Whether your client is from your personal training facility, out patient physical / occupational therapy, an athlete preparing for the upcoming season, or the industrial athlete, all of them, have the same in common, which, is to be successful in the reasons the client came to see us to begin with. This comes to the point: the clients’ willingness to understand instructions and their consistent performing of the specific movements for at home or at work. I don’t wish to be portrayed as the movement tyrant, yet to contrast the length and breadth of work and passion that health and wellness professionals invest in their clients, we are the educators, facilitators and cheer leaders. We cannot “get” them better, without their all-in commitment.
Expectations and the relationship established begins with the first meeting. Cultivating rapport with your client is number one. This is where you listen. Listening will establish their particular learning style, preferences, life history; all of which are ingredients to the outcome. Clients that are attaining their goals, building commitment, and changing habits that feed into attaining their goals will be long life relationships and wonderful referrals.
How do we really know if our client is really practicing their assignments?
Is this gentleman performing an optimal stretch for him? What is a better way?
People that know me, hear me say often, “one size fits one”. This is veritable. For that reason, it is incumbent on us as health and wellness professionals to discern minute details of our clients. It is the details that determine if our clients are utilizing the new information, if they are struggling, or possibly not as committed as we are expecting. Here, your critical eye for movement, posture, and listening will speak volumes to you if your client is slacking, trying without the results, or truly displaying their gains.
Expectations from both of you at the very beginning
Ensure your client truly understands and demonstrates what they are learning
Can they verbalize and teach that back to you
How many times can they discern the proper movement pattern from the incorrect one
All organizations have a certain percentage of employees that seem to have many physical complaints. Often times the employee attributes various symptoms that they are experiencing to one or more job tasks that they are performing at work. This is nothing new, and is quite common in all organizations. Therefore, many safety managers and healthcare nurses become perplexed whether these symptoms are real or not, or is it really the job tasks that are a large contributory factor. Ergo assessments cannot positively say whether or not the employee’s symptoms are true, nor can taking video. Especially when the worker keeps up with work demands and pace. Unfortunately, some employees obtain a dubious reputation because of their various complaints to the company. If these symptoms are truly being experienced when the employee is performing the job tasks that they report this is a problem. And, a problem that EHS, medical, ergonomists, or others within the company cannot solve. So, often this type of problem fades into obscurity and fingers crossed that the employee will stop their complaints. Do not take this wrong, nor take offense, because EHS, medical and ergonomists do their best in most circumstances. Yet, there are so many out liars in the work place, this is where the unknowable problem can be knowable!
At physical performance solutions, we have the ability to use surface EMG, or Semg, that uses sensors applied to surface muscles that actually record in real time as the employee is working and how the muscles are working. How quickly are the muscles fatiguing is one aspect that is looked at. Another would be activation of muscles how quickly or how slowly are the muscles activating. Other reports that can be generated would be if bilateral activation of the same muscles are being similar or not. This gives the clinician who is experienced with using the surface electromyography a better idea of how to hone in on early intervention of soft tissue massage.
There have been several cases where this has come into play in our interactions with organizations. In one such case an employee had complaints of lateral elbow and dorsal forearm pain. This are of the forearm are where the wrist extensors are located. The employee would perform the work; and to view the person working, they appeared normal: no compensations, no grimacing, no decreased pace of work performed. If pictures or video of the employee working, all would agree that the job performed was accurate and very good. However, the employee always had a particular complaint on certain aspects of the job. Yet no one in the company believed the complaints, other than to think they wanted to work elsewhere in the company. We were asked to perform Semg while performing the job tasks that apparently were aggravating the symptoms. We applied the sensors to the back of the forearms on both sides to watch left and right and allowed them to work. The sensors are wireless and we don’t need to be right on top of the employee while they’re working in able and able to record what is taking place. What we noticed in fact, what she was reporting was actually true. The muscles that were symptomatic were fatiguing at such a quick rate the employee wasn’t even aware of it. In other words the muscles were fatiguing at two or three minute intervals into the work., However she did not feel the weakness and soreness that were her complaints until around the seven minute mark into that particular job.
So using artificial intelligence such as surface electromyography becomes extremely in the workplace why?
Using Semg can help separate true complaints from possibly other complaints that may have nothing to do with the work job tasks at hand.
Using the Semg also helps the clinician on site that is experienced with soft tissue massage techniques to restore the tissue motion. It is the lack of tissue motion and increased tissue density that occurs which creates these types of symptoms in individuals.
Therefore the use of EMG not only hones in on the problem, the clinician can quickly resolve the problem by either the massage work or by restructuring how the individual is working at the workstation. That is for another blog.
What is YOUR take home point?
No longer should organizations be comfortable with the status quo. Many organizations utilize artificial intelligence, AI, for assembling, engineering development and in the product itself. Employees the bulwark of the organization and NOW need AI more than ever to reduce soft tissue aberrance developments that cannot be felt until symptoms arise.
In light of this pandemic we affectionally (not) call COVID19, safe distancing of greater than 6 feet, (it really needs to be 13 feet), poses many problems for injury prevention in the work place. Early interventions that include OHSA approved massage is one large factor. Physical Performance Solutions data continually demonstrates that utilizing first aid massage at the early onset of stiffness, fatigue, soreness, does in fact dramatically mitigate the risk factors for:
Accidents at work
Decreased Quality of work performed
Decreased and inconsistent production
Accidents outside of work
Any organization’s front line of offense with their mission, vision, sales of products are their employees. Employees do not realize the danger of soft tissue injuries until the symptoms begin. By that time the internal tissue adhesions have been developing and expanding for some time.
How much time we really do not know. The fact remains, sore, fatigued, and employees working with a degree of pain will not be your best employee for the simple reason they are more focused their soreness and symptoms than the job task at hand. Then the question becomes what is the ratio of work to home blame on their symptoms? By the time an employee spends money and the company health insurance to see a doctor, a lot of soft tissue compression, cellular hypoxia, aberrant muscle firing patterns, abnormal movement patterns, and high torque forces on joints and tendons have been in existence for a long time. At this point your front line of offense is becoming defenseless!
The aforementioned list at the beginning of this informational paper is a small one, for there are a multitude of cascading effects when employees are sore with soft tissue adhesions, old injury scar tissue and the like. There can be in place, now, measures that can allow for close contact and also mitigate the risk of contracting COVID19 without having to be tested. For, actually, if you were tested today, found to be negative, and then went to the food store, what is there to say you cannot become infected then? There is no guarantee with a negative COVID test that you will not contract it the next day! Yet, maintain social distancing, the new buzz word is not acceptable in many professions. Especially in the workplace.
With this in mind, it now becomes what methods to use to be able to continue early interventions, onsite physical therapy, work station analyses with Semg, and movement retraining? Here are a few suggestions:
Use disposable massage waterproof table covers for each client
Costly yes, but the risk reduction is worth it!
Use of nitrile gloves. At least 6mm or thicker for the person performing the massage, work station analysis or movement retraining. The thickness allows for the use of a Clorox mixture that will destroy anything, yet that will not destroy the gloves quickly and thereby protecting the hands after touching clients or other materials.
Masks: this is a big one, since N95 masks are difficult to come by. There are N99 and others that can be purchased and worn by the clinician. For the client or employee several dense material that can be made at home can be sufficient. For when the clinician is fully protected, they will not spread any virus/bacteria to the client.
Continued use of hand washing. We suggest 30 – 50 seconds due to the more time spent in rubbing hands, the greater the friction that also causes break down of the virus/bacteria. This is followed by excellent rising and thorough drying of the hands. Residual wetness can still harbor bacteria or viruses, so ensure that your hands are COMPLETELY dry.
So, do not forget your employees – your first line of offense! Practice early intervention with the proper sickness prevention techniques and your organization will sore to new heights!
Surface electromyography, Semg, has been in existence for a number of years. It is recently now gained attention and respect of many professional sports teams, college teams and others that wish to hone in on why they are moving they way they do. Abnormal movement can be created by a host of issues that most often are not occurring at the location where your pain or weakness is experienced. Using Semg can determine muscle firing patterns and aberrant firing patterns that you are not aware of. Here is an example of someone that works in packing for export, and moves 75 lbs of 4’ x 8’ pieces of plywood several times a day. NIOSH would probably look down on that, however, this is the reality of many industries that export via trucks, and shipping containers. This is a fact of life, yet, if one can move better, than less risk of soft tissue break down and injury will occur. AND, the worker’s physical abilities will remain strong as they age.
By simply using a different and effective techniques, this worker will not have to use as many of his muscle firing capability, thereby, his fatigue rate will lessen dramatically in addition to the aforementioned reduction of several risk factors that are common in physical industries.
And the wonderful aspect of using Semg is that there is no limit on what can be found that the human eye, camera, ergo assessments will never pick up.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHANGES?
Every sensor demonstrated a dramatic improvement via less muscle activation to perform the same job, just a different way.
Call us at 803-275-7675 to have us help you create a safer work environment!
It’s funny how as technology increases, we quickly forget God’s methods to reduce, destroy, and protect harmful organisms from human and animal sickness and death. Do you remember the saying, “they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth.” ? Do you know where that stems from? Although the use of silver for plates and utensils dates back thousands of years, the expression born with a silver spoon in their mouth dates back to the early 19th century. It was well known that certain metals had anti viral and anti-bacterial affects, so using and cooking with these metals became common for the wealthy. New born babies of wealthy families had made silver spoons, often bearing the family crest on the handle. This increased the survival rate of newborns. Of course, too much ingestion of silver creates the condition argyria that turns the skin a blue-gray color, hence the term, “blue bloods!” (Pruitt, 2018).
The real subject today is about copper: Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (from Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. (Wikipedia, 2020) It is essential to all living organisms as a trace element that serves to assist in a multitude of functions. It too has strong disinfectant abilities. Although there are only conjectures as to how copper kills certain bacteria and viruses, we know that because of its two valence electrons, it reacts possibly to create H2O2, hydrogen peroxide, well known to kill many bacteria and viruses in minutes. Below is a chart from a 2011 study on the killing effects of copper with bacteria and viruses.
We do know that copper does kill COVID19. This is why we are reporting on it as well. A report in Smithsonian Magazine, writer Jim Morrison interviewed and researched copper’s disinfectant properties and potential uses.
“In 2015, Keevil turned his attention to Coronavirus 229E, a relative of the COVID-19 virus that causes the common cold and pneumonia. Once again, copperzapped the virus within minutes while it remained infectious for five days on surfaces such as stainless steel or glass.” (Morrison, 2020)
Therefore, if using even a portion of copper into other elements of bed rails, hand railings and other surfaces, the decrease in spread of disease and saving of lives and the saving money (not having to treat so many sick people) is tremendous.
Yes, copper is not cheap to purchase, but the value in places such as hospitals, restaurants, other publicly and frequently handled surfaces as in public transportation have a form of copper on the surfaces. Apparently, the CDC is not totally convinced that this expenditure will reap the reported outcomes. However, study after study reveals the same result: copper is extremely effective in killing bacteria and viruses quickly.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
So, do we now run out and replace counter tops of marble and granite with copper? Purchase copper discs to keep near to rub our hands on it? Suffice to say that even how powerful copper is, this is not a substitute for the good old fashion hand washing, and plenty of it! But keep some pennies in your pocket to rub them around!
(2020). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper
Morrison, J. (2020, April 14). Why Copper Is Good at Killing Viruses | Science | Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved from Smithsonian – Science: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/copper-virus-kill-180974655/
Pruitt, S. (2018, August 22). A New Golden Age for Silver? Helping antibiotics fight powerful drug-resistant bacteria is only the latest non-monetary use that humans have found for silver throughout history. Retrieved from History: https://www.history.com/news/a-new-golden-age-for-silver
Tara, R. (2020, March 20). Copper Kills the Coronavirus on Contact, so Why Isn’t Copper Everywhere? Retrieved from Engineering: https://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/20107/Copper-Kills-the-Coronavirus-on-Contact-so-Why-Isnt-Copper-Ever…
There is a vast world that humans cannot see with the naked eye. Many of these life forms / organisms are foundational to the existence to the homeostasis of this earth. Some maybe beneficial to humans while others create havoc, sickness and death. With great thanks to the researchers, thinkers, and scientists that lived before us, we know more about these seemingly invisible creatures, some that are harmful to the point of death for humans. We also know some methods to reduce or eliminate them from harming us. The single best method is hand washing. Washing your hands sounds simple, easy and a “no brainer.” Yet, in light of recent explosions of COVID19 worldwide, hand washing is getting a close look. So, let’s see at what researchers are looking at and some of their conclusions that will help us to avoid sickness and more importantly spreading sickness!
TOPICS OF RESEARCHERS: the subject of hand washing is quite extensive, so we reviewed the CDC and WHO recommendations and their topics of research and reports. At the end of the discussion there will be bibliographic links to both the WHO document and the CDC website.
Topics of handwashing:
Steps of washing your hands (World Health Organization, 2009)
Use soap and lather
Continue to lather and rub hands for at least 20 seconds. The more time spent here actually breaks down more bacteria and viruses.
Types of soaps, alcohols, detergents used and which is the most preferred
Rinsing hands to remove as much of soap, bacteria, and viruses as possible
Drying hands is a very important step to further remove unwanted contaminated debris from your hands
Steps of Washing your Hands
After wetting hands, and applying soap, it is recommended to turn running water off. That can propose a problem depending on how faucets are designed. Suffice to say, that is your call. AND, although wetness supports the increased ability for bacteria and viruses to remain on hands, the following steps are required.
2. Using soaps or other chemically based detergents are useful in that their chemical make up increases the destruction of the contaminants. Also, important here is that using soaps increases your tendency to rub hands together that increases friction which is another method to the
destruction of contaminants. The interesting discovery (although it may be a no brainer to you), is that this step when performed for longer periods of time dramatically reduced the amount of any residual contaminants on the skin. So 30 – 40 seconds, or longer maybe required.
3. Rinsing hands. Obviously clean running water is preferred to a basin of water, to increase the thoroughness of removing the soap and any remaining live contaminants on your hands. (CDC, 2020), (World Health Organization, 2009)
4. Drying your hands. This is an interesting and important component as research is indicating. Always use disposable paper towels. Using any reusable cloth towel only allows for any live remaining contaminant to now be on the surface of that towel. Paper towels were also found to be superior to hot air or high speed air hand dryers . Air dryers can increase any live remaining contaminant into the air, thus cross contamination occurs. Your hands need to be completely dry; No WETTNESS post drying. Again, remember, wetness allows bacteria and viruses to survive. And, since these creatures can be so harmful, completely drying your hands is essential. (Cunrui Huang, et al, 2012)
Don’t ignore or be so cavalier regarding such a simple yet so very effective means of destroying those invisible organisms that can cause human lives!
So, what are bacteria? Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms that thrive in diverse environments. These organisms can live in soil, the ocean and inside the human gut. (Vidyasagar, 2019) We hear of “good bacteria” and “bad bacteria”. Bacteria mostly self reproducing organisms, (key word is mostly), and some bacteria we know well: there are the good bacteria, known as flora found in many foods and supplements.
Bifidobacteria: species commonly used in foods and supplements
Lactobacillus: found in the small intestine, mouth and female genital region
B. animalis: found in certain yogurt products
L. acidophilus: found in the small intestine and female genital region
Humans’ relationship with bacteria is complex. Sometimes bacteria lend us a helping hand, such as by those 4 mentioned above. In other cases, bacteria are destructive, causing diseases like pneumonia and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). (Debra Rose Wilson, 2017)
Most bacteria multiply by a process called binary fission, according to the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In this process, a single bacterial cell, called the “parent,” makes a copy of its DNA and grows larger by doubling its cellular content. The cell then splits apart, pushing the duplicated material out and creating two identical “daughter” cells. (Department of Microbiology, 2020)
We do know that in recent years of using anti-bacterial soaps and detergents, certain bad bacteria are now resistant to many used detergents, alcohols, and other bactericidal chemicals.
Viruses are much smaller than bacteria and do not reproduce themselves as many types of bacteria can. Rather, a virus needs a host in order to survive and multiply because the have either DNA or RNA and do not have the capability read themselves, thus requiring a host cell to reproduce. (Vidaysagar, 2016) Once a virus comes into contact with a host , it injects it genetic material into the host, thereby taking over. Sounds horrible! Viruses can also lay dormant for long periods of time before becoming active. Some viruses also, when active reproduce exponentially.
Recent testing around the world regarding COVID19 is a mad rush to arrest this exponentially contagious menace. Since much of the virus shedding (being the most highly contagious without symptoms) occurs prior to becoming symptomatic, the more the individual comes into contact with people that are contagious without symptoms or the virus lands on surfaces this increases the number of people that can be infected. (Yates, 2020)
(Wei Zhang, et al, 2020) have been researching how much of the COVID19 virus a person is infected with determines how sick they become. “The mean viral load of severe cases was around 60 times higher than that of mild cases, suggesting that higher viral loads might be associated with severe clinical outcomes. We further stratified these data according to the day of disease onset at the time of sampling.’‘ The more infected and sick the patient, the positive test of viral infection remained longer than those with milder symptoms. This data indicates that, similar to SARS in 2002–03,6 patients with severe COVID-19 tend to have a high viral load and a long virus-shedding period. This finding suggests that the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 might be a useful marker for assessing disease severity and prognosis.
TAKE HOME POINTS
At this time, what are take home points?
Wearing facial nose and mouth protection is very important. To reduce your risk of inhaling any airborne droplets, that is now know to travel further than 13 feet
Frequently keep your hands as clean as possible
Change your clothing and shoes when coming home from areas such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies; anywhere social distancing is difficult and you don’t know who was traveling down that aisle before you.
Wipe off mail packages and other packaging you intend to bring into the home
Debra Rose Wilson, P. M.-B. (2017, March 17). 6 Most Common Types of Probiotics. Retrieved from Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/types-of-probiotics
Department of Microbiology. (2020). Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Retrieved from Cornell University: https://micro.cornell.edu/research/epulopiscium/binary-fission-and-other-forms-reproduction-bacteria/
Vidaysagar, A. (2016, January 6). Whar are Viruses. Retrieved from Live Science: https://www.livescience.com/53272-what-is-a-virus
Vidyasagar, A. (2019, April 25). Bacteria: Definition, Types and Infections. Retrieved from Live Science: https://www.livescience.com/51641-bacteria.html
Wei Zhang, et al. (2020). Viral dynamics in mild . Lancet Infectious Disease, s.
Yates, C. (2020, April 5). Caronavirus is growing expotentially – here is what it means. Retrieved from The Conversation: https:Theconversation.com/coronavirus-is-growing-exponentially-here-is what-that-really-means-134591
SERIES 2 : YOU CAN EXERCISE WHILE WORKING AT YOUR DESK
To recap the first series on working from home, we focused on the chair. If the equipment you will be using for extended periods of time doesn’t fit, you will be sore, achy and miserable. And, this is not the goal. Monitoring height and placement of a keyboard and mouse are as important; that will be in another series. So, we must think, humans are meant to move and not be sedentary. The voluminous amounts of research that reports the deleterious affects metabolically, physically and emotionally are almost scary to think of what we are doing to ourselves. There is no one to blame but yourself. If you are reading this, then the likely hood that you desire changes that can fit into a hectic lifestyle that you may not have the ability to control well are high. This short paper is only to begin to introduce to you the idea, developing the commitment and carry through, as many of us want the change, but never seem to get there. So, the concepts you will learn are:
You never arrive nor attain – you are always in a state of arriving and changing.
Routine is in the commitment of daily. Yes, daily. No days off to speak of.
Moldability is the ability to adapt to time, internal awareness of yourself, (physically and emotionally), and change what you do and how you do it that day.
Your imagination is your own limitation. Learn to build from concepts about yourself, your capabilities to build a tool box with the learning you might garner here.
True honesty about yourself. Only you know about you. And, most of the time, it takes a life time learn about ourselves – the reason why human factors is such a difficult area. We don’t know ourselves like we think we do.
THE 15 MINUTE OR LESS RULE
Our company performs a lot of surface electromyography (Semg) on employees and clients. Why? This information allows us to visually see how the muscle that the sensor is on is working. Years of research now shows that muscles fatigue rate can be faster or they can mis-fire secondary to a multitude of reasons. What is consistent in 99% of people we use Semg on is that the muscle show patterns of fatigue well before the person is even slightly aware of any fatigue, soreness, stiffness, or other physical symptom. Our data shows that muscles begin to show changes around the 13 minute mark of static positions, repetitive motions, or heavy lifting. The question now becomes whether the fatigue is good or not good. This requires the professional to understand how to read and interpret the findings. In our case here for the person that spends many hours at a computer, upper trapezius and spinal erector muscles fatigue quickly. More so in women than men. Forearm extensor muscles also fatigue prior to 15 minutes from use of the keyboard and mouse. PPS has not tested, but the data is out there that the gluteal muscles we sit on for such long periods of time begin to lose their speed of firing. Yes, the gluteal muscles work because we are standing and walking, but at a slower rate and not as many muscle fibers fire. This now adds to the complexity of why so many people have joint and tissue problems. Other muscles must take up the slack that other muscles are not performing. Mind you, all of this is taking place and you are not aware of it. It is something that you don’t feel, until so many changes have taken place, joint problems, pain patterns set in.
What Happens Every 15 Minutes?
You must find a timer that will reset every 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, you will change your posture, and perform one exercise and one stretch. It will be in the developing of this repertoire that will make you successful. The success will come in various positive adjustments:
You are now consistently consistent with the 15 minute protocol.
Instead of noticing that right upper trap trigger point at 2 hours, you don’t notice it until later in the day, followed by not at all!
Your stamina is increasing, which, means you are increasing in strength.
You may not be as irritable, because now you are accomplishing much more than the work you are employed to do, but at the same time, you are exercising, a commodity that is a necessity not a novelty. And the quality of work produced is better, because you are better focused on work than that tight low back or sore lateral elbow.
Interacting with the family is not a chore now.
This list is endless.
You know, we are not rubber bands and don’t “stretch” like we think. Yes, there are many elastic components in our body; none the less we are not rubber bands. Our tissues actually slide, glide, through and around each other that creates the movement. And our tissues are very well connected, like a forest of spider webs after a light misty rain. When you “stretch” you are encouraging tissue gliding to its fullest capacity. In the beginning, stretching is often frustrating, because we are now very aware of how tight and adhesed our tissues have become. Using the 15 minute rule, you will see changes quicker. THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE WITH ANY STRETCH IS THE QUALITY OF THE MOVE AND ALWAYS TO NO PAIN!
Quality ensures the optimal movement and the NO PAIN says you are not being aggressive, which, can damage tissues you are attempting to become more flexible and strong.
Any exercise holds the same truth: Quality not quantity and to NO PAIN. Exercises serves many purposes:
To optimize movement patterns
The number 3.) is where you will be taking your best guess, as there is no professional to watch, guide, and teach you the correct movement from the wrong movement. This is a kinesthetic exercise as well. You must think about the movement: how does it feel, and where? Is one side easier than the other? And watching YouTube may not give you the answer, because you are not that person you are watching. You have a different life history, different medical or physical abilities or challenges, and certain different tissue adhesions. So, here we will make the beginning easy and have more writing on what is and is not the way to perform an exercise. And do not hesitate to contact us so we can help through video conferencing.
FOREARMS / UPPER TRAPEZIUS / NECK
How often we take for granted a part of our body until we cringe at the thought of picking up something small. Much of the time it is due to the forearm tissues being so adhesed that the smallest of function required causes pain.
When stretching, you can use them as a slow movement or hold for 5 – 10 seconds. Holding a stretch for longer periods of time, slows down the speed of the muscle firing ability for a while. Not a bad thing after a work out. But during the day, using these as slow movements helps to restore normal firing patterns in addition to the all important tissue gliding.
SERIES ONE: YOUR CHAIR IS THE FOUNDATION FOR A BETTER POSTURE
The ability to change your posture yet maintain a good posture when working at a computer for extended time periods is like good real estate: location, location, location! Without going into extreme details, good and changing postures maintain optimal joint alignment, uses various muscle groups for sustaining of different postures, that ultimately reduce those nasty trigger points on either side of the base of your neck, low back stiffness, and other stiff joints. Most often we sit in chairs at work, that have rollers on them, side arms, and some handle mechanisms to change the height or tilt of the chair. And if the chair you use does not help you when at work, your physical complaints begin to over ride your ability to focus on tasks at hand. In many organizations, you may not have a choice of the chair that is good for you. Now that you may be working from home, your choices and adaptations expand immensely. For an example: at work you would like to sit on an exercise ball, but the company policy is no exercises balls to be used as chairs secondary to liability reasons. At home, you can certainly use an exercise ball as a choice.
Lets begin with the “I don’t have a chair with wheels, and that would certainly be nice to have.” Find one or two chairs, that will fit several postural changes and attach furniture sliders on the legs by attaching them with sticky backed Velcro.
This way the sliders are easily removed. Placing sliders on the legs allows to push the chair around without too much friction and resistance. If your home office space is hardwood or tile, use the thick felt pads and attach them in the same manner with Velcro.
At home, you can make most chairs fit for changing your posture frequently, thereby reducing over fatigue of postural muscles. The key component is when changing your posture, work in a stretch or a 15 second exercise. All which helps to “reset” muscle firing patterns and to normalize postural muscle firing rates.
So, you have picked out a few chairs. The next step is to figure out which one or two will work better for you. The chair is a piece of equipment that can determine your pelvic position. This is important to determine optimal pelvic alignment first.
GOLD: The Position of Your Pelvis is the Foundation to How the Rest of You Aligns!
I wrote a piece before about good posture in sitting, and, I think redundancy builds in the habit; so let’s review how pelvic alignment really aligns the remainder of your spine that includes your head. Your pelvis, made up of 3 bones on the left and right side of your body connect to your sacrum, the triangular bone at the base of your lumbar spine. All together these bones form a bowl shape. Your hips are also apart of the pelvis. The red circle surrounds this pelvic region. The picture to the right shows the person in what is called a “posterior pelvic tilt”. Nothing wrong with that, but this tilt of the pelvis is actually dictating how the spinal bones will align traveling to the head. This posture creates a domino affect to the rest of your torso, including your shoulders. And, with prolonged static postures, as is common in computer tasks, the muscles associated with posture begin to behave abnormally, that you cannot detect. By the time you detect muscle soreness, fatigue, headaches, or joint stiffness, this abnormal muscle firing and firing patterns have been going on inside of you for a long time.
Current ergonomic postulates state that the hips and knees should be at a 90 degree angle for proper sitting postures at seated work stations. Yet when hips are flexed at 90 degrees, the pelvis is more apt to be in a posterior position. The many individuals will correct by increasing the pelvic tilt to an anterior tilt that increases lower lumbar disc pressure. All of this information, still very basic, may appear to be too detailed, yet it is in the understanding of your position, that will empower you to do and correct properly.
The picture to the left has the hips in more of a 100 degree angle, which, is good. Now begin to look up the spine: The red line shows the true plumb line. So, in this picture, the person is leaning back slightly, which increases shear force on the sacrum, increases a forward head and rounded shoulder posture. I would not use this picture as a good visual for seated posture.
Learning from Visuals
Since most of us have difficulty “feeling” where our body’s are in space and understanding and feeling a correct manner verses what we are used to doing, (usually not correct), and if there is no professional to truly help you to discern and self correct, then good visuals are another method. Since this paper is to talk solely on the chair, the above are pictures that can help you to learn an optimal posture that you can sustain. Let me repeat here again that sustain static positions are the worst repetitive motion, therefore sitting for long periods of time at a work station, say, longer than 15 minutes, reeks havoc not only on the musculoskeletal system, but metabolically as well. Use some of the short visual basics as choosing and using a chair to your greatest advantage!
If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out to us!
What we are learning from the COVID19 is just how quickly it spreads and has the capability to interact with certain medications people maybe taking. The consequences for some are life threatening and death. Safe distancing was an easy method to begin a downward curve of this menacing virus, yet it is not a realistic long term solution. And, most people do agree that it will take a multitude of methods to truly combat and totally mitigate this virus.
Safe distancing cannot be avoided
Many careers and job tasks will continue to require close human contact: Dentistry, allied health, personal fitness trainers, chiropractors, nursing, parents interacting with their children, and the list is endless, I only name a few. This is true in many industries. Close proximity of workers is how the assembly was designed; and, it will take engineering thought, design and additional factors to correct, if that be that organizations top priority list.
Immediate viable options – now
Americans, especially, are not accustomed to wearing protective face masks or gloves when out and about shopping, or at work when PPE does not suggest so. These types of protection are truly new to Americans. Lets look more closely at what protective face gear can do:
It limits the amount of invisible droplets of any contaminant that is in the air from entering your nose or mouth. This is not just for COVID19. It can be a simple cold virus.
Many individuals wear protective face gear during high pollen seasons, during times in areas where dust clouds are in the area or increased smog density. Others with suppressed immune systems may opt to wear them because IT DOES limit the percentage of contaminants into them.
Wearing protective face gear can also limit your expulsion of any contaminants you may be harboring and not aware of. Be honest, how many of us go to work, shop, or attend social gatherings when we have a cold, or “know” we are “coming down” with something? We have all heard that phrase before. Only now, we could potentially be spreading serious illness to others, that otherwise appear to be healthy. And, lets face it, there are those times a sneeze just happens.
Wearing protective face gear is also a physical reminder when you cough, sneeze or for us that have a tendency to rub your face. You will feel the mask and be reminded to not touch your face or use your elbow to sneeze or cough into. The protective face gear will also limit how many contaminants are now on your sleeve that you will now be wearing for the remainder of the day. And in heavy populated areas with public transportation, how many people may accidentally rub against that area?
Wearing Protective Gloves
Most of us wear protective gloves at one time or another when performing certain tasks. Cleaning caustic cleaners at home, or wearing gloves to protect our hands from cold harsh weather. There are catchers mitts, half finger gloves for weight lifting. The point is we wear gloves a lot! Although, no one has given it much thought in recent years to actually wear protective gloves when shopping. Yes, we tell our children, “Don’t touch that!”, when in a store. “You don’t know who has handled it before”, etc. And what about handling all of the food products: we hold them, read labels, handle fresh produce to see if that is the pepper we want to buy, yet handle it with bare hands. Ok, we wash the fresh produce once we get home, but whatever we touched is on our hands. So how many things did we touch before we got home? And, how many of us really use hand sanitizer after EVERY time we touch something? We don’t. At least the majority of us do not.
Now, handling items is becoming more important, as we do not know who touched, or sneezed or coughed in that area. Wearing protective, disposable gloves is a good viable option.
Even if you continue to use hand sanitizer, your hands will not be so dried out and scaly. Protective gloves protects your skin with your natural protective oils.
When touching something you think is contaminated with what ever, it is easy to remove the gloves safely, thus your skin is clean from the contaminant.
While social distancing will eventually become a natural instinct in the coming years, we can still enjoy physical closeness that humans desire. It is in our DNA. We can also become more cognizant and employ items we use already and incorporate them in more of our daily living.
So, don’t be afraid to wear those dressy gloves when having a glass of wine!
We focus on the wellness of individuals using a unique, multifaceted approach. Our techniques to normalize movement patterns, as well as increase strength and stamina, are proven in both industrial and private settings. Our approach saves companies unnecessary expenditure on workers compensation claims.
We continue to seek the best means in technology, manual therapies, and movement re-training to empower all clients. We will always provide superior and customized attention to all clients so they may achieve their mission.