Is Your Work Causing You Physical Pain? 🤕 😲

Work-related disorders aren’t just limited to heavy manufacturing or construction. They can occur in all types of industries and work environments, including office spaces. Research shows that repetitive motion, poor posture, and staying in the same position can cause or worsen musculoskeletal disorders.

Staying in one position while doing repetitive motions is typical of a desk job. An analysis of job industry trends over the past 50 years revealed that at least 8 in 10 American workers are desk potatoes.

The habits we build at our desk, especially while sitting, can contribute to discomfort and health issues, including:

  • neck and shoulder pain
  • obesity
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • stress
  • lower back pain
  • carpal tunnel

According to the Mayo Clinic, more than four hours a day of screen time can increase your risk of death by any cause by 50 percent. There’s also a 125 percent risk for cardiovascular disease.

The good news is that moving or stretching is a buildable habit. For starters, you can set a timer to remind you to take a quick walk or stretch. If you’re pressed for time, there are even certain stretches you can do at your desk. Scroll down for the tutorial on working out those computer kinks.

Remember to breathe normally throughout the stretches, and never hold your breath. With each stretch, you may find yourself more flexible. Don’t go further than is comfortable.

Stretching out your arms

Triceps stretches

Triceps stretches
  1. Raise your arm and bend it so that your hand reaches toward the opposite side.
  2. Use your other hand and pull the elbow toward your head.
  3. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Overhead reach, or latissimus stretch

latissimus stretch
  1. Extend each arm overhead.
  2. Reach to the opposite side.
  3. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Upper body and arm stretch

pectoralis stretch
  1. Clasp hands together above the head with palms facing outward.
  2. Push your arms up, stretching upward.
  3. Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.

Stretching your torso

Shoulder, or pectoralis stretch

pectoralis stretch
  1. Clasp hands behind your back.
  2. Push the chest outward, and raise the chin.
  3. Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.

Forward stretch

Forward stretch

This stretch is also known as the rhomboid upper or upper back stretch.

  1. Clasp your hands in front of you and lower your head in line with your arms.
  2. Press forward and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

Torso stretch, or trunk rotation

trunk rotation
  1. Keep your feet firmly on the ground, facing forward.
  2. Twist your upper body in the direction of the arm that’s resting on the back of your chair.
  3. Hold pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on other side.

Tip: Exhale as you lean into the stretch for a greater range of motion.

Stretching out your legs and knees

Hip and knee flexion stretch

flexion stretch
  1. Hug one knee at a time, pulling it toward your chest.
  2. Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
  3. Alternate.

Hamstrings stretch

Hamstrings stretch
  1. Remaining seated, extend one leg outward.
  2. Reach toward your toes.
  3. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Be sure to do this one leg at a time, as doing this exercise with both legs out can cause back issues.

Head and shoulder stretches

Shoulder shrug

Shoulder shrug
  1. Raise both shoulders at once up toward the ears.
  2. Drop them and repeat 10 times each direction.

Neck stretches

Neck stretches
  1. Relax and lean your head forward.
  2. Slowly roll toward one side and hold for 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat on other side.
  4. Relax again and lift your chin back to starting position.
  5. Do this three times for each direction.

Upper trap stretch

Upper trap stretch
  1. Gently pull your head toward each shoulder until a light stretch is felt.
  2. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds.
  3. Alternate once on each side.

review of stretching programs in workplaces found that stretching improved range of motion, posture, and provided stress relief. Research also suggests that periodic workplace stretching may reduce pain by up to 72 percent. And some studies show that a bit of exercise in the workday can relieve both physical and mental stress.

While research on stretching in the workplace is still limited, a recent study found that rest breaks can minimize discomfort without compromising productivity.

 

Other ways to get moving

All of these stretches are productive. The goal is to move in new position throughout the day to avoid repetitive stretch injuries. According to The Harvard School of Public Health, physical activity — even for short periods of time — can improve your mood. You may experience benefits from:

  • standing up while on the phone or eating lunch
  • getting a flexible standing desk so you can change your position
  • walking laps during quick meetings
  • getting up from your seat every hour and walking around the office

Ask your manager or human resources department about ergonomic furniture. You can also download StretchClock, a break reminder app, that alerts you every hour to get up and move around a little. They even provide no-sweat exercise videos, if you can’t leave your desk.

Dedicated To Making Healthy Your Habit,

Coach Mychael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article originally published in Healthline

Our bodies are being ruined by sitting; The forgotten art of squatting.

Sentences that start with the phrase “A guru once told me…” are, more often than not, eye-roll-inducing. But recently, while resting in malasana, or a deep squat, in an East London yoga class, I was struck by the second half of the instructor’s sentence: “A guru once told me that the problem with the West is they don’t squat.”

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How Can Social Media Negatively Impact My Fitness Goals?

Social media can help with a variety of things including enhancing social connections, becoming more aware of community events, and giving you more information about happenings in the real world. Unfortunately, it can cause harm in a great deal of areas such as fitness goals as well. Here’s a look at four examples of how social media can negatively impact your fitness goals.

Unrealistic Expectations

Anyone who has ever used social media knows that when you log on you immediately see people who seem happier, healthier and better looking than you. When you look at social media, it can become too easy to forget that you are looking at a curated life, not a real one. As a result, social media enhances the development of unrealistic expectations.

Hurting Your Mental Health

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with social media today is that it can negatively impact your mental health. Too much social media use is tied directly to depression. This is for many reasons, including the way that social media breaks traditional relationships with people and leads to excessive fear of missing out on other events. This can hurt your fitness goals, as poor mental health is often tied to less exercise.

Wasting Time

It’s estimated that people use social media for 2 hours each day on average. That is not a small number, and more often than not, time is wasted that could be used more productively. If you ever feel like you don’t have enough time to exercise, keep this in mind. Try monitoring or reducing your social media use and seeing if that makes it easier for you to exercise. Remember, it takes a conscious effort to beat procrastination.

Equipment Envy

How many times have you seen someone exercising on social media, only to see them at a high-end gym with the latest and greatest equipment? Does that make you feel like this is what you need to exercise? It shouldn’t. You can get a great workout without spending a dime, and social media can be dangerous here because it can trick you into thinking that you need money to work out.

Social media can be harmful, but less so if you know what you are looking at. The harm that social media can bring is dramatically reduced if you pay attention to all of its negative impacts. Don’t let social media ruin your fitness routine.

 

Dedicated To Making Healthy Your Habit,

Coach Mychael

Health Tips From Your WiFi Router…🤔 🤷🏼‍♀️

Today, I have a story for you today about my overworked wifi router. (Spoiler Alert: this story isn’t really about my router. 😁)

A couple of weeks ago I was having some serious problems with my internet here at the house. My devices kept dropping their wifi connections and the ones that actually connects were running extremely slow.

I’d see the wifi icon pop on and I thought I was good to get some work done, but then that annoying “buffering” circle (that one we all hate to see when trying to be productive) would start spinning and everything would halt again.

So what did I do?  Called tech support to get some coaching. And the solution? Unplug the router for about 5 minutes and then plug it back in.  While the router was unplugged, restart my computer, and my phone.  Let them all rest, and reset. Then plug the router back in and let them all reconnect…refreshed and ready to go!

Voila. All connections resolved, and internet speed back up to normal.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott 

You guessed it: this email is about giving yourself a break every once in a while…Letting your body disconnect, rest, and reset itself so it can run at optimal speed!

Especially when you feel like you are trying to run as fast as you can, but can barely keep up.

Sometimes taking a step away (temporarily) is exactly what you need to do to recharge and find the strength to finish strong; whether that is training for a race, training your muscles in the gym, or training your mind in school or at work!

Our society rewards pushing hard and never giving up. And both of those things are important – nothing gets done unless someone actually DOES the work. But there is a fine line between working hard, and destroying your body from lack of recovery and “burning the candle at both ends.”

Here’s another saying for you:  “To every thing there is a season …”

Basically, if you push hard, you also need to take some time and rest just as “hard” so you can reset and power back up again.

Taking time to rest has absolutely NOTHING to do with being lazy or unproductive. In fact, recovery is a KEY part of being a productive and healthy person.

Often when you unplug, you come back more inspired, with fresh ideas to make improvements, and with more energy to take on your day. Your workouts will improve from sustained energy and stronger muscles.

How can you power down? It doesn’t mean vegging on the couch with a pint of ice cream, binge watching an entire season of something on Netflix (although it might).

It can be anything you enjoy. Any thing that allows you to unwind. For some people, it might mean doing something a little more active like playing softball or tennis, going skiing or swimming. For others it could be less active, like reading or painting or watching a movie.

Here are some everyday ways to unplug:

  • Take a relaxing bath
  • Get a massage or other bodywork
  • Read a book (preferably not one about 10x-ing your productivity)
  • Going for a walk or getting outside for some fresh air
  • Playing with your children or pets
  • Doing something creative: play music, woodwork, cook, anything crafty, etc.
  • Going to a movie
  • Gardening or working on your yard
  • Rent an Airbnb for the weekend and get away for a bit (even somewhere local!)
  • Take a nap

This process isn’t rocket science – it’s more about giving yourself the permission to just BE. Resting and resetting anyway you enjoy.  Doesn’t that sound amazing?

If you’ve read this far, I’m hoping you are serious about the rest thing and willing to give it a try😃.  Reply back to this email and let me know if you’re going to do something intentional this week to disconnect and recharge. I would be great to hear from you!

Have an amazing day,

Dedicated To Making Healthy Your Habit,
Mychael
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Dehydration Is Keeping You Fat

Keeping your body hydrated should not be an afterthought, or something you randomly choose to do. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, or have any weight loss or fitness goals, hydration is that “magic pill” you have been searching for and should be the first thing you look to correct.  It’s one of the easiest things you do to speed up your health goals, less painful than any workout and quicker than healthy meal prep.

Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions This Year

According to popular statistics, only 8% of New Year’s Resolutions are successfully kept. This means that 92% of us that are brave enough to set out for self-improvement will fail.
Those aren’t very good odds.
Thankfully there is science that explains this curious “Snap-Back Effect” and offers us tools to make the effect work in our favor.

Magical Fitness Tip…That Works!

Many of my clients have asked for a magical tip to stick with their exercise plan, and I found the solution in an unlikely place: from the mind of Jerry Seinfeld.

WARNING: Do You Want The Perfect Body?

Quite frankly, perfection is unattainable, and will always leave you falling short and feeling bad about yourself, especially if your goal is focused on someone else’s “perfection”.

Exercise…It will change your life

I’m constantly telling you how important routine exercise is to your health and how so many of your health problems will improve or even disappear as the result of a consistent exercise program.
So why do I continue to give you the same lecture?

Achieving Your Unmet Goals

Do you have any unmet goals? If so, you aren’t alone. Most people are living with unfulfilled aspirations.
Unfortunately, many widely used self-help techniques fail to deliver results…until this approach.