Objectives: To determine the effect of a stretching program performed in the workplace on the hamstring muscle extensibility and sagittal spinal posture of adult women.
Material and methods: Fifty-eight adult women volunteers (mean age of 44.23 ± 8.87 years) from a private fruit and vegetable company were randomly assigned to experimental (n=27) or control (n=31) groups. The experimental group performed three exercises of hamstrings stretching of 20 seconds per exercise, three sessions a week for a period of 12 weeks. The control group did not participate in any hamstring stretching program. Hamstring flexibility was evaluated through the passive straight leg raise test and toe-touch test, performed both before and after the stretching program. Thoracic and lumbar curvatures and pelvic inclination were measured in relaxed standing and toe-touch test with a Spinal Mouse.
Results: Significant increases (p < 0.01) in toe-touch score and straight leg raise angle (in both legs) were found in the experimental group during post-test, while the control group showed a non-significant decrease for both toe-touch score and straight leg raise test. A significant decrease in thoracic curve and significant increase in pelvic inclination were found in the toe-touch test for the experimental group (p <0.05). However, no significant changes were found in standing posture for any group.
Conclusions: Hamstring stretching exercises performed in the working place are effective for increasing hamstring muscle extensibility. This increase generates a more aligned thoracic curve and more anterior pelvic inclination when maximal trunk flexion is performed.