Stretching Before Work

Health & Safety

22nd April 2019 | Marcus

How important is it for you as a self-employed Arborist or an employer, to not lose a day’s work due to injury?

A physical profession

Tree surgery is an extremely physical job that can cause many longer term ailments if not managed well in the meantime. Many tree surgeons have hip replacements in their forties or even thirties if they began their career at a relatively young age. Shoulder pains are another common complaint, along with back niggles.

It can be easy to fall into the habit of getting straight to the job, having been in a rigid position in the car, unload the kit, complete the RAMS and crack on.

That may be OK when you are 20 years old but as we get older our bodies don’t react well to the stress of hanging in a tree for eight hours of the day. From picking a chainsaw up off the ground to pulling your bodyweight to the top of a tree, a slight twinge can turn into an injury you can suffer from for a few days – or even the rest of your life. Many young climbers see themselves as invincible, and don’t feel it necessary to visit the physiotherapist.

Any career involving manual labour can be hard on your body and we often leave it too late in our career before we consider doing a few stretches to help our body prepare and cope.

Before football – you probably stretch.

Before the gym – you probably stretch.

So why don’t we stretch before work?

There are no valid reasons and it may simply be because you don’t want to look silly in front of your colleagues, or just foolishly believe you’re invincible!

Forget what anyone thinks, 2-5 minutes of stretching before you start dragging branches for 80 yards, lifting logs or hauling yourself up a 70ft tree first thing in the morning in the frost could be the difference between you or your employee not coming in the next day due to injury.

Other benefits of stretching

  • A quick stretch increases blood flow and warms your muscles.
  • Stretching increases the range of motion for joints and muscles, increasing work productivity.
  • Stretching can prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
  • Posture and balance are improved.

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