What Does Stretch and Exercise Break Mean?
A stretch and exercise break is a small break taken during the working day in which an employee engages in physical activities designed to use different muscle groups, stimulate blood flow, and relieve muscle stiffness. A well-designed ergonomics program will encourage employees to take stretch and exercise breaks as needed (instead of scheduling them at specific times), and provide instruction and support for doing so.
WorkplaceTesting Explains Stretch and Exercise Break
In many different workplaces, job performance requires the use of the same muscle groups, body positioning, or repetitive actions throughout the day. Jobs that involve very little movement, such as sitting at a desk, are also common. In each of these instances, an ergonomic program should include stretch and exercise breaks as a means of encouraging employees to rest overworked muscles and stimulate circulation.
During a stretch and exercise break employees should vary their movements and change body position. If the employee is engaged in sitting for most of the day, he or she should be encouraged to stand and walk around. Eye strain can be reduced by encouraging employees to look away from their computer screen or other work on a regular basis throughout the day. Deep breaths and moderate stretching should also be encouraged. As with most ergonomic breaks, a stretch and exercise break will be most effective if the employee is afforded the freedom to take such breaks as needed and are actively encouraged to do so by their supervisor(s).