The following articles were authored by Relax The Back

Quality Sleep Starts With Your Sleep Environment

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Sleep tipsHectic, busy lives often cause sleep to be put on the back burner. Over time this can lead to serious health risks. In fact, chronic sleep loss can lead to problems ranging from depression to high blood pressure to weight gain. Getting the best night’s rest you can starts with creating an environment that promotes comfort and relaxation.

Maximize the comfort of your sleep environment with these tips:

  • If your partner snores or has disruptive sleep patterns, discuss an arrangement that allows you both to get the sleep you need. Consider using a pillow that helps prevent snoring such as the TEMPUR-Side Pillow.
  • Keep your room cool: 65-72°F is optimal room temperature. If you tend to get too warm at night avoid wearing heavy sleepwear. Pillows and mattresses that use cooling gels and material, such as the Technogel pillows, the TEMPUR-Breeze pillow and the TEMPUR-Breeze mattress, can help keep your body temperature down during warm nights.
  • Invest in a supportive, comfortable mattress. A good mattress is the foundation of a good night’s sleep.
  • Turn off electronics 45-60 minutes before bedtime. The lights of tablets, phones, and computer screens suppress melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Darkness is best: try using a sleep mask to cover your eyes, use heavy curtains or shades to keep out morning light, or cover electronic displays.
  • Keep all work material out of your bedroom. Stressful activities, whether physical or psychological, can cause the body to excrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness.
  • Quiet is key: try using a “white noise” app to block out unwanted noise. You can also use a fan, which does double duty to keep your room cool and provides consistent, soft, background noise.

 

Visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with a trained specialist regarding your specific sleep needs and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get information and tips on sleep, office, and overall wellness, straight to your inbox! To sign up, visit www.relaxtheback.com and enter your email address at the bottom of the page.

 

Top Apps For a Pain-Free and Productive Workday

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Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of deaths worldwide. Some reports have estimated American adults spend roughly 55% of their time being inactive. This is a key risk factor for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Staying on top of your healthy habits while working at the office or at home can be hard. While we may set goals in the morning to take breaks and walk around during the day or workout during our lunch break, it isn’t uncommon to get lost in work and before we know it the day is over.

From tracking your water intake to sending reminders to take a break from the computer, these apps can help you be on your way to a pain-free and productive workday while staying on top of your health goals:

  • Healthier: Break Reminder and Time Out: By periodically reminding you to take a break from your computer, these apps will help increase productivity and reduce health risks. Using Windows? Download Rest Break to find the same benefits.
  • Move: While the above apps remind you to take short breaks from your computer screen, Move sends daily activity reminders. The app provides over 300 exercises for little workout reminders all day long. Daily Exercises provides similar features for Android users.
  • Waterlogged: Track your daily water intake with hydration reminders. Staying hydrated helps you maintain energy throughout the day while keeping muscles and joints lubricated.  Water Tracker is a similar app available for Androids.
  • Office Stretches: Find relief from muscles stiffness and tension while at the office with this collection of short near-desk stretching exercises. Android users, download Stretch Exercises to find the same relief while at work.
  • Fitbit and Jawbone: While these are not standalone apps, these wearable tech devices act as guides to a better, healthier you. Track your steps and daily activity, sleep cycles, and food and drink intake with handy phone apps that are synced to your device.

Stop by your local Relax The Back location and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information on how you can have a pain-free and productive day.

10 Ways to Sleep Easier Tonight

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Sleep is as important to good health as diet and exercise. Quality sleep helps to improve cognitive function, cardiovascular health, and personal performance, to name a few. Not getting enough sleep can be a serious risk to your overall health and wellbeing. Today, forty-eight percent of Americans say they are sleep deprived. Chronic sleep loss, or poor sleep hygiene, can increase your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, weaken your immune system and even decrease your lifespan.

Combat the negative effects of sleep deprivation with our top 10 ways to sleep easier tonight:

Sleep Easier

See our complete selection of sleep products online, or visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with one of our trained specialists.

 

Ergonomic Workstation Essentials

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Ergonomic Workstation Essentials When it comes to workplace wellness, your workstation set up plays a big role in your physical health, productivity, stress and energy levels. Sitting in one position for long hours takes a toll on your spine, increases the risk of aches and pains and decreases productivity and alertness throughout the day. Creating a comfortable workstation can make a big difference in how you feel at work.

A healthy ergonomic workstation is the sum many parts. These parts work together to help you stay comfortable and efficient at work while preventing pain and discomfort. Here are some ergonomic workstation essentials that can help you have a productive, pain-free workday:

  • Ergonomic Office Chair: Better comfort, better posture, and better health are just a few benefits of ergonomic chairs. Choose a chair that offers proper lumbar support and adjusts to your body’s needs.
  • Laptop Raiser:  Using a raiser is an easy, quick way to find greater comfort and ergonomic positioning while relieving the eye and neck strain often associated with notebook computing.
  • Monitor Arm: Effortlessly adjust the height and position of your monitor to reduce upper back and neck pain. Monitor arms make smaller workspaces more productive and keep valuable desk space clear for other uses.
  • Footrests: Leg activity is crucial to maintaining comfort and good circulation. By using a raised footrest you can counteract the negative effects of sitting, reduce lower back pressure and increase blood flow.
  • Task Light: Proper lighting placement and the correct level of illumination reduce headaches, eye fatigue, and neck strain. A bright, adjustable light allows you to position the light over paper documents and away from your monitor to prevent glare.
  • Standing Desk: Transitioning to a standing desk gives you the ability to easily change positions from sitting to standing to relieve stress on your spine, increase circulation, and mental alertness.

Visit your local Relax The Back location to receive a custom adjustment of the proper ergonomic workstation and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information on ergonomic workstations and solutions.

Transition from Sitting to Standing at Work

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Stand Up Desk TipsMany offices have begun moving away from traditional desks to transition to standing desks. Standing up to work can decrease health issues such as obesity and heart disease. Standing also helps prevent leg disorders due to poor circulation and keeps good cholesterol from dropping.

Using a height-adjustable desk helps you stay focused, productive, and energetic throughout the day while maintaining the ability to easily move from sitting to standing. Get the best of both worlds with these tips to transition from sitting to standing at work:

  • Flexibility is key: We are not designed to stay in one position for prolonged hours. Standing for long periods of time can also be harmful to your health. Alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day; making sure to stand for a minimum of 5 minutes every hour. Find a routine that works best for you, as every person is different.
  • Think about ergonomics: Optimize your workspace by placing monitors and keyboards at the correct height. Your elbows should rest at a 90-degree angle. The center of your monitor should be 10-25 degrees below horizontal eye level. A laptop raiser or monitor arm can help you find the proper adjustment.
  • Find comfort: Be sure to have proper footwear that has the right amount of support for your feet. If you work in a more formal setting, keep a pair of shoes at your desk that you can switch into when your feet start to bother you. Use a footrest to help increase circulation, relieve pressure on your lower back and provide raised foot support.
  • Focus on posture: Whether you are sitting or standing, it may be easy to slip into old habits of “easy” or “comfortable” slouching positions. Beware of your posture throughout the day. When standing, keep a relaxed stance, instead of a tense and rigid gait. When seated, keep your knees slightly lower than your hips with your feet planted firmly on the floor.

For a personal assessment, make a trip to your closest Relax The Back store and start experiencing a more productive and pain-free workday. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and information on ergonomics and workplace wellness.

Foods That Fight Fatigue

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fight fatigueFeelings of tiredness, weariness, and lack of energy can creep up towards the end of our workday.  Studies show poor nutrition is one of the key reasons. Food fuels our bodies consequently, what we choose to eat will have an impact on the performance of our bodies.

Instead of reaching for energy drinks loaded with sugar, fight fatigue with these foods:

  • Oatmeal: Fuel up on quality carbohydrates in the morning with a bowl of oatmeal. Glucose is slowly absorbed through soluble fibers, which provides fuel for our brain and muscles as well as keeping blood sugar levels stable.
  • Melons: Up your H2O intake with food such as watermelon. They are a good source of energy and since they have 90% water they help to prevent dehydration.
  • Nuts: A healthy dose of magnesium, protein and fiber, nuts will provide energy and keep it stable throughout the workday.
  • Sweet Potatoes: With a quarter of a day’s worth of potassium and energy-stabilizing high-fiber carbs, sweet potatoes balance electrolytes and keep us hydrated. Potassium also helps fight fatigue by relaxing the body and lowering blood pressure.
  • Bananas: Low in calories, high in antioxidants and healthy carbohydrates, bananas break down blood sugar for fuel. Combine them with a healthy fat, such as peanut butter, for a well-rounded energy boost.
  • Leafy greens: Fight fatigue with iron-rich foods such as spinach. Lack of iron can cause feelings of sluggishness and fatigue. Iron helps maintain energy levels, keeps blood oxygenated and maintains healthy blood pressure.
  • Chia seeds: Known as a “running food”, chia seeds are packed with protein and fiber (5 grams per tablespoon) to keep blood sugar levels stable. Try them in yogurt, water, or a morning smoothie.
  • Whole wheat: Fiber rich foods like whole wheat English muffins or bagels keep energy levels stable while helping to fill you up. These foods also keep up stamina levels.
  • Protein: Fish, beans, eggs, poultry, soy, meat, and low-fat dairy products are good sources of protein. Protein controls the release of energy from carbohydrates and fats, preserves lean muscle mass, maintains cells and assists in growth.

10 Ways to Stay Active Throughout the Day

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Did you know that 1 in 10 premature deaths are caused by inactivity and lack of exercise? The World Health Organization (WHO) lists inactivity as the fourth biggest killer in adults. Research has shown that sitting for prolonged periods of time is degrading to our health, and that our bodies actually thrive on motion. While sitting through long commutes and working even longer hours can make staying active difficult, there are steps you can take to reverse the negative effects of inactivity.

Below, we have listed our top 10 ways to stay active throughout the day:

Ways To Stay Active

We’ve Got Your Back

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At Relax The Back, we know the importance of living life free of aches, pains, and daily discomforts. Many of us live a sedentary lifestyle working 9-to-5 jobs, commuting daily, and spending time in front of the television or computer when at home.  We are seeing little to no physical activity in our everyday life.

The decisions we make, from morning to night, have a lasting affect on our overall health and wellness. Over the next three months, we will be providing around the clock product solutions and tips for a pain-free and productive day. These tips and solutions will help you sleep better, maintain a healthy workspace, keep you moving throughout the day, and relaxing more at night. When it comes to relieving daily discomforts and improving home, office, and sleep comfort, we’ve got your back

Be sure to follow along on our Pinterest boards, Facebook and Twitter.

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Taking Work to Bed

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Does working away on a laptop and spreadsheets in bed lead to more productivity and comfort than working behind a desk? A recent poll found nearly 1 in 5 employees spend two to ten hours working from bed in a given week. A mobile-security company polled its workers to find half of the 1,000 employees work from bed. Many claim to respond or read work emails, addressing colleagues that may work in different time zones. While this may be a comfortable theory, ergonomically speaking it is not a good practice.

WSJ looks at the negative affects of working in bed. Not only is it physically demanding on your body, it also has negative emotional and mental affects. Consider making your bedroom a device-free zone and make efforts to have a more productive day while at the office. However, if you believe you get your best work done this way, we recommend using a Bed Wedge System to properly support your back while you work.

Working in Bed

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

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Father's Day Gift IdeasFather’s Day is a special time of year to show your loved ones your appreciation for all of their hard work, love, and care. While cooking him his favorite meal, letting him watch the US Open in peace, or going to a baseball game are perfect Father’s Day gift ideas, why not include a gift that will provide him comfort for the whole year?

At Relax The Back, we know how importance of finding the perfect Father’s Day gift. We’ve listed our top gift ideas to give your loved one this year:

  • Self Inflating Back Rest – give the gift of perfect lumbar support in the car, at the movies, while dining, and more.
  • Foot and Calf Massager – give dad relaxation, improve his circulation, and reduce pain and scare tissue anytime of the day.
  • The Perfect Chair: after a long day at the office, help dad say goodbye to low back pain and stress with a Zero Gravity chair.
  • Technogel Pillow – for consistent ergonomic support and comfort, this pillow provides a cool refreshing sensation while relieving pain-induced pressure.

Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with a trained specialist who can help you find the perfect gift based on their specific needs. Also be sure to visit us online (www.relaxtheback.com) and on Facebook and Twitter.