So… How are you, REALLY?

Tuesday just gone was ‘Wear White to Work Day’, to show our support for those suffering mental illness and their families.

I’m certainly not an expert in mental health, but I’ve sure been touched by mental illness and the toll it takes on it’s victims and their loved ones.

Chances are that you have been too.

Statistics show that 1 in 5 of us will experience some sort of mental ill-health throughout the year.

That’s a whole lots of people and a whole lot of sadness.😞

You’d be surprised how good many people become at pushing on, putting on a brave face, and not giving away much of the despair, isolation and fragility they’re feeling.

Sometimes those people are just tired or burnt out.
Sometimes they’re just having a bad day.
But sometimes they’re just hanging on, while we are quite unaware.

Maybe you’ve even been in that place..​​

It’s no co-incidence that many times a ‘physio session’ end up being more a ‘counselling session’..
​and it’s mainly because I am in the fortunate position to spend real quality time with those people.

I’m just listening to their worries and fears without judgement.

And yes, I’m qualified to give advice to navigate through their injury or point them in the right direction for further medical attention…

BUT it’s the ‘taking time and listening’ that matters.

Now mental ill-health is a complex issue, but the GOOD NEWS is…

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Is your Satchel, Carrybag or Handbag Ruining your Posture?

To answer the question, Is my carry bag ruining my posture?

Short answer, yes..

Carrying the wrong bag and carrying it poorly places heaps of strain on your shoulders, back and neck..😫

BUT, you can take steps to reduce the load your bag puts on your posture.🎉
 

How much your bag- backpack, satchel or handbag- affects your posture is determined by these things..
 
1)    The type of Bag
 
2)    How heavy it is
 
3)    The way you carry it
 
4)    Your postural strength and endurance
 
So, let’s look at these factors  and see which ones you can improve on..


1)    What type of bag do you tend to carry?

A Laptop bag?💼
A Handbag?👜
A Backpack?🎒
A gym bag?💪
 
It’s probably a ‘no-brainer’, but bags that allow you to carry your load fairly symmetrically win every time.
 
So backpacks are great- and there’s some pretty cool ones out there is you hunt around..
 
The best ones have a waist strap that allows you to distribute some weight to your hips and pelvis. That’s especially important is you have a heavy backpack, are carrying it long distances or have a sore, weak spine. 🎒

.. but maybe not ‘the look’ you’re after?

The next best option is a ‘satchel type’ bag that allows you to spread the load from one shoulder, across the chest, and the weight hand on the opposite side… more about how to carry it well later 💼
 
If you have a casual carry bag (like a gym bag), make sure it has a longer ‘over the shoulder’ handle, so you can carry it like the satchel rather than both handles. 
If not, ditch it!
 
Lastly, the Handbag. Well, ladies, we do have a tendency to fall in love with a gorgeous handbag! 👜
 
Truth is, is you wanna do your posture a favour, keep your handbag as small as you can. 
NOT choose the oversize option that allows you to fit the kitchen sink- unless it’s just for the beach!

 

2)    How heavy it is

You knew it was coming! 

Yep, it’s time to give your carry bag a spring clean 😃
 

The last time I did this, I found an industrial sized tape measure in the bottom that weighed a tonne! No wonder I was feeling weighed down L
 
So make sure you only have in it what you absolutely need so you’re not putting unnecessary strain on your body.

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Standing posture, Posture, Low back pain, standing, workstation workout, Kym Siddons Physio,

Combat your Low Back Pain Standing with 3 Expert Tips

Many of us suffer from low back pain while we’re standing…

Whether we’re on our feet all day for work,
OR Spend time at a standing desk​
OR spending hours in the kitchen preparing meals for family & friends,
OR standing around endlessly at social events or the kids sports matches

… Well, it shouldn’t be our ‘norm’.

I was at my hairdresser a few weeks back when she ‘fessed up;
the pain in her back was making her workdays an uphill battle.

I talked her through a few tips I give my clients and when I saw her again last weekend she was over the moon!

“I’ve tried so many things Kym, taken on board so much advice, but your few tips have changed my life!”

Of course, I had to share them with you

Tip 1) Try to even up your weight between both feet (so most of your body weight is just in front of your ankles).
Then soften your knees.

Consider how you stand when you’re not thinking about it?
Many of us tend to put most of our weight through one leg and sink sideways into that hip
OR we lock our knees back straight and shift our hips forwards.

Whatever your standing habit, Tip 1 will set you up for standing more comfortably!
It takes the strain off your knees, hips and therefore Low Back.

Tip 2) Take even more load off your hips, pelvis and low back by switching on the right muscles. This supports you in a good standing posture for longer.

Here’s how…

Feel the sides of both hips for the bony lump that is the ball of each hip. Then centre your hips so they’re directly over your ankles (or as close as you can get without pain)

If you’re able to, gently draw yourself a bit taller so you’re taking the weight of your trunk off your hips and low back.

Then, BREATHE while you practice holding that posture.

Tip 3) Try and gradually spend more time in your ‘Good Standing Posture’ than your ‘Bad Standing posture’.
This creates a great new Habit that will take strain off your low back and pelvis long term.

When you’ve mastered that position, take things up a notch…
Start moving regularly while you hold your ‘New Posture’.

Try shifting your weight gently from leg to leg- forwards and back then side to side- in ‘mini lunges’.
This strengthens your standing muscles even more and stops you slumping into ‘Old Habits’!

So, your CHALLENGE THIS WEEK is to keep an eye on your standing posture and practice correcting it, so you can take the strain off your back!
​​
Remember, Little things done well, and done often, make for incredible transformation.

 

If you’d like to receive my FREE VIDEO with My #1 tip to Improve comfort at your desk and 4 of the Best Exercises to do at your desk, enter your details below and I’ll email it to you!

This Simple Tip can Fix your Rounded Shoulders

Have you noticed you’ve got rounded shoulders? 

Or concerned you might develop rounded shoulders?🤔

 

Let’s face it, most of us who sit at a computer or desk a lot, even with best intentions, spend a little time slumped, with rounded shoulders…😟

 

Is that harmful, you ask?

 

Well, having rounded shoulders puts heaps more load on your neck, shoulders and upper back…

 

That puts you in a poor posture that increases your risk of pain, stiffness, headaches, injury, limited breathing.. I could go on. Ahhh!😫

 

I’ve got a little tried and tested tip that helps my clients put their shoulders in a much better position to reverse that rounded-ness.. YAY!

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Work on a laptop often? Here’s 2 Things you MUST KNOW

Working on a laptop is particularly grueling and here’s why..

The screen is attached to your keyboard 😧

Well doh, I hear you say, isn’t that the whole point?

To make your workstation portable?

Well yes, but ergonomically speaking, this is totally setting you up for failure… unless you take two CRITICAL STEPS.

I’ll explain why…

When you use your laptop’s inbuilt keyboard and mouse, you’re inevitably looking down at your screen.

You might already know that looking down at your screen ruins your neck, shoulders, upper back? It also sets you up for postural disaster!😳

But if you raise your screen to take the strain off your neck and back, your arms and wrists end up in a terrible position for typing. 😨

Yikes!

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Wanna Know the #1 PRINCIPLE you MUST FOLLOW to improve your Health and Safety at work?

Guess what?
 
It’s ‘World Health and Safety Day at Work’ this Saturday. 🎉🎉
 
OK, so we’re not all ‘Health and Safety’ officers or wearing ‘Hi Vis’ gear at work…
 
But we ALL need to some responsibility for our own health and wellness during (and outside of) work hours..
 
… For our own benefit 🙂
 
Whether you spend your day sitting at a desk
OR are on your feet all day
OR drive a lot
OR do lots of manual labour
OR repetitive tasks
OR a combination of all the above
… there’s risk involved in all occupations!
 
If we sit all day, our metabolism slows and we get stiff and sore (and risk Chronic disease).
 
IF we stand all day our circulation can get sluggish, our veins distended and back and legs tire under the load.
 
If we bend and twist a lot, the torsion through our spine and hips is hard to cope with. This often results in injury…
 
You see my point?
 
There’s no one occupation that is ‘Risk free’ and guarantees our body won’t suffer.
 
Yes, ‘health and safety’ at work is all about minimising risk of injury.
It’s also about maximising our physical and mental wellbeing!
 
That’s where you come in…
 

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Need a holiday? Here’s how to take a mini-break without leaving your office

I hate to rub it in, but I’m on holidays with my family at the moment.. Yay! 🏖

It’s been a year since we had more than a few days off together so I’m super grateful for a couple of weeks break.

That’s likely not the case for you- sorry!

So try these 4 Steps to help you de-stress whatever you’re doing and wherever you are…👌

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2 HOT TIPS to SAVE YOUR NECK when using your smartphone

How do you feel after you’ve been sitting returning emails on your phone or scrolling through social media for a while?

 

Do you get a stiff, sore neck? 😳

 

If you’re anything like most of us, you’ll start to realise your neck and shoulders are getting a bit achy, maybe tired or stiff, and you might even end up with a bit of a headache. 😨

 

Is that you too?

 

Well, I just happen to be on holidays this week with my family..

And you know what that means? 🤔

 

Less time with clients and on my laptop and more time on my phone, especially on social media!

 

We don’t get much of a break over summer because my husband works in Cricket..

so from October onwards is a crazy time of year for us. The kids and I hang out to spend some time with altogether after the season’s all wrapped up early April.

 

We hopped on the plane Saturday and I spent some time reading on my phone at the airport and during the flight. 🤓

 

Then catching up on some emails and social media after the kids were in bed that night I noticed it…

 

The Headache +

The strain at the base of my skull +

The ache at the base of my neck 😰

 

Yep, I’d been stuck sitting in strange positions, in strange places, and had forgotten my golden rules…

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Rate your Social Conscience with 2 Quick Questions

I often feel guilty spreading my message about good ergonomics, improving posture, easing strain and pain at your desk, sitting disease..

when I know full well it’s pretty much a first world problem and many millions- no billions- of people are suffering from life-threatening health issues related to their lack of access to healthcare 😟

 

So, seeing that this week sees us celebrating ‘World Health Day’ I thought I’d tune into our social consciences and turn our attention to those less fortunate in the health stakes than most of us.

 

Did you know

  • that at least half of the world’s population don’t have access to the most basic health services, like a doctor or medicines? 😧
  • Or that hundreds of millions of people are pushed into extreme poverty to pay for basic healthcare, so that they have to go without other basic necessities like food? 😨

 

‘Healthcare for All’ is the message from the World Health Organisation (WHO) this Saturday 7th April, which is World Health Day 2018. #HealthcareForAll

 

It’s about ensuring all people can get quality health services, where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship.

 

Because no-one should have to choose between good health and other life necessities!

 

So, how Socially-minded is YOUR Conscience?

Ask yourself these 2 questions

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If Sitting is the ‘New Smoking’, are you at RISK?

The stats are appalling… we are dying a slow death due to the increasing number of hours we spend sitting each day. 😳

 

The average Aussie sits on average more than 9hours a day (and rising), oblivious to the damage it’s doing to their health… if you add up all the time you sit at work, in the car, on the couch of an evening, is that you?

 

The increased risk of Heart and lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, mental health disorders, cancer and even death is ridiculously higher in adults who sit more than 7 hours a day, some studies report up to 94% higher!

 

Not to mention the physical toll on your posture: an increased ‘hunch’ in your upper back (thoracic kyphosis) is associated with a far poorer quality of life as you age.

 

But I exercise regularly??!! I hear you protest… well, even if you DO exercise the recommended 30 minutes each day, it doesn’t offset the serious side effects of sitting all day.

 

You see, recent studies (in particular some by Professor Alan Hedge of Cambridge University) have shown that after JUST ONE HOUR of sitting our metabolism slows down so much that we start depositing fat!  YIKES! 😩

 

There’s ONE SIMPLE SOLUTION… are you dying to know?

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