All I want for Christmas… NO MORE KNOTS in my neck, back & shoulders!

Do you work from a laptop- at home, out and about, at school or uni?

 

Perhaps you even use a laptop at work?

 

Well, there’s obviously some great benefits to being portable while you work, a laptop can create major problems for you.

 

Here’s one of the biggest ones I see bothering my clients, a lot…

 

They get tension, knots and even pain in their neck and shoulders.

 

Some people even get headaches and upper back pain.

 

Is this normal? No!

 

Is it common? Yes!

 

Is there a solution? Luckily, Yes!

 

You see, the inherent problem with a laptop is the fact that the screen is connected to the keyboard.

 

Your keyboard needs to be at desk or table height for you to type without getting sore wrists and arms.

 

Your screen needs to be up at eye height so you can look straight ahead and not strain your head, neck, shoulders and upper back while you work.

 

The weight of your head is similar to a bowling ball…

And if it falls forward even the slightest bit while you look down, an incredible amount of strain and tension is put on the ligaments, joints and muscles of your back and neck.

 

Imagine the strain on your poor neck and upper back after you’ve been sitting for even 20 minutes!

 

Let alone hours on end while you finish off that urgent piece of work late into the night L

 

It’s a situation that often creates long term problems like pain, stiffness, arthritis and numerous injuries, if you don’t get ahead of the game…

 

Luckily I have a perfect solution for you!

 

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Exercising when you’re Stiff, Sore, Unsure or Injured: Rule No 4

If we wait til we’re feeling 100% to get started doing any sort of exercise- whether it’s a few exercises at home, a workout in the gym or any kind of cardio activity- that day may never come!

 

So, over the past few weeks we’ve been looking at ways we can keep ouselves in ‘ship shape’, moving towards our health and fitness goals, even if we’re feeling really stiff & sore, unsire or injured…

Or all of the above!

 

The good news is that over the past 20+ years, I’ve led thousands of people through this process and I’ve been sharing my 4 top tips, or ‘Rules’ to help you work out:

What you should and shouldn’t do, how far you should push and what to do next.

Those we covered in ‘Rules 1, 2 and 3’.

 

If you haven’t read them or watched the videos that dive into the specifics, make sure you catchup on the most important stuff you need to know (below)

Rule 1 Don’t Push into Pain (or at least not much more pain)

Rule 2 Stop just Short of Fatigue

Rule 3  Taking note of How you Feel After Exercising

 

We’re onto our last Rule today, so without further ado…

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Exercising if you’re a bit Stiff, Sore, Injured or Unsure: Rule 3

We all know we need to exercise…

Most of us even like how much better we feel after we’ve exercised.

Yet, we are often in a place where we’re struggling with some sort of niggle, maybe even recovering from an injury or illness.

And let’s face it, for most of us that’s all the excuse we need to slack off and opt out!

The past few weeks I’ve been talking about how much better it is for our healing process if we actually do take the time and make the effort to move…

It really helps move us forwards and out of the downhill spiral into further pain, stiffness, debilitation and ill-health that comes when we don’t keep ourselves exercising.

And it doesn’t have to take much time or even be overly intense.

If you’ve been following me for more than a few minutes you’ll know I’m all about keeping it real!

There’s no use overwhelming ourselves and aiming for the skies with exercise and changing habits, only to end up disappointed in ourselves and our efforts, then paralysed and doing nothing.

A little bit, done well and done often is usually your best bet!

So, if you have some doubts about how much exercise you should do, how far to push and how to know when to stop, make sure you read parts 1 and 2 of this series…

Better still, I explain about putting limits around your exercise in Rule 1 video here and knowing the signs to look out for about when to stop in Rule 2’s Video here

And today, in Rule 3 I want to alert you to the next factor you need to consider when you’re starting out, or returning to exercising and are not yet 100%…

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Exercising when you’re stiff, sore or injured: Rule No 2

This month I’m sharing my guidelines with you about Exercising when you’re sore, stiff or have an existing condition or injury…

For many of us, that might feel like a lot of the time?

A lot of people have aches and pains or a long term condition that make them unsure about how to move, what to safely do and how much to do.

Are you among them?

Or maybe you have an ‘acute’ (i.e. recent) injury that’s put you out of action for a bit.

In both cases, rest assured that the more you can keep your body moving, the better your long term outcomes will be!

You just need to some guidance as to what type of activity and how much will be best for you.

Last week I shared the first part in my series that outlines 4 Rules to bear in mind for Exercising when you’re Stiff, Sore or Injured.

And this week I’ll share Rule no 2…

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4 Rules for Exercising when you’re stiff, sore or injured: Rule No 1

It’s always so hard to tell people that they can’t do a particular activity because of their pain, problem or injury…

 

And most of us health professionals, who understand the huge benefits to staying active and mobile are very hesitant to say ‘stop’ exercising altogether!

 

Keeping active is of great benefit to your body’s healing systems– in reducing inflammation, reducing your pain perception, reducing your risk of your symptoms or the injury becoming chronic (i.e. long term) and maintaining your cardiovascular health.

 

In most cases, there’s usually a safe way of modifying what you can do, so you can stay as active as possible!

 

You just need to keep in mind some boundaries I give my patients so they can exercise with confidence that they’re doing more good than harm.

 

These parameters help you monitor how any exercise is affecting the injured area, the other parts of your body and your body’s response and reaction systems.

 

In this post I’m going to share the first thing to consider when exercising while you’ve got soreness, even pain, stiffness or an injury.

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Sore Back At Work? Try These Simple Steps

It’s National ‘Safe work month’ this October, so create some healthier work habits that your back will thank you for with some ‘physio approved’ advice.

On any given day in Australia, one quarter of our population is suffering some degree of back pain, and nearly 80 per cent of adults in Australia will experience back pain at some time during their lives.

Are you among them?

Research by the University of Sydney found that one third of all work related disability, world-wide, was from low back pain linked to workplace factors.

So I’ve teamed up with the Workscore’s Wellhub team to bring you some simple steps to combat back pain while you work!

If you sit at a desk a lot, you really must move often. Moving for 2 minutes every half hour is the gold standard. But that doesn’t mean you have to get up from your desk!

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Inspire Workers to Better Health & Productivity at work- register for the FREE Challenge!

October is ‘Safe work month’, which provides a great opportunity to inspire and engage workers towards feeling and performing their best while at work.

Physiotherapist Kym Siddons (a.k.a the ‘Workstation Wellness Physio’) wants to help employers and their employees celebrate with a free ‘Workstation Workout 5-day challenge.’

The aim of the challenge is for workers to experience some of the quick, easy and effective steps they can take throughout their workday to create a powerful, positive impact on improving their health and wellbeing!

A recent study published by the Global Wellness Institute (2016) showed that workers are becoming increasingly unwell. Over half the workers studied were overweight or obese and 76% reported ‘struggling’ or even ‘suffering’ in their physical wellbeing. In addition to that one quarter felt actively disengaged in their workplace and nearly 40% suffered from excess pressure on the job.

That said, small initiatives can make a huge difference. For example, research by Prof Alan Hedge has also shown that just a couple of minutes of movement, done regularly throughout the workday, can break the cycle of poor metabolism that otherwise results in obesity and chronic illness from sitting.

Other studies have also demonstrated the positive benefits of specific exercises, posture correction, breathing techniques and educating workers in self-care strategies…

The resulting improvements in mental health, productivity, staff engagement and retention, absenteeism and injury rates are astounding.

You can register your business here

You can Register here if you’re an individual worker

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Hands up if you’d LOVE more time to Exercise!

Spring is here and there’s no better time to dust off your walking shoes and increase your daily activity!

Plus, if you register for ‘Steptember’ and aim for 10,000 steps each day of the month from 4th September, you’ll be raising money to support children with cerebral palsy

After all, it is recommended adults take at least 10,000 steps per day to maintain good health… and the average office worker only manages about 3000.

I’d love to have more time to exercise, you say, but I’m just so busy!

Well, I’ve got some good news for you!

Recent research has shown that just 2 minutes of movement, every half hour while you’re sitting, is the best way to boost your metabolism to reduce your risk of chronic disease from sitting.

Yay! So if you commit to moving your body for just 2 minutes regularly throughout your working day, you can drastically improve your health.

Is that a good enough reason to get moving?

It doesn’t have to be limited to walking. Every bit of body movement counts as ‘steps’ towards better health.

Plus, you don’t have to set aside a half an hour block for exercise every day (though that’s still fantastic, if you can make the time)…

You can just schedule in a quick couple of minutes here and there (ideally every half hour) to get your body moving and your step count up!

So, here’s some practical ways to get more ‘steps’ in your day this ‘Step-tember’

  • Engage a colleague or your team to join in the challenge to increase your steps. It’s amazing how a bit of ‘healthy competition’ will motivate you!
  • Stand up from your desk every half hour and do some calf raises, up and down onto your toes. Aim to do more repetitions each time. Stretch your calves out in-between.
  • Every time you go to sit down, do some extra ‘chair squats’ first. Position yourself so the backs of your knees are just in front of your chair with feet hip width apart. Bend your hips and knees while aiming your buttocks towards the back of the chair but don’t quite sit down. Go as far as you can comfortably go, then come up again. Repeat 5-10 times or to comfort.
  • Stand up and ‘walk while you talk’ on the phone. If you need to be at your desk, do some mini calf raises, squats or lunges while you’re talking and scribbling.
  • Arrange walking meetings or meeting around standing stations, so you can move rather than sit still.
  • Make use of standing stations or sit- stand desks. Aim to stand for about 15 minutes (or as long as is comfortable for you) every hour or so. You’ll be surprised just how much more your step count increases when you’re standing, even if you’re keyboarding.
  • Getting up to use the copier, printer, go to the bathroom or grab a drink goes without saying… but what if you make an attempt NOT to send in-house emails? Instead go for a walk and visit the staff member to directly interact!
  • Be strict with yourself about taking a break from your desk for lunch- even if it’s a quick one! Getting up, and outside if you can, is not only a great way to get more walking into your day, but reaps a multitude of benefits for your productivity and mental health.
  • Most of us know we should take the stairs rather than the lift where possible. Why not challenge yourself this ‘Steptember’ to really make an effort and develop start the healthy habit of ‘stair climbing’

Enjoy challenging yourself to increasing your step count this September and, most importantly, reaping the rewards of better health!

If you’d like my 5 Steps to beat Pain & Strain at your desk (plus improve your posture & Burn fat) in 2 mins, enter your details and I’ll send it straight to you!

Kick your Bad Posture Habits- How to ‘Centre Yourself’ to quit painful positions!

All too often I see people in the clinic complaining of stiffness and soreness in their upper back, neck and shoulders. 😥

I always ask about how their pain started, their work setup, and assess their muscles and joints (among other things). It wasn’t until I started doing workplace assessments that I realised an important piece of the puzzle was missing!

When I got to see people in their work environment something stood out…
the poor posture habits they had at their desk!

Most people don’t realise, until they’re challenged about it, that they inadvertently fall into weird and not-so wonderful positions when they’re concentrating on their work. 😳

I should know- I’m guilty too! 😬

If I’m concentrating on work (not my posture) I can find myself leaning on my left forearm while I’m using my mouse in my right hand.

How about you? What do you tend to do out of habit when you sit?

And it’s not just while we’re working…

What about while we’re driving (elbow up on the window sill anyone?)
And when we’re on our smartphone or tablet, leaning off to one side while we scroll/ text with the other (mmm, that could be me leaning on my elbow at the table)?

We all need to give ourselves a little pep-talk

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Ignore your Niggles at your Peril! When to wait & when to act…

A new study of tradie’s health & injuries highlights not only some risks for tradies, but some extremely important health lessons for us all.

 

You see, Australia’s national health campaign this month is focused on the health of our trusty ‘tradies’…

 

… the ‘Good guys’ that come to the rescue when we need something fixed or built for us.

 

Yet a new study shows that our tradies are suffering… nearly 2/3 (64%) of tradies said they’ve been injured in their current job and most fail to see a doctor or seek any medical attention.

 

This seems a little crazy to the rest of us!

 

Their work relies so heavily on their physical capacity, and time off work due to injuries hits them even harder in the hip pocket than many of us…

 

We might think they’d take great care of their bodies; yet the study shows 79% take great care of their tools and only 47% consider looking after their body

 

Now, before we point a judgemental finger, have a think;

 

Are most of us any different?

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