In the office furniture industry we hear the word “ergonomic” tossed around on a daily basis, but those outside our industry might not really understand what “ergonomics” is all about.
To break it down in a simple way – Ergonomics is the study of the kind of work you do, the environment you work in and the tools you use to do your job.
The goal of office ergonomics is to set up your office workspace so that it fits you and the job you are doing. When your workstation is set up right you may:
- Be less likely to have problems such as headaches or eyestrain
- Reduce neck and back pain
- Prevent conditions that are linked to doing the same task over and over (RSI – Repetitive Stress Injury)
It’s common for injury and illness to happen at work. Both can cost you and your employer time and money, not to mention affect how well you do your job. Working intensely over long periods of time without taking breaks greatly increases your risk for musculoskeletal injuries.
Taking regular breaks from your work and doing stretching exercises may reduce the risk of injury. Try taking 3-5 minute breaks or changing your task or posture every 20-40 minutes. Sounds easy, but as we all know, once we get to work on something we can easily find ourselves sitting/working statically for hours.
Using Swopper and Muvman and/or adjustable height desks can make this task of optimizing your worklife by improving it with ergonomic design and funtion easier than ever.
Have a question about ergonomics? Leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to answer them.
~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director
We at Swopper couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to our friend and Swopper ambassador, Jay Cardiello. Jay is a wellness & fitness expert to the stars like 50 Cent, Jennifer Lopez and more. Jay is a huge fan of motion seating and Swopper.
Jay is going to be writing posts for the Swopper blog with his wellness tips, fitness advice and much much more. Here is Jay’s first blog, which tells his very personal story of how he overcame injury.
Hello, my name is Jay Cardiello and welcome to my blog. For the past twenty-years, I have worked as Fitness and Wellness Expert coaching thousands of people improve their lives by breaking down their old patterns that have yielded them from achieving optimal health. I have had the privilege of coaching Business Leaders, Celebrities and Professional Athletes to perform at their top of their game.
Improving people’s lives however came at the cost of an injury. Years, before I had made a commitment to change the lives of others – I first had to learn to resurrect my own.
While competing as a long-jumper for the University of Arkansas Track and Field program, I suffered a major spinal injury. During a routine practice drill, I had over-stepped a landing, which sent a force so powerful into my spine that it caused a severe fracture in my tailbone, while misaligning several discs and vertebras.
The injury took two spinal fusions to fix, while I needed a total of 13 surgeries to reconstruct the damage that I had suffered from the misaligning of my spine.
A few surgeons told me that my athletic career was over and that I would be bound to a rather sedentary lifestyle. One doctor in particular said at best, that I should probably seek a desk career. I hope he reads this blog!
That injury was both a mental and physical turning point for me, which I would later recognize as being the experience that enabled to me to understand the mind and body-from a subjective standpoint. My recovery allowed me to develop powerful “tools of confidence” that I would later need to extract from my coach’s tool box in order to help others achieve optimal mental and physical health.
In my blogs, you will learn about succeeding in personal wellness in a way that makes sense with ideas, tips, programs and positive behavioral changes that are simplistic and attainable. My goal is to show you how to positively change your life without changing your lifestyle. Are you with me?
~ 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.
If you read this blog, then by now you are probably aware of our award-winning muvman active sit/stand stool. It blurs the line between sitting and standing by offering a 13” height travel range to allow the user the option to “perch” at various heights, no longer just sitting or standing.
For the majority of the population the standard muvman fits the bill with a height range of 20”-33”.
But did you know we offer a muvman TALL as well? It has all the same great attributes as the standard but with a height range of 23”-36”, again a 13” height travel range!
Wow! That’s a high stool.
Those of us who are vertically challenged can’t even get our tush onto it at the highest setting.
But for those people in the 6’2” and taller range…it’s a perfect fit.
Think of those tall people you see on an airplane practically turning themselves into a pretzel to fit into their seat with no leg room. The same goes for the taller person sitting at the standard 29” high fixed desk with a standard task chair. It just doesn’t fit them comfortably and is most likely going to cause back / posture issues or a host of other physical problems down the road.
With the increased use of the height adjustable desks many taller people are now much more comfortable in their work environment especially if they use a muvman TALL with that desk.
The beauty of all our motion chairs is the height ranges are different from the norm so they are all able to accommodate “many transitional” sitting positions. Again, all bodies are different and everyone has different work styles….with our motion chairs : swopper, swopper AIR, muvman, muvman Tall and 3Dee – we can accommodate everyone’s work style.
You can find out more about the muvman tall here. If you have specific questions, leave a comment and I’ll respond within 24 hours.
~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director
Dear Swopper and Motion Seating community:
‘Tis the season to be thankful, and we extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude for your ongoing loyalty and support. We value you, and there is no more appropriate time to say Thank You.
This has been a big year for Swopper, with the launch of the new 3Dee chair. We hope our motion seating has helped improve your health – by relieving back pain, increasing your circulation and improving your overall health. We are passionate about the benefits these chairs can bring to everyone’s life, and we hope they have made an impact on yours.
The Team behind Swopper at Via Seating in Sparks Nevada and Aeris in Munich Germany want to thank you for trying our chairs and helping spread the word about their benefits.
We all wish you the Merriest of Holidays and a Happy and Healthy New Year!
~ Chas Hepler
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.
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.
-From all of us at swopper.com
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:
2. Mini 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
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
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
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
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
8. Online Personal Stylist
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
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
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
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.
- There’s the 30/30 rule- Every 30 minutes take a 30 second stretch break (or do some fun active bouncing on your swopper!).
- Take the stairs not the elevator – unless you work on the 70th floor and you’re already late for work.
- 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!
- 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.
- Take a lunchtime break outside and go for a walk. The fresh air will do you good as well!
- Use a height adjustable desk and change your posture often from sitting to standing and everywhere in between (think muvman!)
- 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.
- 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
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving. For most, this means tackling an attitude of gratitude, several cooks in the kitchen as family join together, lots of cheers & toasts leading to a greater buzz than we may be used to, and of course, the abundance of sinful foods. After consuming all the turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pies, casseroles and on and on, we start questioning why we didn’t wear our favorite sweat pants to dinner. In fact, the Calorie Control Council says the average American consumes 4,500 calories on this one day (and on average, 1,200 of those are BEFORE the actual Thanksgiving feast!). Yikes!
Don’t despair, Thanksgiving weight gain doesn’t have to stay around for long. Here are a few of our favorite ways to ditch the extra weight many of us put on after a Thanksgiving feast.
1. Clean Up Your Diet. Thanksgiving is one of the few days a year we at Swopper like to go all out. If you’re like us and partake in all the food available during a Thanksgiving feast, then the days following the holiday are a great time to get refocused on cleaning up your diet by eating whole foods, like vegetables in a variety of colors (the old wise men used to say “Eat a rainbow of foods each day and you’ve received the nutrients you need!”). Don’t forget that some of the best soups are made with squash and other healthy vegetables.
2. Cut the alcohol and opt for water. Thanksgiving can often include wine, cocktails and other libations as family and friends gather. After the party ends, opt for filtered water over alcohol to cleanse your body. We think your head will thank you too. (I hope I can follow this one! Ha ha)
3. Commit to an exercise plan. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a great time to get a jump-start on your New Year’s fitness goals. Start slow with a weekly exercise routine you can commit to and then ramp up from there. Even a brisk walk around the neighborhood has benefits for your health, so grab your family members and go for an adventure walk this holiday.
4. Get enough sleep. Sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight. After those late-night catch up sessions with family you don’t see often, make getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night a priority. The great part about the Holiday’s is those cat naps but be sure it isn’t because you consumed too much turkey and stuffed your belly until you experienced a food coma.
5. Make small changes to your lifestyle to support wellness. Take a step back and investigate your daily life for opportunities to make small changes to improve your health. Instead of heading to the couch with a bowl of popcorn, head to the bowling alley to burn off some of those turkey day calories and watch the game at the same time! Headed to the grocery store for more chips and dip, park as far away as possible! Of course there are some great family traditions like flag football, family basketball tournaments or even join the kids on a bike ride.
Whatever you do, do it safely and enjoy the holidays!
~ Jenn Lytle Director of Customer Service & Social Marketing
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!
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
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.
Here are some quick responses to some of those curious questions your coworkers may have about your swopper:
- What IS that?? This is my swopper. It’s an ergonomic chair that helps me stay in motion while I’m sitting.
- How does it work? It has 3 dimensional movement, so you can tilt, bounce and sway while sitting.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!).
- 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