Whether it is on a field, court, or rink, professional athletes perform physically demanding tasks that require them to prepare for and recover from each game or match. Without this preparation and recovery, it would be difficult for a professional athlete to stay healthy and perform at a high level throughout a whole season and ultimately their professional career. The Cornell University Maintenance Athlete Program recognizes that professional athletes are not the only people who perform physically demanding work. The work that maintenance professionals perform is also physically demanding and can put them at risk of serious injury if they do not properly prepare for and recover from their workday just as an athlete prepares for and recovers from each game or match. For this reason, the Maintenance Athlete Program classifies maintenance professionals not only as professionals in their specific trade but as athletes requiring the same attention to preparation and recovery from each workday.
The Maintenance Athlete Program is a comprehensive strategy combining ergonomic principles such as good work design, proper equipment, personal protective equipment, and body mechanics training with preparation and recovery activities. Preparation and recovery activities include stretches and movements that target specific ergonomic risk factors, such as repetitive motions, forceful exertions, and awkward postures, with the goal of reducing injuries and improving worker performance. Just as a professional athlete works towards a long and successful playing career, this comprehensive program is designed to help our maintenance athletes stay healthy and working at a high performance for a lifetime.