Baseball Taught me to Stretch
by Brad Bradish, Manager, Injury Risk Management for SRG
I am a huge sports fan, especially of baseball (Go Jays!). I love going to the ball park early and watching all the pre-game action with my sons. One of my boys asked me why the ball players were lying on the ground with other people pushing on their legs or back. I explained to my children that the players were stretching so that they can lower their chance of an injury.
It then hit me. As much as I love baseball, it is a fairly lazy game, based on quick movements and outbursts. But these players were stretching for almost an hour for possibly 10-15 minutes of game play time. I then thought about our manufacturing careers. I would argue that almost any manufacturing job is a much more physical job than that of a baseball player, and yet how much time do any manufacturers stretch before a work day that is a minimum of 8 hours, and commonly 10 hours.
Baseball players are paid for their bodies to be in top physical shape and to be able to withstand the grind of playing 162 games in a year. The same thing can be said for anyone in a manufacturing job. You are paid to be in good physical shape to complete the job and withstand the grind of working 250 days a year (without OT).
The baseball players know they have a short career and must do everything they can to stay healthy. For someone with a career in manufacturing, you need to make sure your body can handle the physical demands. Doing simple stretches before and after your shift will increase your mobility and decrease your chances of injury, pain and tension.
For the love of your career, make sure you stretch.