Table 1

Characteristics of participants in stretch (n=1220) and control (n=1157) groups

Stretch groupControl group
GenderFemale763 (62.5)749 (64.7)
AgeMean (SD)39.8 (12.6)40.0 (12.5)
NationalityNorwegian662 (54.3)638 (55.1)
Australian235 (19.3)250 (21.6)
Other323 (26.5)269 (23.2)
Average number of sessions of physical activity each weekOnce per week41 (3.4)26 (2.3)
Twice216 (17.8)202 (17.6)
Three times411 (33.8)370 (32.1)
Four times230 (18.9)251 (21.8)
Five times195 (16.0)185 (16.1)
Six times71 (5.8)59 (5.1)
Greater than six times per week51 (4.2)58 (5.0)
Average duration of a session of physical activity<30 min39 (3.2)48 (4.2)
30–60 min758 (62.4)719 (62.5)
>60 min418 (34.4)384 (33.4)
Most vigorous type of physical activityRunning387 (31.9)373 (32.4)
Cross-country skiing33 (2.7)32 (2.8)
Downhill skiing1 (0.1)2 (0.2)
Walking36 (3.0)31 (2.7)
Cycling178 (14.7)157 (13.6)
Ball games86 (7.1)84 (7.3)
Aerobics78 (6.4)72 (6.3)
Gym260 (21.4)224 (19.5)
Friskis and svettis61 (5.0)68 (5.9)
Other95 (7.8)108 (9.4)
Do you normally warm up?Always557 (45.8)557 (48.4)
Now and then479 (39.4)423 (36.8)
Never179 (14.7)171 (14.9)
It is important to stretch when doing vigorous physical activityStrongly disagree46 (3.8)45 (3.9)
Disagree140 (11.5)118 (10.3)
Neither449 (37.0)420 (36.5)
Agree406 (33.4)402 (34.9)
Strongly agree174 (14.3)166 (14.4)
Normally stretchYes656 (53.8)616 (53.2)
Do you enjoy stretching?Enjoy336 (51.2)330 (53.6)
Neither280 (42.7)260 (42.2)
Dislike40 (6.1)26 (4.2)
Reason for stretchingReduces soreness192 (34.6)185 (30.0)
Enhances performance111 (20.0)116 (18.8)
Reduce risk of injury99 (17.8)107 (17.4)
Enhances sense of well-being78 (14.1)73 (11.9)
Increases feeling of looseness12 (2.2)19 (3.1)
Other63 (11.4)116 (18.8)
Timing of stretchesBefore60 (9.2)42 (6.9)
After453 (69.6)425 (69.6)
Before and after138 (21.2)144 (23.6)
Duration of stretch<5 min108 (16.6)100 (16.4)
5–10 min395 (60.7)368 (60.2)
>10 min148 (22.7)143 (23.4)
  • Data are counts (percentage of group in parentheses) except where indicated. Some baseline data were missing for 11 participants (0.5% of the sample). Total counts for the last four items are substantially less than the total sample because this question was only answered by those who normally stretch.