Category “Health & Wellness”
OK, I’ve got my new height adjustable work desk….now am I supposed to sit or stand?
By now we’ve all seen or heard the research about how bad those accumulated hours of sitting can be for the body. It’s scary, but proven. While it’s likely that chairs are never going to disappear from the work environment, one thing that should change is giving people the choice to work differently.
One option to work differently that has caught on like wildfire is the use of height-adjustable or standing desks. While it’s great to see people introducing and accepting the height-adjustable desks, standing static for long periods of time is not a reasonable expectation and could cause health issues of its own. It can be very fatiguing on the knees, hips, feet and back and also cause veinous issues. Research out of the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society is showing that prolonged standing is likely to contribute to lower-extremity and/or back disorders.
So if sitting all day is harmful and so is standing all day, then what is the ideal solution?
Transitional Sitting Positions or Active Sitting Positions is the Sweet Spot of this controversy. Being in transition between both sitting and standing is the best of both worlds and eliminates the ‘static’ component of sitting/standing stationary by replacing it with dynamic motion. Transitional sitting allows the spine to stay neutral (like in a natural standing position) while allowing the individual to take the load off… literally.
These sitting positions also deliver the full ROI potential promised by height-adjustable tables. Why should an end-user spend a lot of money on a height-adjustable surface that offers infinite height ranges, yet only use the sitting or standing options? What about the positions in between? That is what we call the magic zone. Sitting at heights of 23” – 33” – dramatically opens the hip-spine angle, allowing the pelvis to rotate forward and maintain lower back curvature, i.e. neutral spine position.
The ideal way to achieve a transitional sitting workspace is to combine a height-adjustable desk with a Muvman motion chair.
With a 13” height adjustment range, Muvman allows you to go from a standard seated position, to perching, to full on standing. It gives you the option to sit/stand/lean all within one compact yet stylish, functional and fun chair. It has lateral and forward tilt motion, always motivating the user to engage leg, core and back muscles yet remain in a proper posture.
With its small footprint, when not in use it can easily fit under the desk out of the way. It has a weight of 13.9lbs, which means it can easily be moved to another location altogether (two users can share one stool – motivating each of them to change postures throughout the day).
Employers have learned (the hard way) that they can’t just take a chair away from someone and expect them to stand for hours – people just won’t do it! However, if you offer them a chair that allows them to access transitional sitting positions (Muvman), they will truly get the full benefit of having that height-adjustable desk.
Transitional sitting provides the ideal set up for those in an office to remain healthy, active and in motion. All this combined is the true idea of what today’s “active office” should incorporate!
~ Sandra Bowie
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you know now that we feel passionate about getting people out of their sedentary lifestyles. Sitting all day has been shown time and again in studies to negatively impact our health and wellbeing both physically and mentally.
Following are some of the best reasons to get up out of your seat and move. Hopefully these top ten reasons why you shouldn’t sit all day, will be the motivation you need to change your daily habits.
- We simply were not meant to sit all day. Evolution has not evolved from our hunting and gathering days to the point where our bodies are programed to sit statically. In fact we are meant to move and be active. Forcing our body to sit still for long periods of time is not a good thing.
- It is unhealthy. When you sit down in a chair multiple things happen. Your calorie burn goes close to zero. Your circulation is reduced and restricted. The amount of oxygen you take in is reduced. Your organs are crowded and squished together. All this has been linked to multiple diseases including cardio vascular, diabetes, heart, and other ailments including skeletal issues.
- It’s no fun. Sitting slows down everything in our body. We tend to get more tired and have less energy. We tend to reach for sweets and caffeine to offset these effects. These combinations can increase mood swings and make people more irritable.
- Exercising after work doesn’t do it. We tend to compensate for all the inactivity of working all day by vigorously exercising after work. Studies show that this does not make up for the damage done to the body from inactivity and everything we can do to increase activity during the day greatly improves health.
- Bad things accumulate. Disease doesn’t happen overnight. Mostly sitting statically for 8 to 10 hours a day, day after day, adds up. The impact and negative effects might not show up until later but they are happening. Sitting actively, day after day, also has a cumulative effect and this is very healthy for your body.
- It costs a lot of money to counteract these negative effects. Once the toll of sitting all day has wrecked havoc on your health, you’ll be in overdrive in other areas to regain your health.
- Brain function is reduced as well. Again, less blood flow and less brain enhancing hormones are flowing to the brain when you sit stationary. This reduces concentration and impedes learning and performance.
- Chairs often cause back and other pain The chairs we sit in are not necessarily ergonomically designed for us or proper for our body and we sit in ways that can be detrimental to our back, arms, and joints throughout our body.
- Your muscle mass is shrinking – Your muscles break down from inactivity and you become weaker, which reduces the amount of blood that is pumped to your heart. Your bone mass is also reduced up to 1% a year.
- It’s killing you. Sedentary sitting for an average of 6 hours a day 5 days a week increases the chance of dying from heart disease by 64%, while prostate or breast cancer increases by 30%.
The facts are undeniable; sitting stationary all day is terrible for your mind and body. By investing in a motion chair like swopper, Muvman, OYO or 3Dee, you will mitigate all the negative affects of sitting mentioned above, while also having some fun.
~ Chas Hepler
By now you’ve heard of the dangers of static sitting for long periods of time and the benefits of motion seating. Here at swopper, our motion seating is designed to alleviate back tension, encourage proper posture and improve better circulation. We’d now like to introduce you to swopper Saddle, our first chair to combine all the benefits of motion seating with a saddle-style seat.
With swopper Saddle, you still have the full range of motion as with the swopper Classic or swopper Air – full 360 degree tilt as well as vertical bounce. So why this seating option, versus our traditional swopper stools? Let’s look at how the saddle seat further encourages better posture, mobility and circulation!
Saddle-sitting improves leg circulation and reduces foot swelling. There is no edge to press against your upper leg, and your buttocks and leg muscles are free of contact pressure. The veins and arteries that carry blood to and from your legs are in their most open position. With the angles between upper and lower legs being much wider than usual and the active use of your legs accelerating your metabolism, your legs will really feel much better.
Saddle-sitting improves balance. The spread of the legs, called hip abduction, stabilizes the pelvis in an upright orientation, so you can relax. Your wide foot stance keeps you balanced when you move about. Balance is so dramatically improved that many people with neurological impairments sit independently in a saddle seat.
A saddle seat encourages better posture. The hip joints rest in a relaxed, open position and the spine is in perfect balance when you sit on a saddle chair. The unique seat contour ensures you’ll bend forward from your hips, not from your back. You can reach further and more safely on a saddle chair. Saddle-sitting preserves your spinal curves even when you bend forward, while freeing your legs to move, which helps turning, moving and reaching out for things to be quick and safe.
Typical of all motion products, the swopper Saddle seat does take some getting used to. We recommend you give your body up to two weeks to allow yourself to adjust to any soreness that may be related to an unfamiliar sitting style. There’s good news for all the horse lovers or cyclists – this seating option will feel pretty natural!
~ Aleta Simmons
For 15% off on pre-sale orders of the new OYO – use coupon code OYO15% on swopper.com
We can’t contain our excitement any more here at Swopper – it’s finally time to share with you our latest addition to the motion line of seating … OYO, the chair!
By now we all know that research points to an alarming conclusion: prolonged sitting is a public health issue. Americans, on average, spend eight hours a day sitting, yet few realize the health consequences they are suffering as a result.
That’s why we work tirelessly with our German manufacturer, Aeris, to formulate motion seating chairs that will get people moving again. The latest addition to this revolutionary line of motion chairs is OYO.
A strikingly beautiful design with cross functionality from task to collaborative to conferencing applications, OYO chair offers soothing rocking motion combined with optimal spinal support.
When you first look at the OYO chair, it prompts the questions; is it a saddle-seat with a backrest? Or a cantilever framed chair? Or perhaps it’s a rocking chair? The answer is it’s all of the above! (Plus a whole lot more).
OYO moves you in ways you never thought possible. It cradles, bounces and rocks, inviting you to try many different sitting positions. This chair truly takes motion to the next level and will ensure its users optimize their health all while sitting.
OYO is a style icon that adds an exclamation point to any contemporary, high-design environment. It is available in six colors including red, orange, kiwi (green), pacific (blue), graphite (dark gray) and sandstone (light gray). Initially swopper.com will carry kiwi, pacific, graphite and red.
We’re excited to be the only US distributor of OYO, which will be ready for distribution this fall. We want everyone to experience the health benefits that OYO and motion seating offer, so we’re extending our early-bird, pre-order special pricing exclusively to our blog readers.
We’d love to hear your feedback on OYO! Please leave a comment or question on this blog and we’ll answer it asap.
Cheers to more ways to keep moving!
~ Jenn Lytle
It seems as though every tradeshow I present swopper at, I always get a few women who say “this would have been great when I was pregnant” or “I used a physio ball during labor.” They immediately follow-up that sentence with “swopper feels so much more stable and safe, but gives the same benefits.”
Not having children (do furry babies count?), I decided to do some research on this as this was an application we don’t typically connect with swopper. We tend to associate swopper with an office setting, but when you stop and think about it, a motion chair is ideal for many non-office settings, including pregnancy.
What I found through my research is:
- The angle swopper puts you in helps relieve pressure on your back and joints, while also being adjustable to fit each individual.
- Swopper encourages gentle bouncing, which has been shown to encourage the baby to move into proper positions prior to labor.
- The chair also gets mom rocking and pelvic tilting, which again encourages the baby into a proper position and help relieve stress and pain on the mother.
- Exercise can tend to get limited as a pregnancy progresses. The simple motion on a swopper can help with circulation and keeping the body limber all while toning muscles.
- Mothers should trade a chair for a swopper at the computer, table or even while watching TV. This way they will strengthen the lower back and have that open hip/spine angle. Making them more comfortable but also preparing them for stress of labor.
- Studies have shown that the kind of motions you do on a swopper can help speed up the labor process and also make it shorter (I’m sure any mother would love that!)
Another bonus use for swopper is for feeding and comforting a baby. Pacing for hours can be exhausting for a new mom, but simply rocking or gently bouncing can put a baby to sleep. Just make sure you are comfortable getting on and off without losing your balance before trying to sit down with a baby in your arms.
We recently shared swopper with mom blogger A Mom’s Take, who happened to be pregnant. Here’s what she had to say about using swopper during her pregnancy “Our chair arrived just before baby #5, and I loved used it while pregnant, especially. It gives you a lot of the feel of a yoga ball, without rolling away and being so low to the ground.”
~ Sandra Bowie
In our industry it’s not uncommon to hear some people’s complete dismay to the price of some office chairs. Mainly people think ”it’s just a chair, why is it so expensive?”
It’s true that there are chairs that are fairly inexpensive. However these chairs can be low quality. They fulfill temporary need, but most likely within the near future end up in a landfill somewhere and the user has to purchase another one.
At the other end of the spectrum there are the really expensive chairs, but most likely they’re expensive for a reason i.e. materials, design, ergonomics etc. As with anything there’s always a middle ground as well.
The old phrase “you get what you paid for” really hits the target when it comes to office seating products. What people don’t think about is how much use (and abuse!) an office chair gets. For most people an office chair needs to support them for 7+ hours a day, 5 days a week. That adds up to a lot of “SITTING TIME!”
And of course you want to be comfortable and free of back pain during that time frame. This is where the boys get separated from the men – so to speak.
A good office chair is going to be:
- Made with quality, durable components
- Engineered to ensure proper ergonomic functions
- Have options for the individual to make it fit their own needs
- Include a great warranty and service
- Showcase trend-setting design
Often new trends will come with a price attached because it’s new and different. But hey…we all want to be trendsetters!!
All of these add up to make your sitting experience much more enjoyable. What’s your comfort worth? Everyone will have a different answer to this based on personal preferences. But think about this…. we have no problem throwing down money for extremely expensive beds…why? Because it’s comfortable, makes us feel better and we spend half of our lifetime in bed.
Why wouldn’t you think of a good office chair in the same context? You spend a lot of time there too. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to spend a little more upfront for quality vs spending less and buying the same thing over and over. That definitely adds up in the end.
As we say at Swopper – we are dedicated to the sweet spot of seating! Customized not prescribed.
~ Sandra Bowie
The swopper chair offers the unique benefit of being able to move while you are sitting at a desk. When you sit on a swopper, you’re able to bounce, sway and tilt while maintaining optimal posture. Active sitting on your swopper means you’re able to burn up to 500 calories a day while you work.
Exercising in your swopper chair is a great way to take your experience on a motion chair to the next level. It is a perfect low impact workout that is beneficial for seniors, office workers or those with health limitations. Simple movements can help increase mobility, circulation and performance, while decreasing an individual’s risk of injury.
The following are five exercises that can be performed anytime in your swopper chair:
* Perform each of the following protocols for up to 60 seconds.
* Perform up to 3 sets, depending on health restrictions.
* Pause for 30 seconds between each set.
- Lateral Eagle Ups: Sit tall with your chin parallel to floor. Arms hang freely at sides with thumbs pointed down. Brace core and raise arms until they are extended laterally. Pause and reverse direction. Repeat.
- Turn Downs: Sit tall with your chin parallel to floor. Extend your arms laterally. Bend your arms at the elbows, with the back of your arms now becoming parallel to the floor, palms facing forward. Rotate your arms at your shoulders, allowing your hands to fall forward until your palms become parallel to floor. Pause, contract your shoulder blades and reverse direction. Repeat.
- Side Dips: Sit tall with your chin parallel to the floor. Feet will be shoulder with apart and your hands are resting lightly behind head. Contract your shoulder blades. Brace you core and bend at your right side, reaching your right elbow to the floor. Pause for 5 seconds at the lowest point. Aim to keep evenly balanced on your hips and heels. Reverse direction. Repeat on opposite side.
- Uni-Lateral Holds: Sit tall with your chin parallel to the floor. Brace your core and extend your arms laterally with your palms facing the floor. Raise your right knee as high as possible and hold it for up to 10 seconds. Reverse direction and repeat on opposite side.
- Gas Pedals: Sit tall with chin your parallel to the floor. Let your arms hang freely at your sides. Extend your right leg out in front of the swopper. Brace your core and lift your leg 6 inches from floor. Keeping a tall position with your spine extended and pretend that you are pressing up and down on your car’s gas pedal. Perform for up to 10 seconds. Lower and repeat on opposite side. For modification, simply keep heel in contact with the floor of working leg.
Follow these five simple workouts that you can do on your swopper chair, and you’ll maximize your time sitting. Adding these movements and exercises into your daily work routine will help improve your overall health, fitness, mental clarity, focus and creativity.
~ Jay Cardiello
Moms. They’re the ones who care for us, dry our tears and support us through life. This weekend we get to celebrate all the wonderful moms out there. Here at swopper, we asked the moms who work in our office what they would most like for Mother’s Day, and the common theme we heard was, “I’d like time to prioritize myself and my wellbeing.”
We decided to come up with some gift ideas that are perfect for a health-conscious mom. This is a mom who loves to be healthy, fit and active. These gifts will tell mom that you support her need to care for herself. Because our moms deserve to feel great, right?
Just click on each picture to be taken to where you can purchase the item.
- New workout clothes. Is your mom going to the gym in the same ratty t-shirt and beat up shorts? Time to upgrade mom to some new, colorful and comfortable workout clothes.
- Fancy water bottle. Help mom stay hydrated with an extra-special water bottle. This one lets you put fresh fruit right in your water for a delicious-tasting, fruit-infused hydration.
- Motion chair. If your mom works in an office or spends a lot of time sitting at home, a motion chair like swopper, Muvman or 3Dee will help her stay active and fit during the time she has to be sitting. We’ll even throw in 15% off any swopper chair to sweeten the deal. Just use coupon code 15%OFF4MOM at checkout on swopper.com
- Session with a personal trainer. If your mom is like the ones we know, then she can tend to let the needs of her family trump her own. Show mom that you support her taking time away to exercise by setting up a session with a personal trainer for her.
- Colorful running shoes. If your mom is the running type, help her show off her colorful personality with some new running shoes in a bright, vibrant color.
- Juicer. Tell your mom to sit back and relax while you whip up a delicious and healthy fresh juice in her new juicer.
- Help her de-stress. Want to help your mom’s wellbeing? Give her a no-stress day. That means she doesn’t have to cook, clean or pick anyone up from practice. Have someone else “run the ship” so mom can take a breather.
Enjoy your day, moms!
~ Jenn Lytle
Much like grandma’s secret sauce recipe, many personal trainers protect their top fitness methods and protocols. However, there are some things that we as fitness professionals can all agree on, and that’s helping our clients achieve fitness success. Below, I have gathered 10 lifestyle hacks that we as trainers don’t mind sharing.
- Water is the best supplement. Ask any personal trainer and they will happily tell you that water is the most important supplement one can take to achieve ultimate fitness success. Water not only keeps your body running at optimal level, but it also helps to increase immunity, kick-start weight loss and reduce fatigue. How much water does one need? Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily.
- You need sleep. Skipping out on proper sleep can cause your levels of leptin to drop, which sends a message to the brain that there is a shortage of food, which increases your appetite. This surge in appetite makes comfort food more appealing, causing you to over indulge in refined sugar, carbohydrates and other unhealthy food. Do your body and waist a favor, and make sleep an important part of your arsenal against high caloric comfort food.
- Avoid soda. Not only is soda unhealthy and full of empty calories, but it’s also full of sugar, which can easily lead to obesity. Drink just one can a day for a year and you’ll be ingesting 31 pounds of the white stuff. Choose water, tea or another low calorie drink in its place.
- Cinnamon is what you need to stir into your coffee. Cinnamon is a diabetes fighter that helps to regulate blood sugar, which can make it ideal to help stabilize energy levels and moods. Plus it tastes great. So skip the sugar and stir cinnamon into your next cup of joe.
- Prolonged static sitting is harmful to your health. Studies show that prolonged ‘static’ sitting can increase your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Trainers agree the best way to mitigate these issues if you work an office job is to make sure you incorporate movement into your day. A great way to do this is to purchase a motion chair like swopper, which keeps you bouncing, swaying and moving all day. This ergonomically designed chair keeps you active while sitting without even having to think about it.
- Your body is your gym. Forget expensive fitness equipment or health club memberships; your body is all you need for exercise. Your body is designed to move, and the more you move it, the healthier you’ll be. From pushups to walking, your body is all you need to increase strength & cardiovascular fitness, while slowing the aging process.
- We need to eat more fruits & vegetables. In my opinion, fruits and vegetables are the least expensive, yet most efficient, form of health insurance you’ll ever purchase. However, most of us fall short of the seven to nine servings that we need for optimal health. Aim to incorporate a serving at every meal.
- Keep your sneakers healthy. With many people hitting the streets or trails for a run, I recommend digging deep into your closet and doing a little cleaning with your running sneakers. This may mean parting ways with your favorite kicks. However, this separation may help you avoid injury. A simple and effective way to know if your running sneakers have performed their last repetition is to perform the “twist test.” Simply hold the sneaker at each end and twist. If the shoe easily rotates, the midsole is worn and indicates a replacement is needed.
- Not all labels tell the truth. Words like ‘natural’ or ‘baked’ can be very misleading to a consumer. Take for instance the word baked found on potato chips. This word has consumers believing that they are doing something good for their bodies when munching on potato chips. Sure, one ounce of baked potato chips may have 14% less calories and contain half of the fat. However, baked chips are more highly processed than their counter part and contain high levels of the cancer causing chemicals like acrylamide, which form when the potatoes are heated to high temperatures.
- Don’t lean forward when you squat. It’s important to ensure proper form and weight placement on your heels during your next bodyweight “squat” exercise. This is one of the best workouts for your overall fitness, but only if you are in proper position. Make sure that you can wiggle your toes when your hips are at their lowest point. This small reminder can keep your form in check, while helping you avoid leaning forward too much.
Incorporate these 10 fitness and lifestyle hacks into your routine, and you’ll be on your way to maximizing your wellness potential. If you have any hacks of your own, we’d love to hear them. Just leave a comment!
~ Jay Cardiello
We’ve all been there, gossiping over the perfectly chiseled bodies of the celebrities strutting their stuff across secluded beaches of the world. Plastered like iconic gods and goddesses across the covers of many magazines, these chiseled bodies expel symmetry, tone and of course not a visible ounce of fat. How do these celebrities stay in shape and achieve that well-defined beach body? Well, before you head to the newsstand hoping to get a small insight on their secrets I am here to reveal the truth…
Over the past 20 years, I have been fortunate enough to have worked with many of the biggest celebrity names in Hollywood, from Jennifer Lopez to Val Kilmer and even living for 4 years touring the world with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. Now I want to share with you what really goes into perfecting that celebrity beach body.
Before I disclose the behind the ‘red-carpet’ ultra celeb workout, I would like you to start thinking that your fitness is a 24-hour a day job. From how long you sleep to what you place in your body – everything counts.
Jay Cardiello’s Three-Prong Celebrity Fitness Plan
- Get adequate Sleep
The first item that you should address is making certain that you get enough sleep. Many think the secret to a beach body is a secret juice smoothie or hours in the gym. However, sleep is what can make or break a celebrity’s physique.
For one thing, lack of sleep can cause the body’s levels of leptin to drop. The dropping of this hormone sends a message to the brain that there is a shortage of food, causing your appetite to increase. This surge in appetite makes comfort food more appealing, causing you to over-indulge in these types of foods. For all you night owl men, in as little as one week, sleep deprivation can significantly reduce testosterone levels. Aim for 6 to 8 hours a night to help you stay lean and on track.
- Follow Simple Nutrition Tips
With regard to food, I am a big believer in the statement “what’s in your fridge is a direct representation of what’s under your shirt,” and in this case the way you’ll look on the beach. Let’s face it… 80% of your fitness goals happen with nutrition, but people are confused about labels and what to eat, so I will make this simple and effective. Drink water, avoid added sugars and processed foods, and stay focused on fruits and vegetables.
– Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. This will help keep your muscles looking full and help you avoid overeating.
– Ingest 7 to 9 servings of whole fruits and vegetables daily. Skip the expensive juicing and don’t worry about the sugar in fruits either. It’s natural, and produce strengthens, repairs and helps decrease inflammation in the body. These are staple foods of every one of my celebrities… and 50 Cent has some great abs!
– Make your plate colorful with a host of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. From avocados to fish, what’s on your plate should include a host of different colors.
– Eat fish at least 2 to 3 times a week, and remember that seafood cannot be organic so don’t pay more for something that is mislabeled.
- Exercise How You Move
The last part of the celebrity beach body equation is exercise. Yes, the last part, because if the previous two are not in check, what you do in the gym will not matter.
So, what does a celebrity do in the gym? Everything. They tend to perform exercises that mimic what you do in real life. From squats, to jumping, running and standing on one leg, I ask celebrities to train relative to how they move. Getting on a treadmill is good, but your body moves in various directions. Train your body in one linear manner and that’s what it will look like.
One of my favorite celebrity beach body moves is standing on a pillow cushion with one leg and asking them to perform as many single legged squats as they can, or simply just have them hold for up to 30 seconds. This move builds symmetry, tones the hips and works the entire body.
I also coach them to incorporate movement into everything they do. My musician clients often have long days sitting in the studio. This is an ideal opportunity to use a motion chair, like a swopper, which bounces, sways and tilts, to maximize that time for their fitness.
As a celebrity strength coach, I focus on quality not quantity. I ask for just 20 minutes of solid exercise and want clients to perform each movement for 30 seconds. This way I am able to create both physical and mental gains from my client.
You now know the secrets of the how to achieve that celebrity body… Now, go hit the grocery store, get some rest and aim to perform quality work in the gym.
~ Jay Cardiello, Swopper Ambassador and Celebrity Trainer