way. Leadership assigned roles and responsibilities for execution of the WRS, and also outlined and communicated the benefits and value of the program to each and every team member.
Program design: The warm-up and stretching program for this facility was designed by an Athletic Trainer based on the job demands within the facility. The program was performed each and every day as a part of the pre-shift start-up meetings, and participation in the program was considered a mandatory part of the job for all workplace athletes.
Work Readiness Leaders / Coaches: Management and employee leaders were selected as warm-up stretching coaches to lead workplace athlete groups through the daily pre-shift warm-up stretching program. The coaches received training by the Athletic Trainer to effectively lead the warm-up and stretching exercises with proper technique and verbal cues, and the coaches were certified only after demonstrating competency in leading the program.
Program Marketing / Rollout: Various communication channels were used leading up to the program launch date in order to generate enthusiasm and to stress the many benefits and value of the program. Everyone throughout the facility heard the message loud and clear that leadership cares enough about them to allocate precious work time to put their health and safety first.
Continuous Improvement: A survey was developed to obtain important feedback from team members and to discover continuous improvement opportunities for sustaining the warm-up stretching program. The survey was developed to be used ninety days after rollout and at least annually thereafter.
Warm-up Stretching Survey Results
A voluntary survey was conducted by interview approximately ninety days after implementation of the program. A representative sample of forty (40) team members were interviewed for participation in the survey. The feedback survey consisted of three questions specifically related to the stretching program, and also provided an opportunity to comment.
- 97.5% of workplace athletes surveyed indicated that the pre-shift warm-up stretching program is effective in preparing their body for work.
- 83.8% of workplace athletes surveyed feel the pre-shift warm-up stretching program is effective for improving their overall health and work performance.
- 100% of workplace athletes surveyed thought the coach was doing an effective job in leading the pre-shift warm-up stretching program.
Listen to what the workplace athletes had to say about the warm-up stretching program:
MSD Prevention Results
One year following the company’s implementation of this comprehensive MSD prevention process, the facility had experienced a 64% reduction in OSHA recordable cases and an 80% decrease in OSHA recordable cases for MSDs. The facility’s Medical Incident Rate (MIR) for all injuries dropped 77.4%, and the MIR for MSDs was reduced by 82.3%.
The Benefits of Warm-up Stretching Programs
In this webinar you will learn the benefits and best practices of successful warm-up stretching programs.
Stretch Leader Training
It is vitally important for stretch leaders to know how to properly perform each stretch and to lead with confidence and enthusiasm.
Need help implementing a best practice warm-up stretching program? Request a consultation to learn how we can help you.