Everything in moderation…..

    We all know that sitting and standing for prolonged periods of time is not good for our health. For my clients who have a desk job, I encourage them not to sit still; fidgeting and squirming is good for us. You know, the kind of behaviour that used to get us in trouble when we were kids. I also suggest that they sit on an exercise ball intermittently during they, as well as get up and move as often as possible. For my clients that have a job which requires prolonged standing, I have several tricks to relieve stress on their back, legs, hips and feet.

   It’s important to keep moving during the day, including at work. But I was amused to learn that some businesses are introducing office furniture that allow employees to enjoy a new concept called “active work stations.”  These work stations allow employees to stand, walk, cycle, or sit on an exercise ball while they are at work. All day long. I am a huge fan of all of these activities, but to engage in them for hours on end sounds ridiculous to me.

    What sounds like a good idea in theory can be a disaster in reality. Not only are you risking injuries from repetitive movements, I believe you are risking job performance as well. After all, would you want your pilot to be pedaling a stationary bike while they fly your plane? Or your surgeon walking on a treadmill in the operating room? Our attention is best served when we focus on the task at hand, regardless of what it is.

    If you sit at a desk all day long, standing or walking on a treadmill at your desk sounds heavenly. Until you try it for a few hours. If you stand at work all day, you would probably give your eyeteeth for a chance to sit down at work. Until your butt gets numb. Too much of any one thing is exactly that: too much.

    It’s also important to have clear boundaries between work, recreation, rest, exercise and play. However, you can still find a way to move through your work day to relieve stress, stay alert, maintain your focus, and still keep yourself healthy, happy and active. I just think it can be done in a more sensible and effective way.

Be healthy!
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP    

More hearts and flowers on Valentine’s Day.

    Once again, it’s Valentine’s Day. I love Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, and just knowing that I am appreciated is good enough for me. But, for some people, Valentine’s Day is even more stressful than Christmas. Expectations are high and the pressure is on.

    I have a friend who has been known to give her husband the cold shoulder for weeks if he doesn’t come through with just the perfect gift for her on Valentine’s Day. The problem is, she never gives him any hints of what she might want, and every year he disappoints her. You’d think one of them would figure it out by now.

    My single friends either ignore the holiday or try to live vicariously through those of us who are happily married. Even my married friends wistfully wonder what they will get and then compare notes later. Sheesh! Is this really what Valentine’s Day is about?

    My husband and I celebrate this day dedicated to love and romance by doing special things for each other. Last year we spent Valentine’s Day looking at toilets. It might not sound terribly romantic to the average person, but we got to spend a long afternoon together. This year we celebrated by buying each other a new garage door. We plan on spending a quiet evening at home sitting in the garage and taking turns playing with the remote before I fix dinner.

    The point is, it’s not about what you get; it’s about what you already have that’s important. As far as I’m concerned, wandering around a hardware store or admiring a new garage door with my husband beside me is more romantic and precious than any gift I could receive.  Happy Valentine’s Day, and don’t forget to share the love!

Be healthy!
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP