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Feature Friday- May Employee Health and Fitness Month: a Focus on Strength and Flexibility Testing

May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month.  The goal of Global Employee Health and Fitness Month is to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and their employees through work-site health promotion activities and environments. 

For over a decade, OSTI has been providing occupational medicine programs to companies throughout Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.  Through the implementation of various work injury prevention programs, our industrial clients have experienced reductions in employee (re)injuries, OSHA recordables and Workers' Compensation costs while creating a safer work environment.

In recognition of Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, we wanted to share one of the work injury prevention programs that we have established at an industrial client of ours. 

In the month of May, OSTI completed job specific strength and flexibility testing at this particular industrial client. This type of testing was designed to evaluate the strength and flexibility necessary to complete an employee's essential job functions at work.  The goal of such testing was to determine specific strength and flexibility deficits, report them to the employer and then work with the employer to create exercises to improve areas where low scores were present.  In addition to the exercise programs, employees have been completing daily, on-site, pre-shift stretching programs designed by OSTI.  With a program like this, the overall goal is to keep employees safe and healthy while performing their day to day tasks at work. 

Below are some pictures of an employee performing the strength and flexibility testing. 

Prior to this May, employees were pre-tested in September of 2014, completing the same strength and flexibility tests.  Based on the initial results, employees were given exercises along with the pre-shift stretching program as previously discussed.    After comparing September's scores to May's, the results indicate significant improvements in both strength and flexibility from pre- to post testing.  This program has led to a significant reduction in work place injuries, lost work days and Workers' Compensation costs. 

A similar program that was implemented at another OSTI industrial client has experienced zero MSD injuries in the past year and has gone over 400 days without a lost time injury. 

For additional information on OSTI's Occupational Medicine Division and the services offered, please contact Randy Wright, MS, ATC, Director of Occupational Medicine at 815-222-1596 or visit the Occupational Medicine services page of our website.