Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders in Factory Workers: Evaluating a New Eight Minute Stretching Program

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A preshift stretching program was implemented to evaluate its effectiveness in preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD). Workers in a Midwestern factory were assessed for WMSDs before and after the new 8-min stretching program was implemented. Aggregate WMSD data were evaluated and sick days used from the start of the new program were compared with the same 60-day period the previous year. Potential cost savings were also assessed. The researchers found a significant decline in injury rates and time-off requests. Cost savings were noted for both the employer and employees. Additional studies with more workers, as well as longitudinal designs are recommended to verify the findings in this program evaluation study.

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