Hey Down Town! That is a fact! Webster Dictionary: Main Entry: ath·lete
Pronunciation: 'ath-"lEt, ÷'a-th&-"lEt
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin athleta, from Greek athlEtEs, from athlein to contend for a prize, from athlon prize, contest : a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina -
The UPS Athlete walks 4.5-5 miles per day (stamina) while carrying approximately 4,000# per day (stamina + strength) up stairs, through narrow doors (car door specificially) on uneven, cluttered, wet, or frozen surfaces (agility) are you athletes???
Absolutely and there is more to that than just knees and backs; its necks, wrists, forearms, hips, shoulders and well the whole body isn't it? Yes. The article in the NYT was a good one--the stretches being shown lead by a SF driver was created by Studio A, Inc. check it out at Studio A, Inc.
Have a great day--and remember "nose follows toes", pivot and don't put ANYTHING in your own way!
ASK most women what a modern-day sex symbol looks like, and you are likely to be greeted with a description not of a brooding movie star, but a smiling clean shaven man with a toned muscular frame, a brown uniform shirt and a year-round dedication to wearing shorts. FLEXIBLE WORK FORCE Doug Lamb, front, leads a U.P.S. stretch.
He is the package delivery man and he has played into commercials, been romantically dissected in blogs and even made a cameo on “Sex and the City.” He is an Adonis, greeted at stops by adoring onlookers. But for all the perks of his job, there is a grim physical reality. Hundreds of packages a day. Endless stairs. Lifting, carrying, shifting and balancing, for nine or more hours a day in the slow season and many more in the holiday season. This, in fact, is the time of the year when U.P.S. and FedEx drivers and postal workers are consumed with getting into shape to handle the deluge that comes at the end of every year. It’s not about buff, cut, chiseled. It’s about health, fitness, strength. And it’s not just delivery men. Some blue-collar workers, including landscapers and construction laborers, have taken a newfound interest in their physical health. How else to handle their demanding days without being injured? “Personally, I work out three to four times a week in the morning before I go to work, for about an hour,” said Doug Lamb, 49, a U.P.S. driver in San Francisco. “I know for a fact that it helps me with my job.” It used to be that workers suffered the aches and pains of their labor as mere occupational hazards. They weren’t compelled to work out after hours, guzzle Gatorade on the clock or stretch before starting their day. But today, a growing number of men and women whose jobs are unrelenting marathons of exertion have realized that they have more in common with professional athletes than deskbound professionals. Employers — eager to prevent injuries that strain the bottom line — are promoting improved health by hiring on-site athletic trainers, encouraging employee exercise routines and approaching workers as “industrial athletes.” “Increasingly employers are using a smaller permanent work force, and they’re trying to keep everybody at the wheel as much as possible,” said Tom Juravich, a professor of labor studies at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Meanwhile, he said, laborers are “realizing that demands today are quite high, and that to survive this, they’re going to actually have to start thinking outside the box.” For John Dock, a letter carrier with the Postal Service, that means stretching regularly and making sure to carry ice-cold Gatorade for the eight hours a day that he is on his feet. “If you’re not fit, how are you going to be able to perform?” said Mr. Dock, 47, based in Mahwah, N.J. “If your health is run down and you’re calling in sick because your resistance is low, how can you be a team player?” To be able to run up flights of stairs with a hundred pounds of roofing material on his back, John Entrekin, a self-employed contractor in Cherry Hill, N.J., hired a personal trainer. Several nights a week, he undergoes a cross-training regimen at a branch of Velocity Sports Performance, a nationwide personal-training facility. “I’m at the point where I need to stay in shape to maintain a certain output, workwise,” said Mr. Entrekin, 51. “When I was in my prime, I could nail 14 squares a day. Now I’m happy with 6.” (One roofing square is equal to 100 square feet.) The more fit they are, laborers say, the less exhausted they are after their shifts. “It has helped me in terms of making it through the week and still having enough energy to do other things,” Mr. Lamb said. Some employers are also doing their part. The post office and companies like FedEx hire athletic trainers to develop exercise routines for employees, give them pointers on what to eat and pinpoint ergonomic risks. (For example, athletic trainers with degrees in biomechanics and kinesiology watch delivery people lift boxes to correct their form.) Debbie Maclean, an athletic trainer, developed an injury-prevention program for Coca-Cola drivers and plant workers called Back @ Work. In annual seminars, employees are given instruction, using DVD’s and a personal trainer, about proper body mechanics. They are also taught a stretching routine designed to be done at five-minute intervals throughout each workday. “Research has shown that stretching in itself doesn’t prevent injury that day,” Ms. Maclean said. It is increasing flexibility over time, she said, that can reduce the likelihood of injury. Industrial Athletes’: Men With the Goods
Injury prevention programs appear to be working. Loren Seagrave, the chief performance officer at Velocity Sports Performance, said: “Companies that are being proactive in subsidizing industrial athletes’ training programs are seeing windfalls in reduction of employee health care claims not only in injury, but also in general health care claims.” Supporting his view is a study from 2003 by the National Athletic Trainers Association, which found that of 32 companies surveyed, all that had invested in athletic trainers reported a decline in health care costs. Some athletic trainers, like Steve Chevarria, even gauge employees’ blood pressure and their body composition in order to track improvements. Mr. Chevarria, a trainer for Wellness Coaches USA, a company devoted to working with industrial athletes, also makes sure that his clients stay hydrated and eat well. On-site athletic trainers often remind workers of fundamentals. “At an N.F.L. football game, teams don’t take the field and just start playing,” said Mark Middlesworth, who works with plant employees at companies like DuPont. “We want to encourage proper warm-up and good body mechanics.” Mr. Middlesworth, the founder of Ergonomics Plus, a consulting firm focused on injury prevention, also advises his charges to work on their weaknesses when they hit the gym. “We emphasize stretching muscles that are being used all day, and strengthening of the muscles that aren’t,” he said. THOUGH U.P.S. has had a manual about stretching since 1995, Allen Tyte, a driver based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., noticed that his co-workers were loath to do the routines and suffered a high rate of injury. So Mr. Tyte, a co-chairman on the facility’s safety council, asked a personal trainer at a branch of the 24 Hour Fitness chain for a stretching routine for drivers, then integrated it into the morning meeting. The routine is voluntary, but for the last year, up to 300 brown-clad employees have stretched as they prepare for their day. “Before a power lifter starts lifting, he stretches,” Mr. Tyte said. “You know what? That’s basically what we do every day.” U.P.S. drivers walk an average of almost 4.5 miles a day and lift a cumulative total of thousands of pounds each shift, said Dan McMackin, a spokesman. U.P.S. also requires a physical every two years. Aging is particularly daunting for industrial athletes. “It’s just like athletes in sports,” said Sean Hargadon, a 37-year-old letter carrier for the post office in Elgin, Ill. “You don’t want to be a letter carrier who can’t carry mail. You’re going to be out of the game.” But for industrial athletes who remain fighting fit, companies reward them with efficiency bonuses. Some Coca-Cola workers receive financial incentives and prizes for adhering to the Back @ Work program. Depending on how quickly they can complete their allotted tasks, workers at U.P.S. can enjoy shorter workdays. “We have a thing where if your route is supposed to take you 9 and a half hours and you do it in 8 — that’s an hour and half bonus,” said Robin Huston, a driver from Chesterland, Ohio. “I run bonus everyday.” But much of the reward still comes from the appraisals of onlookers. Internet forums are rife with racy posts as admirers swoon over their delivery drivers in unprintable terms under headings like “I love my hot U.P.S. guy!” While Mr. Tyte was quick to point out that he is married, he said that with that kind of attention, the job carries its own benefits. “If you’re a single guy, this job’s great for you,” he said. “You just have a good time.”