Stretching is important in the maintenance of muscles’ elasticity and length. When a muscle shortens, the ability to perform a task involving that muscle decreases, which can then increase the risk of injury. This is especially noticeable in the lower back region. Tightness of the upper back, lower back, hamstrings and calves can increase the risk of pain and injury to the spine. Maintaining the muscle’s proper length and flexibility allows the body to maintain the proper biomechanical position and decreases the possibility of injury. Stretches should be performed slowly and deliberately.
Participation in stretching programs should be conducted during the morning safety briefing. The stretch and flex component should not exceed 10 minutes. Employees should exercise judgment to the extent that their physical capabilities allow, and they should not perform motions that may aggravate previous injuries or other physical conditions.