“Thank you everyone for your answers they are all very helpful. I didn’t realize how unspecific my question was. I’m working with groups in a workplace setting, ranging in age from 20-65, with a wide variety of fitness levels–mostly on the lower end. I currently have a generalized 15 stretch routine that covers most commonly used areas without taking too much time out of the work day. I put extra emphasis on certain joints for certain groups depending on their specific job, and anyone with particular issues I work with individually. My focus is on the people, the companies focus is obviously on the company. So my actual question is, will one set done daily in this type of setting be sufficient to over time reduce the risk of strains and sprains in the workplace, or should I try to get more time allowance from the management team?”
It would be better than nothing, and most likely reduce overall tension. How long are you holding each stretch for? I am assuming you are doing static stretching, correct? This kind of question would be best asnswered by doing some research and finding studies that pertain to what you are questioning. I see you are ACE certified, they have a search engine for just such a thing once you log into their site its under ecucational resources, SPORTDiscus.
Erin, I believe there might be a better approach as far as corporate wellness programming is concerned. I believe your approach should be bigger than stretches.
Here is my approach that I learned from WELCOA. WELCOA stands for the the Wellness Councils of America. They specialize in helping companies build award winning workplace wellness programs. If you are able, I really encourage you to become a member. It is well worth it if your intention is to go corporate.
WELCOA has 7 benchmarks of success as far as implementing successful workplace wellness programs. Here they are as follows:
1. Benchmark 1 -Capturing Senior Level Support
Erin, perhaps you might explain to senior level support the importance of following established scientific guidelines as far wellness and fitness programming is concerned.
2. Benchmark 2 – Creating a Cohesive Wellness Team
Erin, the team might consist of employees who you have observed live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy engaging in physical activity.
3. Benchmark 3 – Collecting Data to Drive a Results-Oriented Wellness Initiative
Erin, what do you know about the organization for which your provide wellness services. Have you had a chance to send out a survey monkey to learn a little about their thoughts on wellness and fitness.
4. Benchmark 4 – Crafting An Annual Operating Plan
Erin, this is where you and that Cohesive Wellness Team will have to collaborate.
5. Benchmark 5 – Choosing Appropriate Health Promotion Interventions
Erin, you might learn that you might need to increase the number of sessions you have with the company as far as your stretching program is concerned.
6. Benchmark 6 – Creating Supportive Health-Promoting Environment
Erin, again collaboration with the wellness team is pivotal here.
7. Benchmark 7 – Carefully Evaluating Outcomes
Erin, this brings us back full circle to your question whether one stretch is sufficient. Will the 15 minutes you have been allocated bring about the expected outcomes for the company.
Erin, this is much food for thought. Perhaps you might suggest to your company that they take out membership to WELCOA and you chair the wellness committee.
I wish you much success.
All excellent responses. Understand that there isn’t a lot of research specifically focused on stretching. One thing that is consistently shown is that in order to improve joint range of motion it’s important to stretch at the end of a workout, especially cardiovascular, so fascia affecting ROM is “warmed up” and more amenable to the stretching overload.
It appears that one set of stretches held for 10-15 seconds in a position where there’s tension (not pain) in the target tissues can be effective over time in improving ROM. 2-3 sets may be somewhat more effective.
It has been shown that one stretch of 15 to 30 seconds is signigicantly better than no stretching, two is even better, three is still better, but four stretches does not seem to significantly improve over three. When stretching for improved ROM/flexibility, always stretch after at least 10 minutes of moderate/vigorous activity.
There is a lot more to understanding stretching. I teach a series of CEC classes on this subject and more. Check out my website www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com for more information.