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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Improving Employee Productivity Through Movement

As a CEO, I feel it’s my job to not only drive the business goals and objectives, but to provide a healthy, stimulating workplace where my employees can thrive. Ultimately, for me, the goal of the office environment is to support a productive, energized, and motivated team.

One of the main ways to accomplish this goal is to have a healthy team.  It’s no surprise that a healthy, energized team is also a productive team. The way I see it, health and wellness are the new “Green,” as productivity goes hand in hand with healthy habits and a healthy work environment.

Productivity Quote

At swopper.com we care about the health and wellness of the individual and see this as the key to creating a productive work environment.  While corporations are focusing on providing healthy options for employees, like organic lunches, discounted gym memberships and access to outdoor areas, one thing routinely ignored is the actual office set up.

Employees are given cubicles and standard office chairs to spend 8+ hours in a day. They sit in front of a computer for long stretches, straining both their eyes and their backs. All this sitting leads to weak muscles, poor circulation and of course, lowered productivity.

Think about it, when do you feel you are working your best? When you are energized and moving? Or when you are stationary for prolonged amounts of time? The improved circulation from movement provides mental clarity, improved mood and better focus.

One way you can have an immediate impact on your employee’s productivity is through the use of an ergonomic motion-seating chair, like the swopper, Muvman or 3Dee. When fully utilized, these chairs fight the “Sitting Disease” and all the negative effects of prolonged sitting.

The movement, day-after-day, week-after-week, that these chairs encourage, have a cumulative positive affect on your health and wellness.  At the end of the day you feel more refreshed, less fatigued, and ready for what comes next.  Both your team and the company benefits as the productivity and overall health of your team improve.

To find out more about how you can provide your team with motion seating options, contact us at 1.855.272.5074.

~Chas Hepler, CEO

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Supporting Individuality in the Workplace – Giving Employees Seating Options

The office is one of the last bastions of conformity. Most often, the workforce is tied to the corporate identity, leaving little room for individuality.  Outwardly, this can be seen as everyone sitting in the same type of chair, in the same cubicle set up, with the same desk.  It is part of the company culture they say.  It allows everyone to be treated the same.  It is supposed to support harmony, avoid distractions, and enable everyone to focus.

cubicles

But does it?  We all have different work styles.  Some prefer absolute silence in order to concentrate, while others like to listen to music. Some like to move, bounce and tap their feet while concentrating, while others sit completely still. Some like to work alone without distractions of their peers, while others benefit from bouncing ideas off coworkers.

At some of today’s most innovative companies, like Google and Apple, individuality in the workplace is supported and employees are given a plethora of options within the workplace to drive productivity.  These options include, wifi enabled shuttle buses, coffee shop-types of lunchrooms were you can work all day, hobby rooms, quiet rooms, and even bars where coworkers can mingle. All these are attempts to adapt to employees individual work styles and work preferences.

Google Office

At Swopper, we want to take this a step further. Even in companies lucky enough to have the kind of themed work areas listed above, employees still end up spending a lot of time at their desks in front of a computer.  At the desk is where we need options, flexibility, and the freedom to choose what we are going to sit on for 8 hours a day.  This is where a real difference in productivity is made.

We see an opportunity to help companies work with employees to customize their workspace to improve wellbeing and productivity. Swopper and Muvman provide healthy, productive, fun, and comfortable seating solutions that meet the needs of every type of worker, including those that prefer a traditional office chair with more movement, a height adjustable stool for a stand up desk set up, a light stool that can travel with them around to various rooms and on and on.

In addition to helping provide staff with options for how they want to sit during the day, motion-seating chairs like Swopper and Muvman, provide health and wellness benefits that increase productivity, lower insurance claims and make for happier employees.

Swopper Chair

Everyone likes to choose and have the freedom to decide what they are going to sit on for 8 plus hours a day, so maybe it’s time for more cutting edge companies to encourage their employees to break the “traditional” office chair mold, and start providing more options.

Just imagine the smiles you’d see at a company where everyone was bouncing, swaying and tilting vs sitting stationary for eight hours a day.

If you are interested in exploring our motion seating options for your workplace, call us any time at 1.855.272.5074, email us at info@swopper.com or visit our website at Swopper.com.

~ Chas Hepler, CEO and workplace non-conformist

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How the Healthcare Industry is Embracing Motion Seating

We have known for years that the Swopper three dimensional motion stool was light years ahead of its time in North America.  While consumers and businesses found it intriguing, it was often viewed as a novelty or just a really cool, fun looking stool.

Well, I’m happy to say that the past few years have started to reveal a whole new appreciation for this funky, fun, yet healthy motion stool. We have seen more and more articles about the dangers of sitting in the media, a mass acceptance of alternative seating options and professional industries begin to think critically about the benefits of motion for their employees.

Swopper Health Benefits

One industry that has picked up on the motion-seating trend at a faster rate than others has been the healthcare industry. When hospitals start placing orders for hundreds of Swoppers for their nurses, you know tides are shifting in favor of healthier workplaces. We have been encouraged to see that finally, one industry truly gets the health and wellness benefits of motion seating, and is being proactive instead of re-active to their own employees’ health.  We refer to it as “Caring for the Caregivers.”

Here are some of the healthcare occupations or industries we’ve seen embrace Swopper recently:

  •  Chiropractors – Swopper has been recommended for years by chiropractors looking for additional resources to help their clients alleviate low back pain.  They love the motion aspect of the chair, and also the fact that using the Swopper maintains the natural “S” curve of your spine while seated, and opens the hip/spine angle.
  •  Kinesiologists –  Kinesiology is the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement.”   Based on that, these people truly understand the idea motion and how great it is for the whole body – joints, muscles, mental etc.  I recently did a tradeshow for the American College of Sport Medicine, which was attended by many kinesiologists.  It was the first show I’ve ever done, where I didn’t have to do much explaining about Swopper.  All they had to do was try it and they knew exactly what it could do for the body and mind.
  •  Physical Therapists –  Swopper has been recommended by many physical therapists, especially those with patients who have knee or hip issues.  Simple, subtle, intuitive motion can have a dramatic effect for someone rehabbing a knee or hip.  If you’re keeping those joints and muscles moving, they have fewer tendencies to tighten up.
  •  Insurance Companies – We’ve seen an emerging trend from insurance companies that are recommending Swopper and Muvman to their own clients.  Their aim is to be proactive to limit workers comp and try to get employees back to work faster and safer.  Many times these workers need to adopt a whole new work style and our chairs can help with that.

Swopper has also been endorsed by:

  •  Dr. Stephen Hochschuler – Orthopedic Surgeon at the Texas Back Institute
  •  Dr. Dieter Breithecker – World renown expert on posture and motion

It’s been exciting for us at Swopper to see the healthcare industry get behind the benefits of motion seating. The fact that today’s leaders in health and wellness recognize the importance of staying active throughout the day shows that the future of workplace wellbeing is headed in the right direction.

Do you work in the Healthcare industry? If so, have you witnessed a shift in how your workplace approaches health & wellness for their employees? Leave a comment and let us know about your experience.

~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director

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Five Ways to Stay Active While at Work

Sitting at work is a modern invention. Up to about 200 years ago, sedentary activities were primarily reserved only for persons of high standing like pharaohs, emperors and kings. The human being moved in the course of work, stood still or squatted. Only about 50 years ago did hours of sitting become part of daily life at work … a development that has taken our bodies off guard.

We move too little and sit too much. Even that well-meant bit of sport in our free time in the evenings and at weekends does not always effectively compensate hours of sitting at the desk or in front of a PC. Research has shown that exercising for 30 minutes per day isn’t enough to offset a typical office worker’s level of inactivity. In the course of a working life we spend about 80,000 hours sitting. Global studies show, on average, we sit 7.7 hours a day, and some results estimate people sit up to 15 hours a day.

So what’s the result of all this sitting? Chronic back pain, slipped disks, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more have all been linked to being sedentary for too long during the day. One 2012 analysis, that looked at the findings from 18 studies, found that those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease, compared to those who sat the least.

That’s why businesses around the globe, which are focused on health & wellbeing, have zeroed in on helping their workers incorporate movement into their workday. Studies show, the key to using movement to improve your health, is to make sure you do it frequently throughout the day.

 Five Ways to Stay Active While at Work:

  1. Get up and stand every 15 minutes: The act of standing up from a seated position has been found particularly effective at counteracting the detrimental health effects of sitting. Stretching your muscles once an hour brings blood flow back to all your extremities increasing the oxygen in your body. Think you can’t get up because you are just too busy? Just set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you.
  1. Buy a chair built for motion: Get active while sitting at your desk with an active office chair, like the Swopper or Muvman.
    Swopper chair 

    These chairs offer three dimensions of motion i.e. vertical bounce, lateral sway and forward tilt – all simultaneously and intuitively. Eight hours a day on a Swopper chair can deliver more motion than you would get on a bike ride or a hike at the weekend, with the added benefit of doing it while you work.

  1. Make your office set-up slightly inconvenient. Take that printer off your desk and put it in the back of the office. While you’re at it, request the desk farthest from the kitchen. Or do some lunges on the way back to picking up your very important papers. In a world of convenience, making things slightly inconvenient in terms of proximity can provide ample opportunities to move throughout the day.
  1. Create walking meetings. Next time you have a one-on-one scheduled with a coworker, suggest doing the meeting while walking around the building or better yet, outside. You’ll benefit from the increased blood flow, circulation and vitamin D.
  1. Stretch at your desk. When we sit, our muscles become tight, sore and tense. Stand several times a day at your desk and complete the following five stretches to give your muscles a much needed break from sitting:
  • Standing Neck Stretch: Hold for 20 seconds on each side.
  • Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Round your shoulders, then pull them back and pull down. Repeat for 20-30 seconds.
  • Standing Hip Stretch: Holding on to your desk, cross your left leg over your right thigh and “sit down” by bending your right leg. Repeat on the other side.
  • Open Chest Stretch: Sit near the edge of a chair and interlace your fingers behind you, with your palms facing your back. Leaning slightly forward, lift your arms and rest them on the back of the chair. Inhale and lift your chest. Exhale and relax your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Side Lunge: Starting with your feet together, take a step sideways, and bend down as if you’re about to sit. Use your arms for balance by reaching out in front of you. Return to starting position.

Finding ways to incorporate movement into your workday can help offset the physical and health hazards sitting for long periods of time can bring. If you work an office job, making a conscious effort to focus on movement, posture and exercise is one of the most effective ways to ensure your job isn’t hurting your health and well-being.

~ Jenn Lytle, Customer Service Director & Social Marketing

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