Posts tagged health

“Rethink Sleep” Giveaway

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From the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep, the decisions you make throughout the day affect your quality of sleep. With the average American spending 1/3 of their life in bed, it is incredibly important to be sure you are obtaining adequate sleep. Not only does sleep loss take a toll on our physical health but also our emotional health.

At Relax The Back, we believe in the importance of a good night’s rest. Throughout the next 8 weeks we will be giving away 8 sleep products that will help you sleep more comfortably.

Head over to our Facebook giveaway tab to enter our every week for your chance to win one of the following prizes:

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for tips and facts to help improve your quality of sleep as well as your physical and mental health.

“Sit, Stand, Move” Giveaway Recap

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Throughout the past eight weeks, Relax The Back encouraged fans to move throughout their day to have a productive, pain-free, and healthy workday. We emphasized the importance of movement and a properly set up workstation as well as the pains and strains that can be caused by poor ergonomics. Eight lucky winners were picked to receive office products that would help transform their workspace into a happy, healthy work environment.

Congratulations to the following Relax The Back community members:

In addition to giving away office products, we provided solutions to workplace pains and simple tips to help you move throughout the day. We truly hope these tips, solutions, and office products helped inform you about the importance of ergonomics and healthy habits, not just in the office but outside of work as well.

Get Moving

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Movement is key for well-being, but due in part to rapidly changing technologies and lifestyles, we have effectively removed movement from the daily routine. Many popular publications claim that sitting “is the new smoking,” “reduces your lifespan” and “causes cancer.” As an ergonomist, I receive many questions about incorporating movement into the workday that revolve around this negative reaction to sitting. My approach has always been to recommend movement. Sitting all day might be bad, but prolonged standing is not the answer either.

Let’s look at the facts: the typical American spends 95% of the workday sitting. Sitting in static postures for extended periods of time is hard on the body. Such sitting elevates spinal disc pressure, increases muscle loading in the back, neck and shoulders and lowers the demands on the circulatory system, which can impact heart activity, blood flow and fatigue. In fact, sitting for just one hour can result in a 90% decline in production of enzymes that are responsible for burning fat.

But switching to a permanently standing workstation may not be the best solution either. Prolonged standing can be more tiring and requires about 20% more energy. It can cause pooling in the lower legs and has been linked to foot pain, varicose veins and static muscle fatigue in the lower body. The solution is movement, not one posture or the other.

There is increasing evidence that varying posture throughout the day has significant health benefits. Allowing the body to undergo postural changes improves circulation, keeps the spine nourished and minimizes unnecessary static muscle fatigue. There are many ways to achieve postural changes and integrate more spontaneous movement into your day. If you are at a permanently seated workstation, try unlocking the backrest of your chair, adjust the tension to support gentle movement in your upper body when you lean back and look for opportunities to take “micro breaks” to stand up, stretch or take a walk.

To integrate more movement into your day, you can try a height-adjustable table. These workstations allow for the greatest amount of postural variation and have been shown to significantly reduce discomfort and health risks. A 2011 study in conjunction with the CDC found that implementing dedicated height-adjustable workstations and encouraging employees to stand for just one hour per day resulted in a 54% reduction in upper back and neck pain, and a 71% increase in focus. A 2009 Mayo Clinic study found that it was possible to burn an additional 340 calories per day by spending two hours standing. If you’re considering a height-adjustable workstation, think about the types of technology that are available, their energy requirements, the table’s ease of use and the intended use of the table.

No matter what your workstation setup is—seated, sit-stand or standing—the key to optimal health and performance is providing support for the body in neutral, healthy postures and integrating spontaneous movement throughout the day.

Tips From The Experts: Dr. Talli van Sunder

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Sometimes we need a little help with ways we can stay productive and comfortable in a work environment whether that is at home or in the office. At Relax The Back, we realize the importance of movement throughout the day and want to help you have a more productive workday. We will be highlighting a number of individuals in different fields who have insightful tips and tricks to encourage you to move throughout the day to increase productivity, energy, and overall health.

Dr. Talli van Sunder is a physical therapist by trade and a health fanatic by passion. She is a 2008 & 2009 Podcast Award Finalist, a blogger, a wife and a mother. She created beinghealthy.tv to help others achieve better health and to share the lessons she’s learned over the years on staying healthy with a busy schedule.

Talli highlights her tips on how to maximize workplace productivity & comfort:

You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook for more tips and inspiration and catch her podcasts at beinghealthy.tv.

Five Healthy Ways to Spend Your Tax Return

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If you’re expecting a check in the mail this year from Uncle Sam, here are our top five tips for making the most of your hard-earned tax return

  1. Invest in Fitness – One way to long-term wealth is long-term health. By getting fit and healthy now, you can save a fortune in medical bills later. Consider using your refund for a gym membership or appointments with a physical therapist. There’s something for everyone in the wellness industry including programs to help you stop smoking, reduce stress, lose weight, etc. If back pain health is your focus, we have products to get you back to feeling your best, whether it’s to relieve tired/injured muscles or to increase strength.
  2. Invest in sleep – Another overlooked way to improve your health is to invest in sleep. Many health problems can be improved with a good night’s rest as sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. If you’re not getting the recommended 8 hours every night, you risk (among other things):
      1. Increase stroke risk
      2. Weight gain
      3. Memory loss
      4. Bone damage
      5. Increased heart disease risk

    We take a whole body approach to improving the quality of your sleep, so come visit a store to talk to a trained associate. You might be surprised that your “old mattress” may not be the problem.

  3. Invest in your diet – A change to healthier eating also includes learning about balance, variety, and moderation. Rather than dieting (a temporary fix), healthy eating means making changes that become life-long habits. It can help you get the right balance of nutrients and have you feeling and looking your best. Your diet is also a key in preventing and controlling heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
  4. Treat yourself to a massage – Reduce stress and painful aches of a long day with a massage. There’s an option for any price point – from portable, travel-size massage products to a luxurious, 3D massage chair – for all members of the family. Melt away the stress of the pre-tax season by opting for a relaxing, therapeutic experience that comes with many health benefits.
  5. Invest in memories -  They say money can’t buy happiness but you can get close. Reserve your refund for experiences (not material objects) that give you more bang for your buck. For example, a getaway trip with loved ones or a cooking class can lead to increased happiness/health with fond memories. They keep giving long after, unlike a new wardrobe piece purchase.

How will you be spending (or saving) your tax refund this year?