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
One of my favorite aspects of motion seating and Swopper specifically is how easy it is to use and reap the benefits from. After a short adjustment period, sitting on these chairs becomes natural and we don’t even think about it … that is until we check out our waistline.
That’s right, Swopper has been shown to help users burn up to 300 – 500 calories a day depending on age, weight, sex and intensity of movement. Can your regular office chair do that??
To help illustrate just how much 500 calories is, here are 10 ways you can burn 500 calories:
- 65 minutes of downhill skiing, or 50 minutes of cross-country skiing.
- Jumping rope for 45 minutes
- An hour and a half of golfing, when you’re walking the course and carrying your clubs
- One hour on the stair stepper
- Six hours of kissing
- Running stairs for 45 minutes
- One hour on the rowing machine
- Two hours of yoga
- 50 minutes of full-court basketball
- Sitting on a Swopper during your work day!!
I don’t know about you, but if I’m choosing between 45 minutes of running stairs and simply sitting on a Swopper at work, I’ll take the Swopper any day.
Are you interested in tracking exactly how many calories you burn each day while sitting on the Swopper? Then stay tuned because coming this winter, our new Swopper Fit app will allow you to do just that. More details to come.
Tell us, what’s your preferred way to burn 500 calories?
~ Chas Hepler, CEO & President
We all know leading a sedentary lifestyle – aka sitting on our butts all day – is bad for our health. Recently, scientists have conducted studies to put some factual science behind the reality of what sitting does to our health.
From back pain, muscle degeneration and foggy thinking to more extremes like increased risk of colon and endometrial cancers, the jury is in … sitting all day wrecks havoc on our health.
We love this infographic created by Bonnie Berkowitz and Patterson Clark with the Washington Post, outlining exactly what health issues arise when we sit all day.
Here are some highlights from the infographic about the health risks of sitting that stood out to us:
- Sitting for long periods of time slows blood circulation, which causes fluid to pool in the legs.
- Studies have linked sitting to a greater risk for colon, breast and endometrial cancers.
- Muscles burn less fat and blood flows more sluggishly during a long sit, allowing fatty acids to more easily clog the heart.
- A 2011 study found a decline in insulin response after just one day of prolonged sitting.
Pretty scary stuff when you think about how much our modern lifestyle is spent sitting down. The good news is that all these health risks related to sitting are entirely preventable with the use of motion seating, like the Swopper or Muvman, and by incorporating movement into your day.
~ Jenn Lytle, Director of Customer Service and Social Marketing
One of the first questions we often get from customers is “Which chair is right for me?” With three motion chair options – Swopper, Muvman and the new 3Dee – the decision can get confusing. That’s why we decided to write a blog post detailing the differences between the chairs, to better help you decide.
To help illustrate the differences between the chairs, I’m going to profile different people at our office and tell you why they chose one chair over another. This way you can get to know us all a little better too.
- User: me! Jenn Lytle
- Office Habits: 8-10 hours a day sitting at a desk
- Why I chose the Swopper: It allows me to move and stay active during the long stretches of time I am at my desk focusing on a project.
I’ll start with myself, I’m at the office 8-10 hours a day and do a lot of sitting during that time. My choice is the custom Swopper. I have my favorite color upholstered on the seat and wheels on the base. I don’t use the wheels a whole lot but I love that I have the option should I feel the need to visit my neighbor’s desk without removing my body from my chair.
What I love about my Swopper is that no matter how far I reach out…I can grab what I need and bounce right back to where I was, and without bending my body in an unfortunate position. I love to bounce and move constantly and you might find me a little distracting to have a face-to-face conversation but I’m having more fun at my desk than you are!
- User: Chas Hepler
- Office Habits: Always on the move to various meetings
- Why he chose the Muvman: It offers flexibility by being height adjustable and also portable enough to carry all around the office.
Our CEO Chas Hepler uses a Muvman on a daily basis. Chas isn’t one to sit still and he likes to switch from sitting to perching to standing whenever he wants. He also likes to have the ability to move the chair into a different room for meetings.
That’s why Chas opts for the Muvman. The chair is so light and meets all of his needs whether he is typing on his computer, talking on the phone or holding a conference. The Muvman meets all of Chas’ changing office needs.
3Dee Active Office Chair:
- User: Ken Swanson
- Office Habits: Sitting some of the day; used to a more traditional office setting
- Why he chose 3Dee: It give him the benefits of movement with the comfort and familiarity of a more traditional office chair
Ken has been working in an office setting for 20+ years before coming to our “non-traditional” office space here at Swopper. After sitting in a regular office chair for many years, our motion seats were a big change for him. To help ease him adjustment, Ken is opting for the 3Dee Active Office chair.
With it’s high back and more traditional office chair set up, the 3Dee gives Ken the comfort of he’s familiar work setting, with the added bonus of movement to keep his body healthy. He loves that the 3Dee is his “secret weapon” against back pain, because it provides ergonomic movement while looking more like a traditional chair.
In short, each of our motion chairs provide a unique benefit. We’re confident that one of these chairs is the perfect fit for your needs. If you have additional questions about which chair is right for you, contact us any time at email@example.com
~ Jenn Lytle
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:
- 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.
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
It is not uncommon for people who are new to motion seating to need a bit of a “breaking in” period to adjust from their normal sedentary sitting to active motion sitting. Some comments we hear from “newbie” swopper users include feeling tired, out of balance and just plain uncoordinated on their new chair.
Think about it … you are going from sitting stationary most of the day, to suddenly bouncing, tilting and swaying. That can be a big adjustment for your muscles that have gotten used to sitting still.
The good news is the body is very adaptable and in no time swopper users go from feeling clumsy to feeling energized, athletic and revived. Here are some tips for getting through this transition period.
- Transition slowly over time. Don’t feel like you need to immediately start swopping all day. It’s perfectly acceptable to slowly ease into the amount of movement you’re doing in a day. Try two hours swopping and then an hour in a stationary chair. This rotation back and forth will give your body an appropriate break from your newfound motion.
- Adjust the chair settings to limit movement range. The swopper has two ways to adjust settings to limit movement at first. There is a cap on the bottom of the middle post. If you turn the chair upside down and twist this to control the amount of side to side tension.
There is also a plastic piece on the center column that twists around the column that controls the amount of bounce tension. In the beginning it is best to have a low tension on the bounce and less side to side tension. This will enable you to not use too much energy to bounce up and down & side to side, keeping you more upright.
- Listen to your body. Pay attention to cues and prompts that motivate you to move, stretch or sit still. It’s surprising how many of us have a disconnection to our bodies. Swopper and active sitting prompts a lot more communication between the body and the brain. For some this can be a new introduction to an old friend and it may take time again to reestablish that relationship and feel comfortable with it.
- Make a commitment. Active seating is a new way of life in the office. It is about shaking it up and committing to motion vs. stagnant sitting. It is not about rigorous exercise, but the cumulative effect of moving all day vs. very little movement. By committing to this new healthy way of sitting, you’ll be doing yourself a favor in the long run.
- Allow your brain to adjust. If you have been sedentarily sitting for a long period, your muscle (and your brain is a muscle) has memory and gets used to this position and the feeling and state that surrounds it. If you abruptly disrupt this state you change everything and you change it quickly. This creates muscle confusion allowing for a new state to emerge. These are good things and show that the body is evolving to a new way of sitting and feeling creating a sense of new normal.
Changing the way you sit all day may take time to adjust to. The good news is that this adjustment period is typically short (a few weeks) and if you follow the tips above, you can limit any discomfort. With time, you’ll begin to feel at ease on your swopper and we guarantee you won’t ever look back.
~ Chas Hepler, swopper CEO
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.
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