You are losing flexibility while you sit hunched over.
8 hours in an office chair is a brutal reality for your back. Multiply that by the average amount of days you work in a year and you can see how the hours add up against your spine. Unless we are proactive, we are literally letting our flexibility fall by the wayside to the chagrin of our bodies. We need flexibility to perform basic human movements without pain: the lifts, twists, turns, and reaches that make up the subconscious movements of the day. Even standing up and walking depends on our bodies having a baseline of flexibility.
Stretching from your desk can revolutionize the way you feel at work.
Try this from your office chair:
- Gentle twist: Sit up straight. Gently twist to the right and look over your right shoulder. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Fold from the chair: come to the edge your chair and extend your legs forward with feet hip-distance apart. Exhale and fold your upper body forward reaching with your hands for your feet. Grasp as far down your leg as you can and hang for 15 seconds.
- Upper shoulder stretch: Reach right hand over right shoulder and reach your left hand behind your back. Clasp your hands together and create a tension that stretches the shoulders and chest. Hold 15 seconds.
Stop feeling stiff at work
This stretch routine takes about 2 minutes and it can release a lot of tension from the body. If you could do it once every hour you would be doing your body a grand favor. Let's work together to identify the ways in which you are letting your body down. From poor body mechanics and movement to poor posture, everyone has room for improvement. By being proactive about your flexibility, you can ensure an old age with less pain and more independence. Let's start moving more and moving more purposefully today! Give our office a call to schedule an appointment.
What's the big deal behind 10,000 steps?
It is a nice round number that can be easily tracked by fitness devices, and the number seems to have stuck. Science is currently debating the specifics of 10,000 steps down to the detail of the individual's leg length, and overall fitness of the individual. Of course, fitness is more nuanced than a simple round number like 10,000 but there is still merit to the idea.
The math behind 10,000 steps:
10,000 steps can be achieved in roughly 30 minutes of walking. This is a lot easier on the ears than 150 minutes of exercise per week, which 30 minutes of walking a day actually exceeds. This is enough to qualify you as a "moderately active person."
The idea of 10,000 steps is right
Perhaps you already hit the gym three times a week; in this case, walking 10,000 steps a day is unlikely to increase your level of fitness. For someone who never exercises, 10,000 steps can be a boon. Even if the verdict is still out on just how healthy 10,000 steps can be, the idea is in the right place: it is easy to understand and sets a baseline to strive for. This falls in with the idea of setting a daily fitness goal for yourself. So let's take this idea and adapt it to your life.
The question remains: how can you be more healthy?
Setting realistic goals is the best way, so rather than following arbitrary guidelines such as 10,000 steps, think at a more individual level- what ways can I improve? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Walk 30 minutes a day
- Eat 1-2 pieces of fruit per day
- Stretch for 30 minutes
- Run, swim, or bike (whichever makes you happiest) for 30 minutes twice a week.
Start by keeping your goals broken into realistic chunks of time such as 10 minutes or half an hour and powerful changes in both attitude and fitness will result. We want to help you heal your body so that you can focus on activities that make you happy and keep you fit. If you have long-standing pain or dysfunction that is holding you back, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. We will work with you to detect the true cause of your pain and create a multi-faceted plan for removing you from the clutches of pain today.
Chronic inflammation is the natural result of a poor diet
Foods that are high in processed ingredients usually contain high levels of sugar and bad fat- foods that make you feel OK and fill you up but let you down in the long run. A buzzword in the health community, inflammation is linked to all sorts of problems in the human body- pain, arthritis, obesity, and beyond, but here's one that may not have occurred to you before:
Chronic inflammation is linked to cortisol imbalance
The brain's foremost stress hormone, cortisol, is produced by the adrenal gland, and keeping it in balance is critical for maintaining the health of every cell in the body. By raising inflammation, a poor diet is helping to throw your cortisol rhythm out of balance and thereby, results in the following symptoms:
- Anxiety and depression
- Problems falling and staying asleep
- Weight fluctuation
- Decreased memory
- Immune system dysfunction
A plan for eating clean to fight inflammation and cortisol imbalance
Diet, along with sleep, is one of the most powerful ways you can control cortisol rhythm and the functioning of your adrenal glands.
- We start by ditching the processed foods. As much as possible, try to limit your intake of drive-thru or ready-made meals.
- This goes along with controlling the quality of fats and sugars you intake.
- Focus on anti-inflammatory foods or supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids, spices such as turmeric, cloves, and ginger,
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol late at night: Both are great at disturbing your natural flow and interfering with the quality of sleep.
This is not a radical change in your diet, but it does ask that you take some care in avoiding the pitfalls of ready-made meals and exercising more care over the ingredients you consume. We can help you identify behavior that is causing inflammation and cortisol levels to remain high and quality of life low. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.
Sleep is essential for pain management
For people suffering from spinal conditions, sleep often offers the only reprieve in a day full of pain and discomfort. Being able to extend your spine on a comfortable mattress may offer pain relief for some, but for others, sleep is less easy to come by. When it comes time to quiet your mind and get to sleep, there is nothing to distract you from your back pain. Insomnia becomes both a cause and an effect of your back pain, and this cycle can be hard to break out of. The best way to get to sleep despite your pain is by finding comfort. We have dedicated our lives to helping people with chronic back pain increase the amount of comfort in their lives so that they can find the sleep they need to push on.
Office ergonomics are made for form and function but rarely are they made for good health
Let's subscribe to the conventional wisdom that working in an office has fewer risks than working construction, or directing traffic or being a lion trainer ... ... ... The risks associated with office work are much less glaring and tend to fly under the radar as they build up over the years. Many people exit office life riddled with degeneration- carpal tunnel in the fingers, degeneration in the spine, pain in the lower body. These are insidious diseases and are caused by the sedentary nature of the office. If we are going to work hard all our lives in an office before retirement, we may as well set our bodies up for success to enjoy that hard-earned freedom.
Here are some ways to combat pain on the job
- Scheduling breaks: once an hour at the top of the hour; it's easy to remember and all you have to do is stand up and move for 60 seconds.
- Resetting posture regularly: whenever the thought strikes you, shake out the tension and reset to an upright position.
- Supporting the lower back: this region needs the most support so lend it a hand with a cushion to maintain the curve throughout your lower back.
- Using a headset: if you use your phone a lot, consider using a headset to encourage the upright position.
- Massaging yourself: gently rub tender spots with your hands and release trigger points from tension.
If you have long-standing pain that is made worse in the office, it's time to stop taking a painkiller, shrugging off the pain, and continuing to work. We want to help you get to the root of your pain and set a course for healing your condition that starts with the therapy we provide. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.