The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is looking for companies that
encourage their staff to do warming up or stretching exercises before starting
work, as part of a project to look at the benefits of limbering up before
knuckling down for the day.
The study is being carried out by ergonomics consultancy Human Engineering
and Waseda University in Japan, where many people already do stretching
exercises at the start of the day to help prevent pain, discomfort or damage to
the joints and muscles.
In some countries, warm-up exercises are recommended as a way of preparing
people for lifting, carrying or other work in factories or offices. However,
little is known about the effectiveness of this, said the HSE.
If the exercises do work, promoting them could help the HSE achieve its
targets to reduce work-related injuries and ill health.
The project will look for evidence that certain kinds of exercises are
useful in tackling ill health. If the evidence is favourable, the project will
examine the cultural differences between UK and Japanese workplaces to
investigate any potential obstacles to the adoption of warming up exercises in
the UK – such as perceived costs or negative stereotypes.
The researchers would like to hear from any companies or individuals who have
first-hand experience of introducing or participating in limbering up exercises
as a way of preparing for work. Contact Nick Colford at Human Engineering on
0117 962 0888.