Stand Up – Be Moved

Movement is crucial for our existence! This guest post highlights movement in our work environment. This could be in a corporate environment, and also our home office. Stand up and be moved!

standing desks allow movement at work

Stand up – Be Moved!

 

Sit to stand desks have become the latest thing to have in the modern office. They are not, however, the silver bullet for everyone. As with any product it is about the end user being educated as to why and how they work better for us as well as understanding what you should be looking for when investigating the sit to stand desk market.

 

There are two reasons why such desks work.

  1. Fundamentally humans should not sit all day – we are not designed for it and it is not good for us. More importantly, we shouldn’t be staying in one position for too long – movement is key. Varying your position between sitting and standing on a regular basis brings some movement to your working environment.
  1. Secondly, human proportions/measurements vary tremendously. The desk height norm of 720mm will not, therefore, suit everyone. In fact, from a survey undertaken by Ergostyle this standard height of 720mm suits very few – 90% of the surveyed people have a sitting elbow height of between 590 and 710mm. Additionally the standing height of some desks do not suit everybody. It is important that the height range of a desk is considered and ideally matched to the people using it.

Calculate your individual ideal height range as follows:

  1. The desk height when sitting should be one finger width (approximately 2cm) below your elbow when sitting correctly in a height adjustable chair (feet flat on the floor and a 90 degree angle between the lower and upper leg)
  1. The desk height when standing should again be one finger below your elbow when you are standing. The space allowed for below your elbow (when shoulders are relaxed) allows for your arms to swing easily over a keyboard without raising your shoulders.

Besides height, the other crucial consideration for a desk is the lift capacity. This not only affects directly the amount of weight the desk has been designed to take but also affects the ease with which the desk copes with the weight and thus the life of the lifting mechanism. A desk which has to carry a weight close to its capacity does not last as long as one where the weight easily falls within its capacity.

Additional features to look for in a sit to stand desk are its

  • Stability (how stable is the desk at its greatest height?)
  • Is the height displayed? (best practice under AS/NZS442:1997)
  • Is the control programmable or does it integrate with a computer?
  • Is cable management provided?

And don’t forget to stand up to be moved!

by Jacqui Barnes  www.ergostyle.co.nz

 

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New Thinking – New Experience

New Thinking brings New Experience for www.selfmanagechronicpain.com

New Thinking brings New Experience

 

Have you recently changed your thinking about something, and noticed how your world opened up? New Thinking results in New Experience.

Last weekend I was one of the many people promoting a service and health based product at our local Mind Body Spirit Festival, which is held every six months at a multi-storied venue in the city. Stalls or cubicles are set up on the first two floors, with talks and workshops taking place on the third floor.

Regulars to the Festival feel a sense of familiarity with the layout and recognise many of the stall holders as they return each time, often to their same ‘space’. For a newcomer, the experience can be totally overwhelming! Imagine how much new thinking is stimulated, which results in new experience.

First, there is the sense of excitement, the hub-bub of sounds – conversation, music, general activity. The visual stimulation is intense. Posters, wall hangings, tables laden with enticing objects, the vibrant clothing and jewellery people are wearing. Your sense of smell is awakened, by the aroma of foods in the food area, fragrances of massage oils, soaps and other products.

So much to see, so many services and products on offer, so many people searching for who knows what? If you came with a particular purpose in mind, it is easy to fulfill your mission and leave feeling satisfied. But what if you had no idea what you were ultimately looking for? A vague sense of wanting something, hoping you would know what it was once it was in front of you.

I met people for whom all of these situations were true.

On the first day I was stationed at our stall, waiting for people to pass by, hoping to interest them in what we had to offer. Many times, these people had a dazed look about them, not wanting to be ‘accosted again’ by a zealous stall holder determined to bend their ear about the “next best thing”. They looked harried, overstimulated, tired, in need of a reassuring hug and a still quiet place to recover their equilibrium. Perhaps new thinking was too active resulting in too many new experiences.

I did not particularly enjoy the hours ‘attached’ to the stall. I did not feel that I created enough opportunities to serve, to offer anything of value to these people who were obviously searching for ‘something’, yet trying to escape from feeling cornered.

Overnight, I realised that my experience would change when my attitude and actions changed. I welcomed new thinking and new experiences. I decided to ‘be the change’, and spent the morning as a Roving Ambassador of Goodwill. I set out to meet each stall holder, to find out who they were, where they came from, what they were offering, and how I could meet any of their needs with what I was offering.

Guess what? I met so many interesting and lovely people! I handed out small samples as an energy exchange. I practiced the art of receiving too, accepting compliments and any snippets of advice or information. The experience was priceless.

Someone suggested to me that I could host my own stall next time – as a Roving Ambassador of Goodwill. It is a thought! Meanwhile, I shall keep practicing the technique: New Thinking leads to New Experiences.

If you enjoyed reading this post, and if you have had similar experiences, please share and re-post, especially if re-posting is a new experience for you!

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Want A New Knee?

total knee replacementWant a new knee?

Last Saturday morning I attended a study morning, dedicated to the topic of knee replacements, hosted by the New Zealand Orthopaedic Nurses Association. I learned a lot!

 

Prof Gary Hooper, Orthopaedic Surgeon, spoke about the history of knee replacements and the complex functional problems which arise when the alignment of the prosthetic parts is faulty. He also stated that the incidence of joint replacements is increasing in New Zealand, and is expected to reach epidemic proportions due to:

  • Our aging population
  • The increasing numbers of healthy retired people
  • The greater expectation of the population to access free health funded procedures

He also reported that statistics for the USA predict that by 2030

  • Total hip replacements will increase by 157%
  • Total knee replacements will increase by 673%.

New Zealand statistics show that we model similar trends.

The NZ Orthopaedic Association has established a NZ Joint Registry which collates information about joint arthroplasty outcomes. Using data gathered between the years 1999-2012:

  • The incidence of Total Knee Replacements has increased by 157%
  • The incidence of Total Knee Replacements is 57% higher than Total Hip Replacements

These statistics are attributed to the physically orientated population, high levels of obesity, ethnicity, and favour females between the ages of 70-79 years of age.

By 2018, it is predicted that the number of Total Knee Replacements will exceed the number of Total Hip Replacements.

The Survival Rate of the prosthesis has been found to be 95%, for a period of approximately 14 years – after which a revision of the procedure may be necessary. This is the main reason why people under the age of 55 years are discouraged from having the surgery as their chances for requiring a revision are greater.

Reasons for requiring revision can include:

  • Prosthesis in the Tibia loosening
  • Patellar problems
  • Deep infection
  • Pain

Prof Hooper was very clear in stating that any person who has had any form of joint replacement could be at risk of deep tissue infection for the rest of their lives. Any haematological infection (carried in the blood) such as a respiratory tract or urinary tract infection, could cause a “seed to plant” in the replacement area. Any such infection must be treated by prophylactic antibiotics.

By far the commonest cause for revision is PAIN. Even after revision, which is usually cementless, the person will probably still experience PAIN.

With my background in Pain Management, this is not at all surprising, as numerous people return to surgery to “investigate the source of pain” after “failed” procedures, leaving the person worse off than before, as the pain pathways have yet again been excited / assaulted.

According to Chris Scott, Physiotherapist, scar tissue management to reduce pain is one of the vital postoperative goals in order to return to full functional activities. This was covered in a later presentation.

Take Home Message:

  • The incidence of joint replacement is reaching epidemic proportions
  • Be Proactive – ensure that you remain physically healthy and active
  • Do not depend on the public health system to automatically be able to cater to your health needs

Have you received a joint replacement?

How has it influenced your life?

If you have found this post interesting, please repost and share.

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Jogging Enhances Life Expectancy

It is claimed that people who are physically active have at least a 30% lower risk of death during follow-up – compared with those who are inactive. However, the ideal dose of exercise for enhancing life expectancy remains uncertain.

As a Health Worker and casual jogger, I am always on the lookout for current articles and interesting tips that could add to my knowledge base and enhance the experience of people I come into contact with.

 

A recent article I came across in an online Medical Journal was intriguing!

The Copenhagen City Heart Study was initiated in 1976 by P. Schnor, G. Jensen and     A. T. Hansen to increase knowledge about the prevention of Cardiac Heart Disease and stroke and therefore to enhance life expectancy. Over the years questions were added about heart failure, pulmonary diseases, arthrosis, allergy, epilepsy, dementia, stress, sleep apnea, ‘vital exhaustion’ and genetics.

As part of the Copenhagen City Heart Study, a study was undertaken to investigate the association between jogging and long-term, all-cause mortality by focusing specifically on the effects of pace, quantity and frequency of jogging.

To do this, 1,098 healthy joggers and 3,950 healthy non-joggers have been prospectively followed up since 2001 to review the connection between the Dose of Jogging and Long-term Mortality

Compared with sedentary non-joggers, 1 to 2.4 hours of jogging per week was associated with the lowest mortality. The optimal frequency of jogging was 2 to 3 times per week. The optimal pace was slow or average.

The lowest Hazard Rate (HR) for mortality (or highest Life Expectancy Enhancer) was found in light joggers, followed by moderate joggers, and then strenuous joggers.

 The conclusion findings suggest a U-shaped association between all-cause mortality and dose of jogging as calibrated by pace, quantity and frequency of jogging. The U-shaped association suggests the existence of an upper limit for exercise dosing that is optimal for health benefits.

The Dose of Jogging and Long-term Mortality study concludes that

The dose of running that was most favorable for enhancing life expectancy was jogging

  • 1-2.4 hours per week

  • No more than 3 days per week

  • At a slow or average pace

Many adults perceive this goal to be practical, achievable and sustainable.

 Accumulating evidence suggests that activity patterns that are ideal for promoting long-term Cardio Vascular health and enhancing life expectancy may differ from high intensity, high volume endurance training regimes used for developing peak cardiac performance and maximum Cardio Respiratory fitness.

I feel greatly reassured that my jogging routine falls within these recommended guidelines, and it is indeed most pleasurable and sustainable.

How does your chosen exercise routine enhance your life expectancy?

 

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Balneotherapy helps Fibromyalgia?

Head to your nearest thermal mineral water spa !

 

selfmanagechronicpain with balneotherapy

Enjoying the Therapeutic effects of Balneotherapy and Hydrotherapy

Therapeutic Effect of Balneotherapy and Hydrotherapy in the Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a debilitating condition of almost unknown etiology and pathogenesis that is characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness, as well as secondary symptoms like fatigue, depression, irritable bowel syndrome and sleep disturbances.

A standard therapy regimen is lacking. Patient-tailored approaches are emphasised recommending non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions according to individual symptoms. Self-management strategies involving active patient participation should be an integral component of the therapeutic plan.

Balneotherapy (thermal mineral water spas) and Hydrotherapy are commonly used interventions.

A qualitative systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials showed that:

For Hydrotherapy with exercise, at the end of treatment, there was:

  • Moderate-to-strong evidence for a small reduction in pain
  • Moderate-to-strong evidence for a small improvement in health related quality of life (HRQOL)
  • No effect seen for depressive symptoms and Tender Point Count (TPC).
  • Follow-up data provided moderate evidence for maintenance of improvement with regard to pain.
  • No group difference was found when comparing water-based exercise to land-based exercise.

For Balneotharapy in mineral / thermal water, at end of treatment, there was:

  • Moderate evidence for medium-to-large size reduction in pain and TPC
  • Moderate evidence given for a medium improvement of HRQOL
  • No significant effect was found for depressive symptoms.
  • Moderate evidence for maintenance of improvements was found at follow-up, with smaller effects.

Pain may be relieved by the hydrostatic pressure of the water and the effects of the temperature on the nerve endings, as well as by muscle relaxation. It has been shown that thermal mud baths increase plasma levels of beta-endorphin, which explains their analgesic and anti-spastic effect.

The beneficial effects of water treatments are probably the result of a combination of specific (for example, buoyancy, aquatic resistance, heat) and unspecific effects (for example, change of environment, spa-scenery).

Source:

Therapeutic Benefit of Balneotherapy and Hydrotherapy in the Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Johannes Naumann, Catharina Sadaghiani

Arthritis Res Ther. 2014; 16(R141) © 2014 BioMed Central, Ltd. http://medscape.com

 

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What Is The Most Effective Weapon For Fibromyalgia?

Aerobic Exercise !

aerobic exercise is the most effective ‘weapon’ that we have

People with fibromyalgia benefit from continuous physical exercise.

 

A recent article in www.medscape.com by Alice Goodman summarised an overview of research on fibromyalgia treatment that was presented at the Paris 2014 European League Against Rheumatism Congress.

Winfried Häuser MD, from Technische Universität Munchen is an expert in the field of fibromyalgia. He believes that treatment for people with fibromyalgia should be individualised and include non pharmacalogical approaches, as these are often more effective than drugs. He explained that aerobic exercise is the most effective ‘weapon’ that we have and both healthy people and people with fibromyalgia benefit from continuous physical exercise.

He and his colleagues recently published a network meta-analysis which was an indirect comparison of all available therapies for fibromyalgia. They were unable to find any significant differences in effectiveness between drug and non-drug therapies. While the effects of drugs are lost once the patient stops taking them, the effects of aerobic exercise and multicomponent therapy are sustained but declining at 1 or 2 years.

Dr Häuser advocates a graduated approach to treating fibromyalgia.

Mild fibromyalgia: can be managed with reassurance from the doctor and encouragement to engage in regular physical and mental activities.

Moderate fibromyalgia: should be managed with aerobic exercise and the temporary limited use of drugs.

Severe fibromyalgia: can be managed with aerobic exercise, drugs and the psychological and/or psychopharmalogic treatment of mental comorbidities.

Dr Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, a rheumatologist at McGill University in Montreal who treats people with fibromyalgia, agreed with the patient-tailored approach outlined by Dr Häuser. She cautioned about overmedicating people, and keeping them on continued medications which have side effects. Non Pharmalocological therapies have no risks, she explained.

Dr Fitzcharles went on to say that non pharmacologic therapies are probably the most important ones for people with fibromyalgia. In her experience, every person with fibromyalgia should be managed with exercise, promotion of an internal locus of control and education.

Activity pacing is the key, in order to not overdo or avoid exercise.

Non Pharmacological therapies include:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Acupuncture
  • Psychotherapy

Pharmacologic / drug therapies include:

  • GABA analogues
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

References:

  1. Aerobic Exercise ‘Most effective weapon’ for Fibromyalgia. Medscape. June19, 2014. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseasesard.bmj.com
  1. Comparative efficacy of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in fibromyalgia syndrome: network meta-analysis

          Eveline Nüesch, Winfried Häuser, Kathrin Bernardy, Jürgen Barth, Peter Jüni

               Ann Rheum Dis 2013;72:955-962 doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-201249

 

 

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