Health Habits Office Workers Often Neglect

Health Habits Office Workers Often Neglect

Office workers are particularly vulnerable to neglecting their health. Unfortunately, in the effort to develop the habits necessary to being productive for 9 to 5 office work, both workers and managers often neglect factoring in crucial health habits. In fact, being sedentary or sitting for prolonged periods of time is common behavior among office workers – a behavior which the National Institutes of Health says can increase a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers, and other chronic conditions. This brings us to our first neglected health habit:

Standing up every now and then

Given the risks of sitting for prolonged periods of time, office workers need to factor in standing up into their daily workday routines. Pain-Free Working indicates that the ideal sit-stand ratio is around 1:1 or 1:3 – according to the University of Waterloo kinesiology professor Jack Callaghan. This simply means 20 to 30 minutes of standing up for every hour. Callaghan also recommends not being static during this period – walking, standing at your desk, taking a call, or even grabbing a coffee can all be done while on your feet. Including this simple change into your daily routine could help you avoid the above-mentioned conditions linked to prolonged sitting.

Consuming a healthy amount of caffeine

Do you know how long coffee lasts in your system? Healthline notes that the half-life of caffeine can be up to 5 hours. This means that it can take 5 hours for the amount of caffeine you’ve induced to be reduced to half within your body. If you drink an 80mg worth of caffeine (1 cup) at 8 AM, there will still be 40mg of caffeine left in your system by 1 PM, and then 20mg left by 6 PM. By the time you go to bed, the remaining caffeine would be negligible and likely won’t affect your sleep. This is why drinking coffee even early in the afternoon can sometimes cause bouts with insomnia. It’s best to consume coffee at the start of the workday – that way, it won’t lead to sleeplessness, which is also linked to all sorts of health problems.

Taking mental health seriously

Whether neglecting their own or their coworkers’ mental health, office workers tend to put mental health in the back burner in the pursuit of 9 to 5 productivity. However, no less than the World Health Organization confirms that mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression cost the global economy about $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. Negative working environments lead to physical and mental problems, including but not limited to decreased focus, poor memory, absenteeism, stress, and a slew of long-term conditions. This is why it’s particularly crucial to take mental health seriously, especially in a high-stress office environment. This means requesting mental health days off if you need to. Also. don’t force yourself to do overtime if it feels like you’ll be putting your physical and/or mental health at risk – no office task is worth risking either. Coordinate with your manager or team leader to develop programs that cater to the mental health of everyone in the office.

Pursuing health goals as a team

It’s no secret that working alongside other people in the pursuit of a common goal can boost productivity as opposed to tackling things alone – this goes for the pursuit of healthy habits as well. In our article titled “How can sports promote a healthy body and mind?” we tackled how playing team sports deepens bonds between people and reveals their character. In short, it’s good for both the body as well as the mind. Consider playing team sports with your coworkers, or even joining a yoga or jiu-jitsu class together. You’ll be surprised at how developing healthy habits is easier if you do it alongside like-minded people.

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Contributed by Frances Agustin

The Foolproof Plan For Achieving Healthy Weight Loss

Whether you’re at the point where you need to recover from long-term unhealthy eating habits, or you just want to shed a few unwanted pounds, there’s always a healthy way to lose weight.

Especially with today’s technology, it’s very easy to get lost in the sea of information related to “quick weight loss” or “weight loss without the effort” strategies.

However, it’s important to distance yourself from the overnight solutions and, instead, focus on achieving your goals using healthy, safe techniques. Luckily, there’s a foolproof plan for achieving healthy weight loss that you can maintain for a long time.

Four Steps to Healthy Weight Loss

Follow these tips to achieve consistent, lasting weight loss in a matter of weeks:

Set weekly weight loss goals.

You’ll likely be tempted to set some pretty aggressive weight loss goals, especially if you’re overweight. But remember that fast weight loss doesn’t always last.

To avoid those short-term results, seek the assistance of a medical professional to determine a reasonable weight loss goal for you.

If you’re not overweight, you can aim at losing about two pounds per week. This is sustainable weight loss based on a combination of calorie cutting and increased metabolism.

If you’re overweight, your weekly weight loss goals could vary. When you’re overweight, you’ll most likely burn much more than two pounds per week with just basic changes in diet and exercise.

Speak with a Nutritionist.

Naturally, if you slash your food consumption drastically, you’ll automatically lose weight. But that doesn’t mean you’ll achieve lasting, healthy weight loss.

It’s important to have a discussion with a nutritionist so you know how to design your menu based on your age, weight, and goals.

If you’re affected by health conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes, your adjusted menu will need the input of a nutritionist or dietician. You certainly don’t want to cut consumption of foods that are effectively keeping your condition under control.

Your age also requires certain nutritional needs which you may overlook on your own. For instance, a nutritionist will be able to tell you how to continue to get calcium without eating as much high-fat cheese.

Do circuit training

Hands down, the best way to achieve weight loss is through circuit training because this involves both strength training and cardiovascular workouts. Alternating between both types of workouts allows you to build fat-burning muscle and shed fat at the same time.

If you’re the stay-at-home type, find some circuit training DVDs online and do the workouts at home. You’ll likely find circuit training to be challenging, but that’s because it’s effective.

Most gyms have trained staff to help design a circuit training program tailored to your needs. Choose this route if you think you’ll have trouble working out at home.

Get help from the Supporting Cast.

The supporting cast doesn’t consist of people. Instead, it consists of things which, when coupled with a healthy diet and consistent exercise, allow you to achieve maximum results.

Ensure you get at least seven hours uninterrupted rest every night. Lack of sleep seriously hampers any weight loss efforts.

Take a multivitamin that has sufficient amounts of the vitamins and minerals you need each day. That way, you’ll continue to fuel your body with the things that make you healthy.

Have one or two anti-stress activities at your fingertips for whenever you have a rough day at work. It’s important not to allow stress to take over, because that’s the easiest way to sabotage your weight loss program!

Healthy weight loss means doing the things you know are right for your body. If you take a moment to listen to your body each day, you’ll realize when something you’ve done or eaten is having negative effects.

Listen to your body, implement this plan, and look forward to healthy weight loss in no time!

Health Tip: Ward Off Type 3 Diabetes in 3 Simple Steps

Diabetes is a serious, chronic disease. In fact, two out of three people with diabetes will die from cardiovascular-related episodes, such as a heart attack or stroke. New research shows insulin resistance (from eating too many carbs and sugar and not enough fat) is one of the major factors that starts the brain-damage cascade, which robs the memory of over half the people in their 80s, leading to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Type 1 diabetes is a result of the immune system destroying insulin-producing cells. If insulin is not given for some time, blood sugar can rise to the point of causing diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a life-threatening condition that happens much more frequently in type 1. Type 2 diabetes is caused by diet and obesity where the body makes insulin, but the body’s cells are resistant to it. Type 4 diabetes is associated with older age, rather than weight gain. There is even a Type 1.5 that refers to a latent autoimmune diabetes diagnosed in adults.

Scientists now call Alzheimer’s disease “Type 3 diabetes.” … More recent studies show people with diabetes have a four-fold risk for developing Alzheimer’s. People with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome have an increased risk for having pre-dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI).Feb 12, 2016

Dementia actually begins when you’re younger and takes decades to develop and worsen. So you can impact your brain through your diet and heal your body. Cognitive decline and memory loss can be prevented and even reversed.  The underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease begin with too much sugar on the brain. The cycle starts when we over-consume sugar and don’t eat enough fat, which leads to a coined term as diabesity. Diabesity leads to inflammation, which creates a vicious cycle that wreaks havoc on your brain.

Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels

To prevent or reverse the damage, you must control your insulin and balance your blood sugar levels, which will allow you to overcome inflammation and balance your mood, help your focus, help boost your energy level, and prevent all of the age-related brain diseases including Alzheimer’s. You can achieve this by taking out the bad stuff (refined carbs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, dairy, and inflammatory, omega-6 rich oils such as vegetable and seed oils) and putting in the good stuff (healthy fats like avocados, walnuts, almonds and cashews, grass-fed meats, pastured chicken and eggs, olive and coconut oil). At least 75% of your plate, by volume, should be filled with colorful plant foods. These colorful super-foods are loaded with brain-boosting stuff like phytonutrients.

Eat Healthy Fats

Foods with good fats include omega 3 fats in wild fatty fish, as well as coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, whole eggs, nuts, and seeds. Plan on having fish twice a week and try to incorporate other healthy fats in new ways. Some people love fatty coffee (coffee with either butter, coconut oil or MCTs added).  Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil to your avocados and salads. Avocados are about 77% fat, a great source of fiber and are among the best sources of potassium in the diet.

Workout Daily 

This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym every day and become a bodybuilder, it means that even a 30-minute walk can help. Then you can incorporate high-intensity interval training or weight lifting on other days. Studies show physical activity can prevent and even slow down the progression of cognitive decline and brain diseases like dementia. More importantly, it reduces inflammation, improves mood, balances neurotransmitter function, and increases neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.

Just these 3 strategies go a long way by giving your brain a chance to heal, recover, and experience fewer memory problems. Even if you aren’t suffering from cognitive decline, you should take these steps because they can help you prevent the aging of your brain and help you achieve lifelong health.

Health Tip: Use these 2 measurements to gauge weight loss, not your weight

Measuring changes in body composition is one of the most effective means of evaluating whether your health, diet, and workouts are moving in the right direction. Lowering your body fat percentage is also crucial for getting not only a great physique but improving your health. Unfortunately, finding an accurate way to track your changes in body composition can be challenging with tons of different techniques… and, each with their own set of pros and cons. After years of trying different techniques, here are two simple measurements that make a difference.

Take two measurements: your body fat and your waist measurement.

Measuring Body Fat

Body fat scales or bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) scales are the most popular way of measuring body composition because they are inexpensive and widely available. BIA uses an electrical current on the body and measures how quickly that current is conducted. Lean tissue and fat mass conduct electrical signals differently so the scale can use conductance to estimate body composition. Even though it’s one of the most popular methods of measuring body composition the accuracy can widely vary depending on an individual’s hydration status and other factors.

The inaccuracy of a device may depend in part on body shape. Because the electric current passes through only your legs, the scales might underestimate body fat if you have a big belly but slimmer legs and overestimate it if you carry more weight on your hips and thighs. Results can also vary depending on whether your feet are wet or dry (they should be dry), whether you recently exercised, and how much water you had to drink.

Even though body fat scales may be inaccurate, they are at least consistent in one area- repeatability. When you use one tool over time you get to know what effects you’re read-out.  And for a quick and dirty measurement available to you anytime, it can be a good tool.  So you can count on the scales for body-fat repeatability to track your composition over time.

Measuring Your Midsection

Simple. Tried and true. Requires low tech. It’s the measuring tape and it can be one of your best friends in determining if things are moving in the right direction.  The circumference of your waist is important because it’s a good indicator of how much abdominal, or visceral, fat you have — the fat you carry around your middle, including your belly.  You should watch your waist size because belly fat, more than fat elsewhere on your body, is linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and early death. In women, a waist measurement of 35 inches or greater is cause for concern; in men, it’s 40 inches and up.

The best way to measure your waist is a simple measuring tape. Just wrap it around your bare abdomen at about the level of your belly button or your natural waistline, stand with your legs together and measure after exhaling.  If your waist is expanding over time, you’re gaining fat. If it’s shrinking, you’re losing fat.

For Best Results

For the best results, check your body composition every six to eight weeks to measure your improvements with a higher accuracy technology. A DEXA scan lets you know your precise body composition, and it will also break it down by body segment so you can see where you’re holding the most muscle and fat. They may be harder to find and quite pricey but it can also be used as good motivation.  Train for 6 weeks and as a reward get your scan done. You could also go to a lab with a Bod Pod for about $75 per session, they can be an effective alternative to DEXA and are extremely accurate.


Health Tip: Making Perfectly Healthy Smoothies

In recent years, making healthy smoothies with seeds, fruits and veggies has become very popular in the health food world.  These powerful little machines are appropriately referred to as ‘nutrition extractors’ because they blend its ingredients up so finely, even chia seeds and vegetable stalks, so the maximum nutrition becomes available to you and is easily absorbed. All hype aside, it’s one of our groups most popular products to prepare healthy smoothies, so we understand why it’s also one of the bestselling health food preparation products on the market.

Making Perfect Use of A Blending Healthy Foods…

The bullet as it is so often referred to in the health food world is a compact, highly efficient, high-speed blender capable of blending even the smallest and toughest seeds, fruits and vegetables to create a smooth consistency of healthy liquid to nourish your body. We’ve all experienced the smoothie that was too thick or lumpy because the ingredients used were just too tough to blend. The Nutribullet claims to be a ‘nutrition extractor’ that literally annihilates seeds, stalks and anything in its way, into a smooth, liquid with a perfect consistency

Other uses for my bullet…

It makes super quick work of blending anything you can think of. There are many types of food you like to have smoothe such as pesto, dressings, and sauces. Just be sure that all your ingredients you add to the bullet’s container are room temperature or colder – because the cups are not heat resistant. Any heat in the contents can build pressure, resulting in leaks or cracks.

3 Things to do Before you Invert

Inversion therapy is the best ways of dealing with back pain. Members of the Healthy4Life team use an inversion table several times a week. It helps our alignment, and feels great. However, this is not a piece of equipment you just jump on. Always use precaution, and continue reading if you have concerns before you use.

There are numerous benefits to using inversion therapy, including stress relief, improved blood circulation and spine alignment. Which brings us to a very important question – what precautions should you take before using?

1. Talk to your doctor / chiropractor

This one is obvious. We have spoken to several chiropractors, and surprisingly to us (at first), they thought it was a good idea. Keep in mind, we are healthy without serious issues. However, as beneficial as inversion is, there is the risk of creating a large problem than the one you are trying to solve.

When in a inverted position, you relieve most of your internal organs of gravitational pull. Your heart beat slows and your blood pressure increases. While this can be good for a someone in good health, it can be problematic for a hypertension patient, pregnant woman, or if you are obese.

Even though inversion relieves pressure from your lower extremities, your head becomes the victim of extra blood pressure. This could also create problems for your eyes and ears. These are rare, but they do happen.

2. Pick a good inversion table

When it comes to inversion tables, good is always relative. Two people will have different needs, so whats good for one is not good for another. Its important the table is safe, sturdy and operates well. It is relatively easy to get back in an upright position from an inverted position on a good table if you set it up properly for you. Remember, you are upside down, so you want to be locked in on a solid table.Find one that fits your body, your height, and your weight. Remember, you do not have to invert completely upside down to get relief. 20 degrees past horizontal works amazing well.

3. How long inverted is long enough

After reading on the numerous health benefits, it is easy to be over zealous and want to flip on the table for at extended periods of time. However,you need to know exactly how much time is safe for you to stay inverted. Beginners are advised against using the inversion table for more than 3-5 minutes a day. Build up slowly, We find that using it for shorter times but multiple times a day is better than one long inversion. We typically feel corrections shortly after initial inversion, followed by decompression of the hips (feels wonderful, btw), but all of this happens in under 1 minute. So using it for 1-2 min in the morning, and 1-2 min in the evenings in better than one 5 min session. Its great after long trips or extended periods of sitting too!