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Posted on 05-22-2018

Make Your Office Better For Your Health

                                

I have the wonderful privilege of helping my patients to dissipate life stress each and every day. I take great joy in watching the sometimes instantaneous relief of neck strain, shoulder tension and headaches after a safe, conservative but powerful spinal adjustment.

For many, a large portion of this stress is work related. Let’s face it a good percentage of our time is spent in the workplace. We take steps to ensure that our home environment is healthy. However, since we spend so much time a work, what can be done to make the office healthy and inviting?  

Here are some tips I share with patients to reduce workspace stress while promoting health and wellness at work:

  1. Set a timer for 30 minutes. There a plethora of workplace apps that can remind you to get up and move around.  In case you have not heard... sitting is the new smoking. The longer you sit, the longer you are susceptible (TNS) Tech Neck Syndrome.  This creates forward head posture and manifests in neck and shoulder tension. Over time this can become a chronic issue that can lead to worse issues like radiating pain, numbness, tingling and eventually weakness. You would be surprised what getting up every 30 minutes, taking just a couple minutes to move around will do.
  2. Take this one step further and invest in a variable workstation.  The idea is to not sit for too long or stand for too long. Variability is the best option. The prices have come down substantially for variable workstations. If you have a desk job it is easier and easier to make a variable workstation possible.  I have patients who use a cardboard box.
  3. Break the day up with exercising at lunch. This practice can take many shapes and forms. I’ve had patients go for a nice brisk walk. I’ve had patients do a 15 min Metcon (metabolic conditioning) routine on the floor in their office.  The idea is to move your body. Getting your heart rate up is ideal, but even some gentle stretching and basic movement is extremely beneficial.
  4. Open a window. Office environments can  trigger occupational allergies. Yes, occupational allergies are a thing. Sensitivities to chemicals in office furniture, carpet or paint can trigger problems like headaches and rashes.  Cleaning the air with increased ventilation, air purifiers or opening the windows and doors can help.
  5. Eat a healthy lunch. Make sure to not only watch what you eat but how much you eat also. Portion control is key to ensure you don’t crash and burn while sitting long afterward.  I encourage a plant driven diet. This means that meals are centered around nutrient dense vegetables, with lean protein and healthy fat rounding out your plate. The idea is to get enough nutrient dense calories to get the job done but not overdue the portions to spike your insulin and crash.
  6. Hydration is paramount.  Sources vary on the correct amount however most agree accurate hydration is vital for health.  The best way to gauge your water needs is to monitor the color of your urine and how frequently you urinate.  On average, a healthy number of bathroom visits is about seven to eight per day and the color of your urine should be a light, pale yellow.
  7. Add a plant.  Bringing nature into the workplace can inspire creativity and sense of wellness. Plants help with psychological and emotional health. If you can’t go out on a nature walk at lunch bring nature inside.  Don’t overdo it here. A simple plant on the desk can go a long way. It can actually help with the air quality also. Go for more of the green leafy variety...skip the cacti and flowers with a strong scent.
  8. Avoid eye strain.  This can cause headaches, difficulty focusing and increased sensitivity to light.  The distance from your screen to your eyes should be about an arms length distance away. You should be able to comfortably read what is on your screen from this distance without having to squint.  If this doesn’t work try increasing your font size.

These are just a few ideas I suggest to our patients. There are lots of more creative ways to help make the workplace a healthier environment. If you or someone you know is suffering from workplace stress contact our office and schedule a consult. We may not only be able to help you dissipate that stress and  provide relief but actually help create strategies to avoid manifesting this stress in the first place. At the Cafe of Life Chiropractic Center our experience dealing in these matters demonstrates that our lifestyles dictate our overall health and wellbeing. Our passion is helping families create healthy lifestyle strategies.  

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 Cafe of Life Chiropractic Center were highly recommended to me by a few of my neighbors. I had some long time lower back and neck issues that were bothering me -- and it was just time to fix the problem. I signed up for a 2 month program -- and wow, the results are amazing. My neck is moving again, my lower back feels great, and other parts are that I didn’t know were stuck are moving again too! Cafe of Life is technology forward -- I love the scans of my back so that I can see the progress. They also have complimentary services like massage too. The team over at Cafe of Life is professional, fun and on top of their game. Scheduling is easy -- little to no waiting when I arrive for my adjustment. Love these guys!

 Jeanmarie Boben
Mill Valley, CA