5 Ways to Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Nothing is more frustrating than putting in the hours at the gym, eating healthy and still feeling like your body refuses to work with you. Sometimes the solution may be as simple as using the proper technique in all your exercises. If you’ve spent any time around a trainer, you’ve probably heard them talk about engaging your core.

Ideally, working your core muscles should be a part of everyday life. If you’re doing all that lifting without these important muscles engaged, not only do you run the risk of serious injury, but you probably aren’t getting the most out of your workout!

How to strengthen your core

Five Ways To Strengthen Your Core:

1) Make sure you’re engaging correctly!

This may sound like a silly first step, but if you aren’t properly engaging those core muscles, you’re not getting the workout you think you are. It’s easy and almost more intuitive to just suck in your tummy when someone tells you to use your core, but that’s almost the complete opposite of actually working those muscles. Make sure your stomach muscles are tight, as if bracing or steadying the rest of your body (hint: you should be able to breathe while doing this)!

2) Test your balance!
How often do you find yourself standing in one place? In line at the grocery store or bank, waiting to pick up a child from school, or maybe standing at your work desk? Tighten your core and balance on one foot any time you are standing stationary. Start with one leg bent slightly at the knee; see how high you can hold it and maintain balance. You can also keep that raised leg moving by straightening it in front of you and then bending it again. Got that mastered? Try it with your eyes closed! Also, don’t forget to alternate legs!

3) Throw on some boxing gloves!
This one may require some extra equipment and a friend, but it’s worth it! Practice some kickboxing moves either with a heavy bag or having a friend hold some body pads. Your core should be firmly engaged with every swing and every kick for maximum power!

4) Walk the plank!
Any idea why so many people hate planking? It works! A proper plank position will not only engage your core muscles but also put those shoulders and glutes to the test. Get down in a push-up position and hold for as long as you can. Stay focused on keeping your body aligned the whole time. If you want more of a challenge, switch it up with side planks, or place your feet on a towel and slide them in towards your navel and back out.

5) Keep moving at work with the swopper FIT app for your iPhone!
This app is perfect for reminding you to move even while sitting at your desk. The app walks you through an array of movements that you can do on your swopper motion chair without interrupting your work day. Keep your co-workers wondering what you’re up to as you bounce along on your swopper with your earbuds in and swopper FIT app running!

Having a stronger core has many benefits, which may include relief of lower back pain due to improper posture and lifting techniques. If you’re short like me, improved posture might just make you feel an inch or two taller! So tighten those muscles, get moving, and enjoy a happier, healthier lifestyle!

~ Aleta Simmons

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3 Tips For Creating A Healthier Workplace

What comes to mind when we say “creating a healthy workplace?” Snacking on healthier food choices or sitting in an active seating chair, or maybe even creating a mentally healthier mind. There are several different things that someone can do to ensure that they are working in a healthy environment.

Healthy Workplace

1. Stop the Spread of Germs

One of the biggest complaints is breaking the chain of germ transmission between employees. It’s so easy to pick up a virus working so closely with people, especially this time of year. You use the same coffee maker; you push the same button on the copy machine. Even a simple hand shake can lead to a cold of flu. That’s why you must break that chain of germ transmission and wash, wipe and sanitize… repeat, if you must!

2. Make Healthy Food and Drink Choices

What about healthy eating or snacking? You spend most of your day at work, so it’s no surprise that your workplace eating habits can have a major impact on your health. We have a couple tips which may help you have proper nutrition at work.

First, you need to ditch the junk food; throw away those crackers and unhealthy snacks that you have stashed. Replace that junk food with balanced snacks like nuts, dried fruit, etc. Second, you must plan your meals and eat at least 3 healthy meals a day with at least two snacks.  Lastly, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! There is nothing better for you than water.

3. Start Moving! 

Healthy workplace

Working doesn’t have to mean sitting sedentary all day, you can actually use that time to work on your posture and your core. Everything that encourages movement is positive for your health, which is why active seating is a great option for sitting and is more than just wellness; it adds health into your everyday life! That’s why the OYO, muvman, swopper and 3DEE have become so widely popular.

Take these tips and apply them to your work environment. Have the whole office on board so you can be sure that your work place is clean and healthy.

~ Lindsay McIntyre

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The Differences Between a Swopper Classic and Swopper Air

One of the most common questions we get from potential customers is “what is the difference between swopper Classic and swopper Air?” While it’s true that these chairs are very similar, there are some key differentiators that can make one chair the better choice for you over the other.

swopper-air-motion

When working with a customer to try and decide which chair is best for him or her, I like to ask them some questions, like:

– Do you sleep on a firm or soft mattress?

– Do you require wheels on your chair?

– Are you the type of person that over-heats often?

All these questions help us deduce which chair – the swopper Air or the swopper Classic – is right for you. These three questions hit on the top three differentiators between the two chairs, which we’ll touch on now.

Three Main Differences Between Swopper Air and Swopper Classic

1. The cushioning on the chair top.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 10.55.53 AM

Swopper Classic comes with a traditional foam chair, which is a firmer type of sit albeit very comfortable for most.

The swopper Air is made with a high-tech 3DEA Spacer Fabric. This three-dimensional textile consists of top and bottom layers that act similar to a memory foam, but with an immediate spring back once you get up. This is the same materials used in high-tech hospital beds, aimed to aid at rehabilitation and comfort. For this reason, we typically recommend the swopper Air for people who enjoy a softer, more plush chair.

2. The fabric used on the chair.

swopper classic microfiberswopper air mesh

The swopper Classic is covered in a microfiber fabric, which is soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye. It comes in a variety of colors including blue, black, gray, orange and red.

Swopper Air uses a mesh material that allows for air flow to move continuously while in use. The mesh material is great for people who tend to over-heat while at work. It keeps you cool while you bounce, sway and move.

3. Wheels or no Wheels

swopper wheels

Swopper Classic is not made with the option to add wheels to the bottom, while swopper Air does have the option to add wheels. If you have a large office and need to be able to wheel from one area to another, the swopper Air is your best bet.

To recap, if you tend to like a firmer surface, like the feel of microfiber, don’t tend to get too hot at work and don’t need wheels, then the swopper Classic is a great fit. If you like a plusher sit, need air circulation and prefer wheels, then swopper Air is your best bet.

Either way you go, buying a swopper motion chair is an excellent investment in your health and wellness. Swopper is the first ergonomic office chair in the world to move in all three dimensions – backwards, forwards, sideways and up and down – with the exclusive, three-dimensional ergonomic technology that adapts the chair to an individual’s body.

If you have any additional questions about the difference between swopper Classic and swopper Air, leave us a comment or email me (Jenn) at  jenn@swopper.com and I’ll be happy to help guide you.

~ Jenn Lytle

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Common Misconceptions About Swopper

Some of us have been sitting on a swopper for so long, it’s hard to remember how we first felt about it. It’s equally hard to imagine ever sitting on anything else for long periods of time. If we think back though, there was a time for each of us before we first encountered the swopper, and making the switch to active seating may not have been the easiest thing.

For those of you that are new to the idea of sitting in motion, we want you to know you’re not alone. Any questions or hesitations you may have were probably shared with all of us at one time, so we’d like to try and ease your mind. We’ve compiled a list of the most common misconceptions… just give us the opportunity, and we’ll show you these are nothing to fret over!

  1. I need a backrest.

No, you don’t. I will admit, this was one of my original concerns. I’m a sloucher. I understand in my head that the swopper is supposed to prevent that, but I was still a little stubborn about not having the option to use the worst possible posture I could come up with. Sitting up straight IS hard to get used to, but that’s the whole point. Your body needs to be re-trained to use the muscles it has. If you’re sitting on your swopper properly, your back isn’t even near the spot a backrest WOULD be.

  1. I can’t get any work done while bouncing, and once I start bouncing I won’t be able to stop!

This can be tricky, especially if you type all day. It may take some getting used to, but you will find a happy medium. Just to prove it can be done, I’m bouncing on my swopper air as I type this! The swopper allows so many movement options that you really can sit upright when you need to, lean side to side when reaching for things or when you need to stretch, and get in some bouncing when you really want to get your body moving.

  1. I’ll fall right off!

Well, you might. My daughters fall off the couch all the time, but we still keep those (the couches… and the daughters)!

  1. I need armrests.

No, you don’t. This was also my struggle, probably even more so than wanting a backrest. I’m prone to “golfer’s elbow” in both arms (nope, I don’t golf), and my elbows get very stiff if they stay in one position. I was concerned my arms would always be in pain without having anything to support them. However, much like anything else, my body has adapted and with strengthening over time, not having anything to rest on doesn’t bother me any longer.

  1. It’s too expensive.

The price point on a swopper is similar to other chairs in its class – it’s not the cheapest seat you’ll find, but it’s not the most expensive either.
To really consider the cost of the swopper, you have to also take into account what you are gaining and ask yourself how much your health and wellness are worth. How much will an injured back cost you in the long run? As an employer, how much can you save by ensuring your employees are in their best health, eliminating days off for injuries, doctor visits and even surgeries?

  1. I tried it, and my back hurts WORSE!

If this is the case, answer this: Is it the same pain you’re used to? Does it feel like the same old back pain, caused by a lifetime of not treating your back properly? Or is it more like the soreness you feel after a good workout? Chances are, that pain you’re feeling isn’t because the swopper is hurting you… It’s because you’re using muscles that have gone unused for far too long! Give the swopper a chance to really strengthen those core muscles, and we’re almost sure you’ll be impressed with your own results!

We hope once you give it a try you’ll understand just how we all feel about our swopper, despite what our initial reactions may have been. If you still don’t believe us, we do offer a 30-day return policy at swopper.com, in case you are not fully satisfied!

~ Aleta Simmons

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How to Find the Perfect Sit: Swopper Adjustment Tips

Our swopper offers an array of natural sitting postures, along with controlled movement. With these ergonomic seating options, the chair follows the movement of the body and keeps the movement simple and natural. So, how do you find the perfect sit for your swopper? Let me help you with that.

If you want more of a softer sit then we recommend you try out the swopper Air. The swopper Air uses a high tech 3DEA spacer fabric that is found in hospital ICU beds that allows for a more breathable and softer sit.

swopper air

That being said, our Classic swopper is an ideal choice as well, so don’t leave that one behind!

swopper classic

Once you have selected the swopper of your choice, there are some ways for you to adjust it to find the perfect sit. You can adjust the swopper two different ways to give you more or less range of motion.

1. You can adjust the extent of the vertical movement to suit your weight and your personal preference. The optimum setting is when you can move freely up and down without bottoming out the swopper. This adjustment is found at the end of the spring where the dial is.

2. For flexible sideways movement, you will turn your swopper on its side and rotate the handwheel towards the (+) or (-) for more or less flexibility. The softer the setting, the greater demand on your muscles.

For more details on the swopper adjustments, watch this video.

We recommend starting off with a setting for reduced sideways movement and later adjusting the setting to provide as much movement as possible.

Now go find your perfect sit and enjoy the life of active seating!

-Lindsay McIntyre, Customer Service

 

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Why Transitional Sitting is the Ideal Way to Work

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. 

Muvman 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.

Muvman Stool

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

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Top 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Sit All Day

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.

Why You Shouldn't Sit All Day

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

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The Benefits of a Saddle-Style Seat

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.

Swopper Saddle
Available with or without wheels

 

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

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Introducing OYO – Our New Motion Chair! 15% Off Pre-sale Orders.

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!

Oyo-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.

Oyo-Chair-Blue

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-seat-Orange

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.

Oyo-colors

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.

Order the OYO chair now and we’ll give you 15% off. This is the best pricing you will find on this innovative chair anywhere, we guarantee it. Just use coupon code: OYO15% at checkout on Swopper.com.

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

 

 

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Fourth of July Traditions + 15% Off Coupon

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a limited-time 15% off coupon for Swopper Classic! 

Here at Swopper, we really appreciate our staff, and would love for you to get to know us better. We are celebrating Fourth of July by taking the 3rd of July off to spend with our families, but we thought it might be nice to share a few special family traditions from some of our employees. Please feel free to share your special memories with us as well; we’d like to make a tradition of sharing those with our team after the holiday weekend.

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“Every summer my family would go to Clear Lake, California. We would all load in our boat and drive over to watch the fireworks over the lake and “ooo & aww” together.  I still love this to this day.”

– Lindsay

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“Independence Day means heading up to Lake Tahoe to enjoy the mountain air, swim in the clear blue water, enjoy some ice cold libations, and end the day watching the fireworks in Kings Beach.  The bright reflections on the still water make the fireworks show that much better! Happy 4th of July!”

– Stephanie

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“Every year we pile up in the back of the truck and go up to the top of the mountain overlooking downtown Reno and Sparks to watch the fireworks go off. We tune into the radio station that synchronizes the music to the show, which is our favorite part. It’s awesome!”

– Ashley

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My favorite memory, one that I have continued with my children, is to go to South Lake Tahoe, CA. We watch the fireworks from the backyard of a home on the South shore so that we can see 4 different fireworks shows from across the lake. The closest one is the downtown area, and these are spectacular to watch as they reflect off the lake. We cuddle in blankets and all sit together with family, friends, and pets after a day of bbq’ing. Happy 4th of July!

– Jennifer

swopper coupon code

As a token of our appreciation, we’re offering our readers 15% off any red or blue swopper classic. Just use coupon code USA15%OFF when you check out on swopper.com.

We hope you have a safe holiday weekend!

– Jennifer Lytle – Director, Customer Service

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