The Affect Posture Has on Health & Wellness

Growing research is shedding a new light on the mind-body connection, stating that even the slightest physical or mental stressor can create a negative or positive impact on the other. Something as simple as slouching, which carries a dramatic negative effect on your posture can change how your mind feels.

Affects of Bad Posture on Health

Spending most of your waking hours at a desk leads to detrimental physical changes. In addition, if this type of sedentary lifestyle is consistent and your musculature may not be strong, posterior changes may occur.

Going back to the mind-body connection: This can have an immediate psychological impact on performance and emotional well-being, especially when slouching projects an attitude of depression and low motivation, which can make an individual less secure in their opinions and office perception.

What is one to do? Thankfully, the Swopper can help to improve your posture in a very organic and non-invasive manner, which can have a direct and positive impact on your emotional and physical well-being.

Improved Posture with Swopper

From the beginning of time to now, the body is intended to move, and a moving body is a healthy and happy body. With that thought in mind, if you have not already, it is probably time to give your workspace an ergonomic makeover by investing in a Swopper.

Why? The Swopper naturally keeps your body active in all three dimensions, laterally, frontal and up and down. This constant, yet subtle movement helps to stimulate circulation and increase musculature strength and posture.

By starting to integrate more body movements into your daily life, your quality of life (on a psychological and physical level) naturally improves. Numerous studies confirm the positive relationship between good working conditions and superior well-being.

On a personal level, after thirteen major surgeries, two of which were spinal fusions, I would not risk leaving my body and mind’s well-being in the sit of anything but a Swopper.

~ Jay Cardiello

Jay Cardiello is a Wellness and Fitness Expert who has worked with such people as 50 Cent, Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Seacrest, Kevin Love and Sofia Vargara. Cardiello has also spent time in the professional coaching ranks with such teams as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Reds Baseball Organization. Aside from his coaching attributes, Cardiello acts as the SHAPE Fitness Editor at Large and is a Contributing Editor at Muscle & Fitness and Men’s Fitness. As well as the Residential Celebrity Trainer for OK and STAR Magazines. Cardiello is the Co-Founder of Off the Scale (a Prescription Based Health Care Initiative Program to help combat Obesity). He has also authored the book, Cardio Core 4×4 and Founded the 20-Minute Body Weight workout of the JCORE.

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Five Ways to Improve Your Focus at Work

When it gets down to it, we all could use a little (lot) more focus while working every now and again. And guess what? Research says that women are even more likely to suffer from attention span issues than men! The bottom line is NO ONE wins when you can’t keep your focus on work, so we wanted to clue you in on our favorite ways to chase away the distractions.

Five Ways to Focus More at Work

  1. Use a Focus Potion:

Take some Peppermint oil and inhale it to invigorate your senses. A little wake up goes a long way, plus it smells GREAT throughout the office. Maybe you can send some focus over to your co-workers as well. Chewing peppermint gum is a quick pick me if you don’t already have essential oils.

  1. Clear Your Calendar:

Can’t seem to make it 15 minutes without talking on the phone, answering an email, or talking to the next person that walks by? Set your goals and clear your calendar for a 2-hour period of time. Turn your phone to silent, stop email notifications and let your colleagues know you are out of reach for the next two hours and keep those distractions AWAY!

  1. Move! Bounce! Roll your shoulders back and stretch!

Sitting still and clenching every part of your body is counter-productive, and your body feels it; stretch your back, bounce on your Swopper or get up and move your body before you sit down to concentrate. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can do once you relax the muscles of the mind and body.

  1. Limit Your Caffeine.

Too much caffeine does the exact opposite of helping us to stay focused. Sure you’ll be bouncing off the walls with enough caffeine and sugar from the boatload of creamer, BUT you’re brain needs water to focus, not caffeine or sugar. Do yourself a favor and cut out the excess java and focus more on sending h2o to your brain to give yourself a boost. We can put this into the move more category as well since bathroom breaks will be in your future soon! 😉

  1. Avoid processed foods.

Don’t count on that donut to spike your energy level for long. Overall sluggishness can be related straight back to what you just shoved into your mouth. Swap that donut for an apple or some yogurt to boost your energy and focus.

Have better tips to sharpen your focus at work? Share with us and we’ll share the top 5 on Facebook with our readers!

~ Jenn Lytle, Director of Customer Service and Social Marketing

 

 

 

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Giving Back this Holiday Season

During the holiday season we see a lot of people that maybe you don’t typically notice, whether that be your mailman bringing a package up to your doorstep, new kids in your neighborhood wearing a big bright new coat, or more strangers in the grocery store picking up the necessary items they need to invite their extended family over for the holiday.

Those that you pass that are less fortunate than you, you may not notice as they look like everyone else but they have kids to feed, no electric, and certainly no holiday cheer or presents for their family. These are the people in your community that need our help.

Swopper has chosen to adopt a family in our Reno, NV community this year for the holidays. We are bonding together to build a whole house full of holiday cheer, furniture, gifts, food, and surprises for one special family (bonus that we will be able to give more to a local school as well with all of our efforts to collect donations). We will be delivering these packages, table & chairs, food and holiday cheer this week.

Kindess Quote

There will be no photos but we will all know in our hearts that we have made a positive effect this year for one special family, and hopefully a little inspiration to you as well.

We encourage you to take a moment in your own holiday bustle to find ways to help by giving back to your community. Whether big or small, you never know how much your act of kindness can affect others.

Happy Holidays

-From all of us at swopper.com

 

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Gift Ideas for the Not so Typical Office Worker

The holiday season is upon us, and that means it’s also time to figure out what to gift your nearest and dearest with. If you’re in your 20’s – 60’s, it’s likely you know at least one person who works an office job, and even more likely nearly everyone on your list is an office worker.

Here are some holiday gift ideas we put together that are perfect for any office worker. They’ll help make their office life more cheery, comfortable and enjoyable. 

Holiday Gift Ideas for an Office Worker:

1. Customized Mouse Pad:

Customized Mouse Pad

Who wants to look at a boring gray or navy blue mouse pad, when you can look at something colorful, unique and personalized. Etsy has a ton of beautiful customized mouse pads like this one.

2. Mini Electric Tea Kettle

Electric tea kettle

If your office worker is into tea, this electric tea kettle will allow him or her to heat up water right at his or her desk without using the shared kitchen area. Pair it with some nice teas for a special gift.

3. A Nice Notebook

Moleskin Notebook

It’s time to help your office worker graduate from taking notes on a legal pad, to using a sophisticated and smart notebook. This Moleskin notebook allows you to synch your paper notes with your digital life by using Evernote.

4. A Motion Office Chair

Swopper-Muvman-3Dee

Help your office worker maintain a healthy lifestyle by giving them the gift of motion while at work. With a Swopper, Muvman or 3Dee, they’ll be able to build muscle, burn calories and have a little fun all while sitting.

5. Livescribe Smart Pen

Livescribe Pen

Talk about cool, this Livescribe “smart pen” allows you to instantly transfer your notes into your digital Evernote account, so you never miss a word. Your notes then become organized, tagged and easily searchable online.

6. Moto Hint Bluetooth Device

Moto Hint

This is the buzzed about new Bluetooth device. It’s small, discreet and comes loaded with a lot of cool perks like voice control to access everything on your iPhone. Just ask your Moto Hint “what’s the weather like today?” and you’ll get an answer right in your ear.

7. Waxed Canvas Work Bag

Waxed Canvas Bag

A sleek yet durable waxed canvas tote bag is the perfect day to day carry all for any office worker. There are a plethora of handmade-waxed canvas bags available on Etsy, like this one below.

8. Online Personal Stylist

Stitch Fix

Want to get your office worker some new work clothes, but don’t know what they’d like? A gift certificate to an online personal stylist like Stitchfix (for women) and Trunkclub (for men) allows your office worker to fill out a style questionnaire and then get hand-selected clothing from a personal stylist delivered right to their door.

9. Fitness Tracker

Garmin Vivo Fit

The new fitness trackers like a FitBit or Garmin Vivofit can help your office worker keep track of how many steps they take, calories they burn and hours they sleep at night. When you’re in an office most of the day, having this extra reminder to move can make a big difference.

10. Personalized Stationary

Personalized Stationary

With all the digital advancements in the workplace, sometimes you can’t beat a good old-fashioned note. Give your office worker some personalized stationary with his or her name on it to take their notes to the next level.

Hopefully some of these gift ideas for an office worker have given you some starters on what to get the office worker in your life. Leave us a comment with other ideas you have to share.

~ Jenn Lytle, Director of Customer Service & Social Marketing

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Stay Fit When You Work An Office Job

Let’s face it. Everyone knows by now how bad it is to be sitting behind a desk all day. But for many 9 to 5’ers, that’s just the reality based on their job requirements.

Unfortunately it’s a catch 22 for many. They want to be more active, but that requires time and usually by the end of the day, the fact that they were inactive all day leaves them with no energy or motivation to be physically active.

So what’s an office worker to do? Obviously, with our Motion Seating chairs (swopper, muvman and 3Dee) we are turning the “in-active office” into the “active office.” We are passionate about the health benefits these chairs can bring to the “ho hum” work day.

In addition to incorporating movement into your day with a motion chair, here are some other tips for how to stay fit when you work an office job.

  1. There’s the 30/30 rule- Every 30 minutes take a 30 second stretch break (or do some fun active bouncing on your swopper!).
  1. Take the stairs not the elevator – unless you work on the 70th floor and you’re already late for work.
  1. Move your printer further away so you have to get up to retrieve your printed items. I have this and love it!! In fact my printer is two offices away!
  1. Drink lots of water out of a refillable bottle that you need to refill at the water cooler down the hall – fill it often throughout the day. I do this as well. It’s a nice break for the eyes from staring at a computer for long periods of time.
  1. Take a lunchtime break outside and go for a walk. The fresh air will do you good as well!

Muvman Stool

  1. Use a height adjustable desk and change your posture often from sitting to standing and everywhere in between (think muvman!)
  1. Walk over and talk to that co-worker vs emailing. This can tackle a number of issues. It can lead to clearer communication, encourage creative dialogue and develop stronger relationships with your co-workers.
  1. Pace around your office when talking on the phone. This can help increase your thought processes and concentration plus burn some extra calories.

Don’t be afraid to try any of these even if you think it makes you look funny. Most likely your employer will applaud you for the efforts. Having healthy employees results in fewer work days lost and as any HR person knows, the cost of absenteeism is staggering.

So Keep On Moving – whether it’s at work or play!!

~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director

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New Study Confirms Health Benefits of Standing Desks

We in the office tend to get excited when we see new scientific studies (no, really we do!) related to the dangers of leading a sedentary lifestyle. That’s why we were particularly jazzed when a new study commissioned by Workrite Ergonomics came out recently that proved there are considerable health benefits of standing desks.

Workrite Ergonomics manufacturer sit to stand work desks and accessories, which of course is a perfect companion to our Muvman sit to stand stools. In their new study, they measured the biometric benefits of sit to stand workspaces.

They did this by outfitting office workers with real-time wearable cardiac monitoring devices designed to continuously capture various human biometrics, including ECG, heart rate and skin temperature.

The results confirmed what we anecdotally knew … incorporating motion into your workday provides numerous health and wellness benefits. Just look at these results, you can’t argue with the results. This is why we at Swopper are so excited and we wanted to share with you the health benefits found in this study!

Dangers of sitting Workrite study Health benefits of standing desk

If given the choice I would have a completely height adjustable work station just about anywhere I’d want to work, which is why when the participants of this study were done, they requested to KEEP their new work station (lucky them!).

It’s incredible to see all of the health benefits of standing desks that come from the simple change from sitting sedentary all day to incorporating movement. Sometimes easy changes can have a huge impact.

Read more about the Workrite Ergonomic study here.

~ Jenn Lytle, Director of Customer Service and Social Marketing

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How To Explain Swopper to Your Co-workers

If you are one of the lucky employees sitting on a swopper at your place of employment, you’ve no doubt received odd looks or comments from fellow co-workers.

Sometimes it can be hard to put into words what exactly the swopper is and why you love it so much.

Swopper-Chair

Here are some quick responses to some of those curious questions your coworkers may have about your swopper:

  1. What IS that?? This is my swopper. It’s an ergonomic chair that helps me stay in motion while I’m sitting.
  1. How does it work? It has 3 dimensional movement, so you can tilt, bounce and sway while sitting. 
  1. Why do you use it? Swopper helps keep me fit. You’re toning your core muscles, your posture is improving and you’re burning calories vs just sitting stationary.
  1. Isn’t it hard to concentrate if you’re moving? Not at all. Actually studies have shown concentration, focus and energy is improved when we are moving vs. being sedentary.
  1. Can you show me how you use it? (Give a big 360 degree spin with a big bounce and a big smile….because swopper is also a lot of fun!).
  1. Can I try it? Of course! Take a test spin, but only if you give it back!

Now after this exchange takes place, don’t be surprised if you start seeing a trend. Remember the “squeaky wheel gets the oil” and we often see that once one swopper is introduced into a workplace, typically there are more to follow.

Is swopper for everyone? Maybe not, but is a standard task chair for everyone? Absolutely not! Now that you’re armed with your swopper elevator speech, you can confidently handle all the curious looks and questions you get when you bring your swopper to the office.

~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director

 

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Why Chiropractors Believe in Motion Seating

One of our main goals here at Swopper is to introduce the benefits of motion seating to as many people as possible. A good way we’ve found to do this is to show the chairs to professions we think will have an innate interest in the health and wellness benefits of Swopper.

This strategy has been immensely popular with a specific profession – chiropractors.

We knew that the chiropractic world would understand something like swopper and the benefits of motion.  After all, they are all about keeping the spine etc. in proper working condition and they make a living fixing people who suffer from chronic back pain due to injury, sedentary jobs, congenital issues or a host of other impactful conditions.

When we speak to chiropractors about the Swopper chair, here’s what we tell them:

  • Swopper maintains the natural “S” curve of the spineSwopper-Posture
  • It opens up the hip/spine angles to better help with circulation, which in turn opens the diaphragm for better lung expansion and breathing capacity
  • Swopper provides a gentle intuitive bouncing motion that draws nourishment into the intervertebral discs
  • It puts you into a proper posture automatically due to the tilt range functions.
  • Finally, it strengthens the abdominal, back, shoulder and leg muscles – all of which play into their treatment.  If you don’t have the strong muscles, it just makes everything that much harder on the spine and other parts of the skeletal system.Swopper-back-strength

All of these benefits can be looked at as an extension of what the chiropractor may be doing for the patient.  We have many chiropractors that use the Swopper themselves and also recommend them to their patients.

Many prescribe Swopper as part of a treatment plan by having the patient use our motion products at work to assist with everything they are doing physically with the patient during their appointments. Or they may look at them as a preventative program to help with or slow down the onset of a certain conditions.

Any way you look at it – chiropractors, physical therapists, kinesiologists, doctors and many more understand the technical aspects of our motion products and the health and wellness benefits one receives from using them.

That’s why this year we will be attending the National Chiropractic Leadership Conference, showcasing our Motion Division. If you are a Chiropractor interested in trying out a Swopper chair, call us any time to discuss a risk-free trial.

~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director

 

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Why Standing All Day May be Just as Bad as Sitting

As we all know, sitting statically without moving is very detrimental for our health.  We are at a higher risk of developing poor posture, bad circulation and even having muscles deteriorate or atrophy over time.

Recent research also identifies static sitting being responsible for increased risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity. Bottom line – don’t sit all day.

As a direct result of this research, there has been a trend within commercial office environments to evolve to using standing workstations instead of the traditional workstation / work surface being used with a standard office chair.  In theory this makes sense i.e. sitting all day is bad, therefore standing all day is good right?  Not necessarily so.

There is evidence that suggests that when one is standing statically for long periods, this requires the joints to be loaded on for longer than is healthy, which can lead to joint strain.  It is also possible to get into negative or bad postural positions when standing e.g. incorrect leaning on elbows, overloading one side of the body versus the other and the like.

Now research shows that you are in greater risk of developing congestive / heart issues if you stand statically all day.  Stands to reason (no pun intended) that when you are standing statically for long periods of time, the heart has to work much harder to pump blood from your feet, against gravity, all the way up to your brain.  This is more difficult for the heart when one is standing.

So what is the true solution? Quite simply, it’s motion. Staying in movement allows your larger muscle groups to be active.  If you can incorporate motion into your workday, be it standing or sitting, you reduce the risks of everything we just mentioned.

Ideally, transitioning from a sitting position to a standing position several times throughout the day is best of all.   It takes a lot of energy and muscle activity to move from a sitting to standing position.  This is good.

Muvman Sit Stand Chair

In the example of standing, if you can incorporate motion (say for example when you use muvman stool) this allows you to take the load off your joints periodically and access multi-dimensional movements (vertical, lateral and forward tilt) easily.

This in turn activates your larger muscle groups (the core, leg muscles and the like) that activate your vein pumps, and takes some of the workload of pumping blood off of your heart muscle.  Makes sense right?

If you prefer a sitting position, then using a swopper will allow you to incorporate movement with it’s multi-dimensional spring movement.   Even better, in combination, both Swopper and Muvman offer you access to multi-dimensional movement for either sitting or standing, reducing your risk of health issues associated with being static or sedentary.

So, what’s the best solution to the sitting/standing problem? Add as much movement to your day as you possibly can even when you are required to sit or stand.  Having large muscle activity stimulates better circulation with reduced workload on your heart, while reducing your overall risks associated with being sedentary.

~Nora Fenlon, VP Sales & Marketing

 

 

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Five Apps That Help You Stay Fit & Healthy

Working at Swopper means health & wellness is always on my mind. I love helping our customers improves their lives with Swopper, and of course you’ll find me “swopping” all day.

Beyond the innovation of Swopper, I turn to technology to help achieve my personal fitness goals as well. Since I know many of our readers are also health-conscious types, I decided to collect a list of my top five apps that help you stay fit & healthy. From tracking my sleep, recording my workouts and measuring what I eat, the apps listed below have helped improve my overall health and wellbeing.

Garmin Connect

  1. Garmin Connect – for those that want everything in one spot, this app (tracking band not included but is necessary) tracks everything from your heart rate, steps per day, calories and even watches you while you sleep (to monitor your sleep habits). In addition you can also set goals for yourself and get a monthly breakdown of your progress. All in all, this one gets first place in my book.
  2. Calorie Counter by My Fitness Pal fits in nice for those that aren’t quite as motivated as the fitness guru next door. This app helps you focus on your diet and nutrition by telling you exactly what that apple & peanut butter on a whole wheat bagel amounts to by way of calories. With 3,000,000 foods on the list, this app is easy to navigate.
  3. Couch-to-5K by Active NetworkFor all you who do better with an end goal in mind, this program is used to motivate you to start slow and get moving up to your 5K goal! If you need a little push daily to get where you ultimately want to be, this one is for you.
  4. Water your body – We all know hydration is an important part of overall wellness. This app makes a water pouring noise to remind you that you should be filling up that glass of water and drinking it down. I added this one to my phone and within 5 minutes my entire office had the app on their phones.
  5. Squat Workout!! This is a great personal trainer app, if your goal is to have an encouraging coach who gets you into shape AND allows you to stay out of the public eye. It walks you through a daily workout in the privacy of your home.

Those are my top five favorites, have more that you want to share? Tell me about it! If you can motivate this girl to do more than Swop on my Swopper at work, I want to hear about it.

Jenn Lytle – Director of Customer Service (and no

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