Category “Health & Wellness”
What does it take to motivate a child? Could it be that one small change in seating options can help facilitate a whole new level of focusing on learning?
Michelle reached out to us months prior to school starting this year, she is a special education teacher that was ultimately curious as to how her students, many of whom are on the Autism spectrum, would react to a whole new way of active seating. We sent her two swopper chairs to use in her special education classroom and we wanted to share some of her feedback from the first month of school.
“Teaching seven 3rd-5th graders, all but one is on the Autistic spectrum and you should have seen their excitement for the newest additions to our classroom!! These students are used to having access to occupational therapy type jumping platforms, therapy balls etc…when they found out they couldn’t keep the chairs and they were just on loan there were many a pouty face to be seen.
After explaining that these were “work” chairs the students went to work!! Here’s some of my favorite feedback from the experience.
One student who speaks VERY little said “chair…can I have the red chair? I like the chair.” This is a huge win as he seldom requests anything!!
One student who dislikes doing work more than most had been sitting in a regular chair and chose to work longer while he sat on the swopper chair.
A few students comment that they want the cool chair and they all find it FUN!
I especially find that the students that have low core muscle tone have benefited the children to help build their core muscles and help maintain better-working positions in the swopper chair.
My overall feel for this seating solution is that when my students are having fun, they are more engaged and when they are more engaged they are learning more!!
Michelle R., M.Ed.
Special Education Teacher
Thank you for reading!
More and more of the workforce is leaving the office environment and embracing the work-from-home trend. Working from home is no longer relegated for independent contractors. In fact, many companies are eschewing the traditional office for better work life balance in an effort to attract top talent, regardless of where they’re located.
While working from home has many benefits, there are some potential issues. Follow the below tips to make working from home a success for yourself and your team.
- Keep to a Routine: It’s easy to get lax while working at home. Keep yourself to a strict routine – like always starting work by 8:30 am, breaking for lunch at noon and stopping for the day at 5:00 pm – to keep yourself on task.
- Set up a proper workspace: Designate an office space for yourself at home so you feel like you’re “going to work” when you enter that space. Get the appropriate work furniture like a stand up desk and Muvman sit to stand stool to make your space inviting and functional.
- Just say no to pajamas: Even though you aren’t seeing people face to face, getting dressed for work each day can help make you feel prepared to tackle your day.
- Reach out to coworkers daily: It’s easy to feel a bit isolated working from home. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re having calls with coworkers daily to keep the lines of communication open and effective.
- Avoid distractions: A traditional workplace can have a lot of distractions, but working from home brings it’s own set as well. Set up a gate to keep children out of your workspace, don’t work in the same room as a tv and commit to limiting your web browsing.
- Know when to shut down for the day: When your work is at home, it’s easy to feel the urge to ALWAYS be working. Set limits for yourself and prioritize your family/down time too.
- Keep active: One of the perks of working from home is the ability to stay active without the curious stares of coworkers. Get outside in your backyard for a quick workout, go for a lunch time walk or invest in a motion office chair, like swopper, and bounce, tilt or sway the day away.
If you’re lucky enough to work from home, following these tips can make your workday for productive and enjoyable. Leave a comment with any tips you have for making working from home a success!
~ Jenn Lytle
Let’s face it, sitting at a desk all day can wreck havoc on your body. Muscles sit unused and gains at the gym seem to waste away. Beyond taking breaks to walk, it can feel like there’s nothing you can do to combat the negative affects of sitting all day.
Thankfully with a bit of ingenuity, you can bring elements of your fitness routine right to your desk with simple, effective exercises that can be done at your desk.
Here are some of our favorite desk exercises to stay active in the office:
- Tricep dips. Utilize your desk to strengthen your upper arms and core.
- Wooden Leg: Or another term for leg lifts. Right from your chair you can strengthen your thighs, core and calve muscles.
- Invisible chair sit: Take a few minutes every few hours to do some squats right at your desk for a great all-body workout.
- Desk push ups: Use your desk again to do some angled push ups at your desk. Or impress your coworkers by doing traditional floor pushups every now and then.
- Invest in a motion chair: Keep your body in motion all day long without even thinking about it by using a swopper, muvman or 3dee motion chair. You can even burn up to 500 extra calories per day using one of these chairs, while also strengthening your body, core and legs.
Working in an office all day does not mean you have to lose your physical strength. Use these exercises to keep your shape up. Have some desk exercises to add? Leave your ideas in the comments!
~ Jenn Lytle
For a CEO/President, one of the responsibilities that comes up from time to time is the office layout and design. If you are expanding, rehabbing, moving to a new location, or building a new building, a process is undertaken to figure out what is needed. It can involve the whole thing or just one part, like new desks or new chairs. Executives engage architects, designers, and furniture dealers to help in this process as very few are experts on this since this is not the main line of work. It is making products or providing services, not buying furniture.
Decisions, however, have to be made. The design used to often be tied to the corporate culture and the corporate hierarchy. The size of the office, location, view, and furniture often reflected the status in the hierarchy. Today, instead of a top down everybody tote the corporate culture and conform, hierarchies have become inverted.
Ideas need to flow up and down the organization, and not be centralized at the top. The key is to provide and create environments that nurture and encourage employee engagement. Instead of simply having a cubicle as the work zone, companies have multiple areas including lounge, working cafeterias and coffee canteens, quiet zones, hobby areas, outdoor areas, and even areas where people can work on personal things while at work. The goal is to let the individual determine what will make them the most happy and motivated, while at the same time have more interaction and brainstorming in open collaborative environments.
The active office, with motion chairs like swopper, muvman, 3-dee, and oyo, support the open and collaborative work settings as well as address the other key challenge of health and wellness in the workplace.
Muvman is the best compliment to height adjustable worktables, and it also only weighs 13 pounds so you can easily take it with you to perch on in a collaborative area with colleagues. Swopper is the most active office chair in the world, and encourages movement all day long, which keeps you energized. 3-dee also keeps you active and provides a backrest for those used to a more traditional chair. Oyo is such a fun saddle-style chair that is perfect to have in lounge areas where people engage each other.
The active office, combined with the new more varied workplace, is the best way to achieve a productive and healthy workplace. This is a key advantage when competing for, attracting, and retaining key talent. Being aware of these options and trends will help leaders of companies achieve their overall corporate mission.
CEO, President Via Seating
Welcome to 2016! We’re more than a week into the new year already… How are those resolutions looking? For many of us, the New Year means a new opportunity to set goals, typically aimed at living a better life in one way or another. We can also really stress ourselves out this time of year – maybe we set ourselves up for disappointment before we’ve even begun by having unrealistic expectations.
Did you vow to hit the gym every day, or to never eat another carb? Instead of these monumental challenges we put on ourselves, what if we just vowed to make slight changes in our everyday lives? Changes that may be easier to stick to and have a greater impact if we keep them up throughout the year (instead of just this week).
We’ve put together some ideas for burning extra calories while you work, so maybe sticking to that healthier lifestyle won’t be as hard as it sounds.
It’s easy and convenient to pick up the phone and dial a co-worker’s extension, but it may be worthwhile to walk to them, even if they’re on the other side of the office. It may not seem like much, but it will all add up. By the end of the day, you may have walked a mile or two, burning at least 100 calories.
How many times a day do you get up, simply to use the restroom or re-fill your water bottle? Each time you leave your desk, try doing 30 jumping jacks before you sit back down. If you get up twice an hour, you will have done almost 500 jumping jacks by the end of the day, burning almost 50 calories!
Did you know you can burn up to 50 more calories an hour standing instead of sitting? Even if you stood at your desk for half a work day, that’s up to 200 calories!
The rest of that time you’re sitting at your desk? Try bouncing on a swopper motion chair! swopper has many health benefits, from relieving back tension to engaging your core, and it’s also a great way to burn calories. If you actively bounce and sway while you’re working at your desk, you can burn a few hundred extra calories every day!
It’s that time of the year! The time where many make their New Year’s resolutions and hope and pray they can stick to them. I think many times people set unrealistic or hard to obtain goals.
Here are five super simple and super healthy resolutions to maintain throughout the year, and they’re easy because you can do them right in your own office during your work day!
- Keep the disinfectant handy – this time of year especially we are all battling the viruses and germs that can overtake an office. It’s very easy to wipe down the items that harbor these nasty germs i.e. keyboards, desks, mouse and phones. Do it often!!
- Be comfortable – Sitting in awkward positions and staring at a monitor at the wrong height are just a couple issues that workers tend to ignore until they start to feel the pain. Make sure your work space is working for you. Use a great chair like swopper, muvman or 3Dee to encourage you to move throughout the day. Check your mouse and keyboard positioning to make sure you’re using them properly. Remember: if you’re feeling pain, it’s your body’s way of telling you to change something.
- Get the snacks and candy off the desk – Feeling peckish? It’s always easy to find plenty of unhealthy snacks in an office. Keep fruits or nuts around and walk out of your way to avoid the candy machine and sodas.
- Water, water, water – You should be drinking lots of water during the day. The 3 o’clock lull could be due to dehydration.
- Move – the most important of them all. Don’t get stuck sitting for hours on end. Easier said than done, so even if you have to set an alarm to prompt you…do it!! Walk at lunch, walk to the co-worker vs email, stretch at your desk. If you have a height adjustable desk…USE IT!! Remember the water mentioned above? How about getting that from a source furthest from your desk….
Now – go to work and stay healthy while you’re there. Happy New Year!!
~ Sandra Bowie
Research has shown that 60 to 90 percent of our communication with others is nonverbal, which means our body language and posture is very important to making a strong first impression. Think about it! If you meet a new business associate and they stand slumped over and have a weak handshake, what do you think first: that they are a strong, trustworthy partner to do business with, or that they lack confidence and drive?
Presenting yourself in every situation with a strong stance, firm handshake and attentive eyes will help you create a lasting first impression that business associates, friends and even strangers will remember.
So what is proper posture and how can you work to perfect it?
Good posture includes standing or sitting with your back straight, shoulders back, head up and chin lifted. A good way to check and readjust your posture is to move your arms straight over your head, with palms together. Split your arms behind your head and slowly bring them to your sides. This will get your spine, neck and shoulders into proper position.
It’s very easy to slip into poor posture when sitting in a stationary office chair. You can combat poor sitting posture by using a motion chair like swopper. Swopper constantly engages your core and forces your spine into optimal position. Over time your core muscles strengthen and you will find sitting with great posture is second nature.
Learn more about posture and the benefits of motion seating on our website, or start shopping for your swopper motion chair right now. With the right tools, you can improve your posture and make a great first impression.
~ Jenn Lytle
Nothing is more frustrating than putting in the hours at the gym, eating healthy and still feeling like your body refuses to work with you. Sometimes the solution may be as simple as using the proper technique in all your exercises. If you’ve spent any time around a trainer, you’ve probably heard them talk about engaging your core.
Ideally, working your core muscles should be a part of everyday life. If you’re doing all that lifting without these important muscles engaged, not only do you run the risk of serious injury, but you probably aren’t getting the most out of your workout!
Five Ways To Strengthen Your Core:
This may sound like a silly first step, but if you aren’t properly engaging those core muscles, you’re not getting the workout you think you are. It’s easy and almost more intuitive to just suck in your tummy when someone tells you to use your core, but that’s almost the complete opposite of actually working those muscles. Make sure your stomach muscles are tight, as if bracing or steadying the rest of your body (hint: you should be able to breathe while doing this)!
2) Test your balance!
How often do you find yourself standing in one place? In line at the grocery store or bank, waiting to pick up a child from school, or maybe standing at your work desk? Tighten your core and balance on one foot any time you are standing stationary. Start with one leg bent slightly at the knee; see how high you can hold it and maintain balance. You can also keep that raised leg moving by straightening it in front of you and then bending it again. Got that mastered? Try it with your eyes closed! Also, don’t forget to alternate legs!
3) Throw on some boxing gloves!
This one may require some extra equipment and a friend, but it’s worth it! Practice some kickboxing moves either with a heavy bag or having a friend hold some body pads. Your core should be firmly engaged with every swing and every kick for maximum power!
4) Walk the plank!
Any idea why so many people hate planking? It works! A proper plank position will not only engage your core muscles but also put those shoulders and glutes to the test. Get down in a push-up position and hold for as long as you can. Stay focused on keeping your body aligned the whole time. If you want more of a challenge, switch it up with side planks, or place your feet on a towel and slide them in towards your navel and back out.
5) Keep moving at work with the swopper FIT app for your iPhone!
This app is perfect for reminding you to move even while sitting at your desk. The app walks you through an array of movements that you can do on your swopper motion chair without interrupting your work day. Keep your co-workers wondering what you’re up to as you bounce along on your swopper with your earbuds in and swopper FIT app running!
Having a stronger core has many benefits, which may include relief of lower back pain due to improper posture and lifting techniques. If you’re short like me, improved posture might just make you feel an inch or two taller! So tighten those muscles, get moving, and enjoy a happier, healthier lifestyle!
~ Aleta Simmons
What comes to mind when we say “creating a healthy workplace?” Snacking on healthier food choices or sitting in an active seating chair, or maybe even creating a mentally healthier mind. There are several different things that someone can do to ensure that they are working in a healthy environment.
1. Stop the Spread of Germs
One of the biggest complaints is breaking the chain of germ transmission between employees. It’s so easy to pick up a virus working so closely with people, especially this time of year. You use the same coffee maker; you push the same button on the copy machine. Even a simple hand shake can lead to a cold of flu. That’s why you must break that chain of germ transmission and wash, wipe and sanitize… repeat, if you must!
2. Make Healthy Food and Drink Choices
What about healthy eating or snacking? You spend most of your day at work, so it’s no surprise that your workplace eating habits can have a major impact on your health. We have a couple tips which may help you have proper nutrition at work.
First, you need to ditch the junk food; throw away those crackers and unhealthy snacks that you have stashed. Replace that junk food with balanced snacks like nuts, dried fruit, etc. Second, you must plan your meals and eat at least 3 healthy meals a day with at least two snacks. Lastly, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! There is nothing better for you than water.
3. Start Moving!
Working doesn’t have to mean sitting sedentary all day, you can actually use that time to work on your posture and your core. Everything that encourages movement is positive for your health, which is why active seating is a great option for sitting and is more than just wellness; it adds health into your everyday life! That’s why the OYO, muvman, swopper and 3DEE have become so widely popular.
Take these tips and apply them to your work environment. Have the whole office on board so you can be sure that your work place is clean and healthy.
~ Lindsay McIntyre
Some of us have been sitting on a swopper for so long, it’s hard to remember how we first felt about it. It’s equally hard to imagine ever sitting on anything else for long periods of time. If we think back though, there was a time for each of us before we first encountered the swopper, and making the switch to active seating may not have been the easiest thing.
For those of you that are new to the idea of sitting in motion, we want you to know you’re not alone. Any questions or hesitations you may have were probably shared with all of us at one time, so we’d like to try and ease your mind. We’ve compiled a list of the most common misconceptions… just give us the opportunity, and we’ll show you these are nothing to fret over!
- I need a backrest.
No, you don’t. I will admit, this was one of my original concerns. I’m a sloucher. I understand in my head that the swopper is supposed to prevent that, but I was still a little stubborn about not having the option to use the worst possible posture I could come up with. Sitting up straight IS hard to get used to, but that’s the whole point. Your body needs to be re-trained to use the muscles it has. If you’re sitting on your swopper properly, your back isn’t even near the spot a backrest WOULD be.
- I can’t get any work done while bouncing, and once I start bouncing I won’t be able to stop!
This can be tricky, especially if you type all day. It may take some getting used to, but you will find a happy medium. Just to prove it can be done, I’m bouncing on my swopper air as I type this! The swopper allows so many movement options that you really can sit upright when you need to, lean side to side when reaching for things or when you need to stretch, and get in some bouncing when you really want to get your body moving.
- I’ll fall right off!
Well, you might. My daughters fall off the couch all the time, but we still keep those (the couches… and the daughters)!
- I need armrests.
No, you don’t. This was also my struggle, probably even more so than wanting a backrest. I’m prone to “golfer’s elbow” in both arms (nope, I don’t golf), and my elbows get very stiff if they stay in one position. I was concerned my arms would always be in pain without having anything to support them. However, much like anything else, my body has adapted and with strengthening over time, not having anything to rest on doesn’t bother me any longer.
- It’s too expensive.
The price point on a swopper is similar to other chairs in its class – it’s not the cheapest seat you’ll find, but it’s not the most expensive either.
To really consider the cost of the swopper, you have to also take into account what you are gaining and ask yourself how much your health and wellness are worth. How much will an injured back cost you in the long run? As an employer, how much can you save by ensuring your employees are in their best health, eliminating days off for injuries, doctor visits and even surgeries?
- I tried it, and my back hurts WORSE!
If this is the case, answer this: Is it the same pain you’re used to? Does it feel like the same old back pain, caused by a lifetime of not treating your back properly? Or is it more like the soreness you feel after a good workout? Chances are, that pain you’re feeling isn’t because the swopper is hurting you… It’s because you’re using muscles that have gone unused for far too long! Give the swopper a chance to really strengthen those core muscles, and we’re almost sure you’ll be impressed with your own results!
We hope once you give it a try you’ll understand just how we all feel about our swopper, despite what our initial reactions may have been. If you still don’t believe us, we do offer a 30-day return policy at swopper.com, in case you are not fully satisfied!
~ Aleta Simmons