Based on the results of a recent study researchers offer new insights about stretching. Athletes often debate the value of stretching before exercising. Specialists say stretching does not reduce the risk of injury in fact, current research shows static stretching makes muscles weaker for 10 to 15 minutes and may actually increase the risk of injury. They say some likely causes of injuries include fatigue, overuse, weakness and stress, but not inflexibility.
Specialists also argue that stretching does not improve athletic performance in most cases. Past studies have shown that athletes who stretched prior to running actually performed worse than those who did not stretch. However, researchers says there are some benefits of stretching for people who endure chronic posture problems, such as sitting for long periods of time at work, where muscle groups become tight.
Studies show when employees incorporate stretching into their daily life, their body perceptions improve, and they are less likely to be out of work due to work-related injuries. Researchers say, stretching may not decrease risk of injury but may decrease the cost of that injury and the time off work in an occupational setting , besides the other benefits of stretching are that it improves posture and temporarily reduces pain caused by muscle soreness.
Thus researchers conclude saying, "The bottom line is stretching does not reduce risk of injury, may make muscles weaker, probably doesn't improve performance, but may improve body image and save employers money."