Hughes Enterprises

Stretch It Out to Prevent Repetitive Motion Injuries

Forward thinking companies realize that ergonomics play an invaluable part in daily operations and are equipping their operating lines with ergonomic packaging solutions. When companies realize the importance of ergonomic packaging solutions, workplace repetitive motion injuries can be prevented.

According to EHS Today, (Environment Health and Safety), the 705,000 workers in the warehousing and storage sector of industry all have one thing in common…a high rate of strains and sprains. These injuries most often affect the back, upper extremities and knees and most were caused by exposure to material handling or other ergonomic-related risk factors including awkward postures.

Get Bendy

When the body is used in repetitive and restricted ways over long periods, the muscles become fatigued and weakened due to decreased circulation, making them vulnerable to injury. Encouraging employees to stretch is beneficial because it increases blood flow and rejuvenates the muscles. Proper posture and frequent microbreaks of 10 to 15 seconds help to reduce the risk of injury. Don’t let a job literally feel like a pain the back, schedule regular micro breaks to release repetitive strain and stretch it out.

Share these three posture perfect exercises and your employees will notice a difference right away!

1. Pecs Stretch. Reach your hands behind your low back and interlace the fingers (if you can’t grab your hands, use a towel), then keep your chest lifted toward the sky and raise your hands as high as possible, squeeze your shoulder blades together and open your chest and shoulders. Hold for 20 seconds. Ahhh!
2. Leaning Tower Arch. Stand tall with your hands interlaced overhead; palms to the sky. Elongate your body and arch your body to one side turning your chest upwards. Hold for 20 seconds on each side and switch.
3. Forward Fold. Stand with your feet hip width and hinge forward at the hips as you keep the legs straight feeling a stretch down the back of your legs (into your hamstrings) and into your lower back. Release the tension in your neck, hold for 20 seconds and remember to breath.

Some additional ergonomic principles to keep in mind on the job include:

• Place frequently used items on accessible shelving that is placed between knees and shoulder height.
• Place large or heavy items between knees and shoulders (the heaviest ones should be placed between knuckles and elbows). Remember to lift with the legs…not the back.
Keep your packages moving by implementing rolling conveyors to systematically move products quickly and efficiently through your distribution center.
• Use automated packaging technology for your business such as unscramblers, stretch wrapping equipment, and automatic bagging systems to increase production and consistency, reduce employee workstation strain and boost product accuracy and safety.

Take a peek into our previous post, “Improve Your Posture and Your Packaging,” for even more tips on pre-work stretching to help reduce musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) including exercises for your back, legs, upper body and forearms.

Hughes Enterprises offers you a wide variety of packaging equipment to fill any and all of your shipping and packaging needs – regardless of your industry or company’s size. Ergonomics plays a valuable part in daily operations, so take the steps to prevent MSIs in the distribution center or on the line. For more information please contact a Hughes Enterprises Packaging Consultant.

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