Five Ways to Boost Creativity During Brainstorming Sessions

The brainstorming session. We’ve all been there, stuck in the conference room willing our brains to come up with the next big idea, only to be left struggling with the same three ideas over and over. Turning your creativity on when necessary can be a difficult task for many.

The good news is, there are ways to train your creative side to flourish. Below are five ways to help you unlock your creativity and wow your coworkers.

Creativity during Brainstorms

1. Get Moving! When you move by sitting on a Swopper, you increase circulation and blood flow to your brain, help your muscles relax into proper position and breathe deeper by opening your diaphram. All this helps get your brain working more effectively, which should help increase your creative juices.

2. No Bad Ideas. Resist the temptation to think or verbalize why an idea would not work. Instead, stop those negative thoughts before they start by creating a “no bad ideas” rule in brainstorms. This means no one is allowed to talk about why an idea wouldn’t work in that meeting, only build upon ideas no matter how silly they may seem. Use later meetings to hone in on ideas and discuss their viability.

3. Set Expectations in Advance. Often in creative meetings, one or two people can dominate the conversation. By setting expectations before the meeting that each person must present at least three ideas, you can get people thinking ahead of time and make the conversation more diverse.

4. Bring Creative Toys. Sometimes the best way to get creativity to come out is to engage all your senses in creative activities. It’s a good idea to create a “brainstorming bag” that contains creative toys like silly putty, markers and paper, small musical toys and tasty foods.

5. Write it Large. When ideas are being fired off rapidly, it’s easy to forget what was previously said. Enlist the help of a note taker to write every idea down on large poster board sized paper stuck all around the room. This way, everyone can see the ideas and build off them as the session progresses.

To be perfectly clear, being creative takes time and opportunity, but with proper practice and the right environment, you and your work team can excel at the task of coming up with killer ideas. For more ideas on how to inspire creativity, check out this infographic from Entrepreneur Magazine.

So get motivated, get back on track, and start thinking MAYBE, just maybe, you’ve got this creative bug…now go use it!

~ Jenn Lytle

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Five Professions That Need to Use Muvman Stools

Every time I present muvman to people they always love all the features and functions of the stool, the health and wellness benefits and the dynamic design.  Then as they play with it, you can see the wheels spinning in their head as to where they could utilize muvman.

Often in my day to day life, I come across people at their place of work and think “they could really benefit from a muvman.” Really anyone who spends much of their day standing or transitioning from a sit to stand position is primed for a muvman stool. 

I thought it would be fun to list out the top five professions I think could benefit the most from using a muvman.

Muvman Stool at work

  1. Lab/Pharmacy/Specialized Medical Procedures – most pharmacists work at higher counters, often standing for long periods. They also work in tight spaces that require freedom of movement. To me, the muvman is the perfect companion for these healthcare workers.The size of muvman is perfect for tight pharmacy space.  People who work with microscopes love muvman as it helps eliminate the “hunchback” posture due to the natural 4 degree forward tilt.   Also since there are typically a number of employees utilizing the same space, muvman can easily be adjusted to fit each individual.
  1. Architects/Designers – these folks often congregate around large project tables reviewing large plans or researching finishes and samples.  These meetings can be quite lengthy so muvman offers them options to perch or stand.  Also, being in the design business, they need to relay a look of high design themselves, present their firm as being cutting edge…and nothing says that better than muvman.
  1. Assembly & Manufacturing – many times these jobs can require an individual to do repetitive work, often not moving around too much, or working at height adjustable benches.  Having the option to perch on a muvman, but still have lateral motion to reach for tools, adjust up and down and/or move things down the line can cause less fatigue throughout their workday.
  1. Kiosks – I think anyone who works behind or in a kiosk situation is in a perfect position to use a muvman.  They typically have little room, stand for long periods of time, yet need to look at and be engaged with their customer.  Think of all those kiosks you see in the malls- Verizon, perfume/cosmetic etc…
  1. Bank Tellers – this is a no brainer!  Think of every bank teller you’ve ever dealt with….they stand!  Even if they have a typical stool to use, they don’t because it’s too big and bulky for their space and makes them sit further away from the counter and customer.  Then they are having to “hunch” forward to reach everything they need to do. The muvman is a great solution for anyone working as a bank teller.

These are only 5 areas, and as we know the applications are endless – elevator operators, high tech, higher education, gaming, hospitality, hobbyists, security guards, libraries, newscasters, toll booth operators, airline and car rental counters, muscians, mail sorters etc.  THE OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS.

Again….the 2 key points to remember about what jobs are ideal for a muvman:

  • Work areas that can go from a sit to perch to stand position.
  • People who are required to stand for long periods of time.  Muvman can alleviate the fatigue that comes with that.

Do you think people in your occupation could benefit from a muvman? Leave a comment with what you do.

~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director

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Tips For Improving Health & Wellness at Your Desk

Our desk… it’s where many of us spend 8 or more hours a day during the week. Many of my clients think this is just “throw away” time and that the only place to improve their health is outside of work at the gym.

Not true! You can make strides to position your lifestyle to support your health anywhere, even at your desk.

Wellness Tips for your Work

Here are some tips I give my clients for improving health & wellness at your desk:

  1. Work Smarter…Not Harder! Spending hours at your desk may seem like to best way to get ahead. However, taking a break every 90-Minutes may keep more focused, while helping you to accomplish a greater workload in less time. Reason: Research has suggested that the time of 90-Minutes is actually the ideal human capacity for focusing at high level on any form of work. Save yourself from burning both ends of the candle and try implementing this tip into your workday.
  2. If I Won the Lottery! The next time that life has you feeling stressed…Simply, kick your feet back and think about what you would do if you were just won the Lottery! This may sound corny. However, day-dreaming like this can be a quick way to help relieve stress-while bringing a quick smile to your face! So, how will you spend it?
  3. Mind Renewal. Every 90 to 120 minutes of work, get up from your desk and take a break from your work. This simple positive interruption, even just for a few minutes, will help you refocus and refuel your mind.
  4. “C” You Later Work Stress! The next time that you find yourself stressed out at work…relax with an Orange. Reason: Research has shown that Vitamin C can actually help to lower the production of stress hormones, which just may make your workday a little easier to handle.
  5. Uncross for Better Posture. The act of crossing your legs, while sitting at your desk can lead to poor posture and lower back stress. Aim to keep both feet flat on floor for a healthier spine. Even better? Use a motion char like Swopper to engage your core, improve circulation and focus.
  6. Protect against germs. Did you know that when people sneeze, their germs may be spread up to 8 feet? What makes this scary is that even if you steer clear of direct contact with a person that has a cold…when this person sneezes-your clothes can catch and carry the germs and sooner or later, you too maybe feeling under the weather. So, be sure to wash all articles of clothes next time someone in your office sneezes.
  7. Avoid multitasking. Studies have shown that switching back and forth between tasks can decrease your rate of productivity by up to 40%. You’re more likely to make errors and introduce stress at a higher rate when multitasking.
  8. Start your day with a boost. Want to Give Your Morning Coffee a Healthy Boost? Then, stir in some Cinnamon. Reason: This diabetes fighter helps to regulate blood sugar, which can make it ideal to help stabilize energy levels and moods.
  9. Keep your desk germ-free. Did you know that office desktops had almost 21,000 germs per square inch and that office phones were worse with more than 25,000 germs per square inch? Yet, office toilet seats had only 49 germs per square inch. What people don’t realize is that their desks, phones, computer keyboards are a haven for germs and can easily spread virus to whoever touches them. So, be sure to use soap and hot water to clean your office gadgets.
  10. Take Your Mug Home for a Cleaning! Reusing your Office Coffee Mug maybe the “Green” thing to do. However, it may not be so great for your health. Colonies of germs are living in your mug and up to 25% of office mugs carry fecal bacteria, while 90% are covered w/germs. The Reason: Office Sponges are bacteria-ridden and that bacteria transfers to the mug-living there for up to 3 days.
  11. Soothe Your Sight! Staring at your computer screen all day can do havoc to your peepers. To bring some them relief, rub your hands together in a fast motion to generate heat. Next, take your hands and place them over your closed eyes. The pressure from your hands and the heat that you created will ease some tension and help sooth your sight.

Follow these tips for improving health and wellness at your desk and you’ll be maximizing your time at the office. These small changes will help get you on your way to achieving your overall health goals.

Stay tuned for more expert tips.

~ 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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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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What is Ergonomics and How Does it Affect Your Work?

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.

Ergonomics

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

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Meet Jay Cardiello – Wellness & Fitness Expert to the Stars

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.

Jay Cardiello

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.

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All About the Muvman Tall

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.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 6.51.09 PM

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

 

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Happy Holidays from Swopper

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.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 9.05.14 AM

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

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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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