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15 Benefits of Physical Activity

          1. Reduced stress
          2. Decrease in blood pressure
          3. Reduced risk for type II diabetics
          4. Reduced risk of heart attack and other heart conditions
          5. Decrease in cholesterol levels
          6. Increased energy levels
          7. Improved self-esteem
          8. Better control of weight management
          9. Increase in muscle mass
          10. Better posture
          11. Better cardiovascular endurance
          12. Increased motivation
          13. Greater autonomy
          14. Decreased aches and pains
          15. Better overall quality of life


Exercise Facts

 

Did you know that:

  • Proper exercise brings nutrients to the joints.
  • Proper exercise helps protect the joints by improving the stability through increased muscle strength; this ultimately reduces the load on the joint.

  • Proper exercise will improve range of motion.
  • Proper exercise will assist to burn calories that may lead to fat loss that will decrease the load on the joint.
  • Proper exercise may increase bone density, or at least retard its loss.
  • Lastly, and maybe most importantly, proper exercise increases a person's feeling of self-efficacy which is very important to older adults.

Ten tips for improving posture and ergonomics

 

Introduction to posture and back support…

 

Over time, poor posture may be caused by habits from everyday activities such as sitting in office chairs, looking at the computer, driving, standing for long periods of time, or even sleeping. Poor posture can easily become second nature, causing or aggravating episodes of back pain and damaging spinal structures. Fortunately, the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are completely within one’s ability to control and are not difficult to change.

 

The following guidelines suggest several ways to improve posture and ergonomics, especially for people who work sitting in an office chair for most of the day. Know

  • The warning signs of back pain caused by poor ergonomics and posture.
    Back pain may be the result of poor ergonomics and posture if the back pain is worse at certain times of day or week (such as after a long day of sitting in an office chair in front of a computer, but not during the weekends

  • Get up and move.
    As muscles tired, slouching, slumping, and other poor postures become more likely; this in turn puts extra pressure on the neck and back. In order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture, change positions frequently. One way is to take a break every half hour for two minutes in order to stretch, stand, or walk.

  • Keep the body in alignment while sitting and standing.
    Distribute body weight evenly to the front, back, and sides of the feet while standing. Also be aware of and avoid unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward or tilting the head.

  • Use posture-friendly props and ergonomic equipment when sitting.
    Ergonomically-sculpted office chairs, or chairs, footrests, portable lumbar back supports, or even a towel or small pillow can be used while sitting in an office chair or while driving.

  • Increase awareness of posture and ergonomics in everyday settings.
    Being aware of posture and ergonomics at work, at home, and at play is a vital step towards instilling good posture and ergonomic techniques.

  • Use exercise to help prevent injury and promote good posture.
    Regular exercise such as walking, swimming, or bicycling will help the body stay aerobically conditioned, while specific strengthening exercises will help the muscles surrounding the back to stay strong. These benefits of exercise promote good posture, which will, in turn, further help to condition muscles and prevent injury.

  • Wear supportive footwear when standing.

  • Remember good posture and ergonomics when in motion.
    Walking, lifting heavy materials, holding a telephone, and typing are all moving activities that require attention to ergonomics and posture.

  • Create ergonomic physical environments and workspaces.

  • Avoid overprotecting posture.
    Remember that it is important to maintain an overall relaxed posture to avoid restricting movements by clenching muscles and adopting an unnatural, stiff posture.

    Written by Kelly Andrews, DC June 7, 2004

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