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Warm up for work and avoid injuries

Oct 8, 2018

Warming up isn’t just for professional athletes or something you do before a gym class, it’s important for everyone to warm up before doing any sort of physical activity.

Warming up loosens joints and increases blood flow to prepare the body to be active. It also improves circulation and promotes good posture, but most of all, it helps prevent us from being injured.

But why is it that when it comes to working, and performing manual tasks, many of us aren’t warming up?

By not warming up, you place your body at greater risk of a muscular discomfort such as soreness or cramps or even worse, sustaining a possible injury such as a strain or sprain.

Manual handling injuries are some of the most common reported across workplaces. Safe Work Australia reported that 41% of injuries reported in 2017 were traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injuries. In New Zealand, the number is even higher with 62.5%  being soft tissue injuries.

Why should we warm-up for work?

Warming up:

  • Allows increased blood flow into the muscles and joints which are going to be working,
  • Helps release the lubricating fluid in your joints to reduce joint friction enabling the joint to move more freely,
  • Increases your joint’s ability to move through a greater range of motion with less energy required to do so, and;
  • Fires up the nerves associated with the muscle groups that will be used when performing the work (e.g. back, upper and lower limbs, etc.).

At Programmed, we developed SMARTstart, which is a series of role-specific warm-up for (and during) work routines to help prepare our employees for their day’s work. Combining static and dynamic stretches, SMARTstart is targeted at heavy lifting roles such as drivers and plant operators, as well as roles with highly repetitive tasks such as production line operators, pick and packing roles.

Here are our top tips for warming up for work!

DO

  • Create your own 3- 5 minute exercise or stretching routine
  • Complete your routine prior to the start of any physical activity, whether you are at work or at play
  • Stretch slowly without bouncing into the movements
  • Hold the stretch for a minimum of 10 seconds.

DON’T

  • Overstretch when performing your routine as this may cause an injury
  • Stretch to the point of pain, just go to the point where you feel a pleasant stretching sensation
  • Make sudden movements – always use controlled movements (no sudden jerking)
  • Over-exercise – too much, too fast and too soon can also cause injuries.

So, remember to make time for a warm up before you go to work today to prepare your body for success!


Programmed is a leading Staffing and Maintenance organisation, providing staffing, professional, technical, training and maintenance services across Australia and New Zealand with more than 20,000 employees supporting industry.

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