Office Ergonomics – Tips to Avoid Discomfort and Pain

The purpose of office ergonomics is to design the workstation to fit in within the limitations and capabilities of the worker with an objective of providing utmost comfort to the worker.

The sole purpose of office ergonomics is to build and design office spaces that focus on the employees’ health and comfort. A properly designed workstation aims at providing a comfortable environment to the worker thereby maximising his/her productivity and efficiency.

An unhealthy or uncomfortable office environment is the last thing an employee would want to face. It is imperative for every organisation to take care of its employees’ health and well planned and executed office ergonomics is the first step towards it.

How to Avoid Discomfort & Pain in Office?

The changing work-life has increased the average time people tend to spend in their office. The statistics say that today an average person spends around 13 years of their life at work. The long working hours has paved the way for a sedentary lifestyle which is one of the leading causes of various health issues.

An ergonomically set-up office or workstation will help in avoiding discomfort and pain.

Here are some helpful tips to follow:

The Desk

The design of the desk plays a vital role in ensuring comfort. The rest of the peripherals like chair and computer positioning are dependent upon the design of the desk. The height of the counter should be such the employee can rest their elbows at the desk while working. This will provide support to the shoulders. Working with elevated shoulders or leaning forward towards the desk is not ideal for long sitting hours.

The Right Chair

A person spends around 8-10 hours sitting at their desk. A wrong sitting position on a wrong chair is one of the main reasons behind backaches, neck and shoulder pains. The chair should be well cushioned with extra support for the lower back. The height of the chair should be based on the height of the workstation or desk. The armrest should be high enough to provide support to the person while working on the computer. It is advisable to use chairs with adjustable height as well as armrests.

Footrest

More often than not, people tend to overlook the importance of footrest while designing a workstation. Spending around 8 hours every day with the feet dangling in the air increases the chances of developing chronic backaches, low blood circulation and high risk of arthritis. The height of the chair should be such that the person can rest their feet on the ground and if this is not in alignment with the height of the desk, make a provision for a footrest.

The positioning of the computer or laptop

Improper positioning of the computer or laptop can strain the employee’s neck and shoulders which, in turn, can affect the spine. One shouldn’t need to crane or bend their neck while working. The laptop or computer screen should be at the eye-level and keyboard right in front of the monitor. The placement should be such that the person working at the desk shouldn’t need to twist and turn their head frequently.

Make the employees move

Desk jobs can be tiresome for the body. Every organisation should take efforts to increase its employees’ mobility around the office. This can be done by placing water-cooler or coffee machines at some distance from the workstations along with the printers and photocopying machines. This will allow the employee to move around the office from time to time.

Desk Lighting

The most neglected thing while designing a workstation in an office is the desk light. The office space might be adequately lit with artificial and natural light but having a desk light helps in reducing the eye strain thereby eliminating chances of headaches. Reading or working on a computer/laptop in a low or bad light is one of the most common causes of recurring headaches in adults.

The office ergonomics can help only as much in reducing or decreasing the discomfort and pain of long sitting hours. Besides the ergonomics, it is important to maintain a good sitting posture while working at the desk. Take regular breaks to stand up and move around a bit as well as stretch your body. A good office ergonomic coupled with healthy workstation practices can help in eradicating health issues caused due to the negligence during the office hours.

The Wellness Trends That Will Rule 2019

As the New Year kicks in it bring in new hopes for millions of people around the globe with new plans to make life better – both personally and professionally. It is a well-established fact today that more than 75% of the New Year resolutions across the globe revolve around physical fitness and wellbeing. Statistics show a steep rise in the gym and other fitness clubs’ memberships in January every year. The place catches up the vibe with people swarming in to keep up with their New Year resolutions but barely a couple of weeks into January, and the crowds begin thinning. Do we see you smiling guiltily to yourself?

If you are into fitness (even if not a fitness freak), you aren’t oblivious to the changing trends in the fitness industry over the past couple of years. Today, the term ‘physical fitness’ has replaced the age-old ‘losing weight’. The onus of this change lies on the revamped notion of fitness and wellbeing. Being physically fit doesn’t imply being skinny. Skinny is no longer considered being healthy or fit. The true essence of physical fitness lies in training your body to be disease free, and this is what is going to set the wellness trends in 2019.

Here are the top wellness trends this year that you might to keep a watch on and perhaps follow:

Holistic Approach to Fitness

We have invested decades of time and an insurmountable amount of money in a skewed perception of fitness that focussed on being slim for women and having abs for men. Today, the fitness has taken a holistic approach towards improving a person’s physical and mental health. It is no longer about spending hours in the gym alone. A good fitness regimen includes everything from your exercise routine to what you are eating to how you are sleeping. Trainers and peps are making people aware of this holistic approach my emphasising on lifestyle changes required to achieve the fitness goals.

Eating Right and not Dieting

The word dieting has been so overused in the last few decades that fitness trainers and nutritionists across the globe have bid adieu to it and for good. To stay healthy, one needs to eat healthily. You cannot merely starve yourself and expect to be healthy. Dieting was meant for people whose only aim was to lose weight (though that’s too not recommended anymore). The mantra today is to eat and eat healthy.

Home Workouts

Oh yes, you don’t need to have an excuse anymore. We understand it is difficult for you to leave your home or find time to go out to a gym or a fitness centre, but these are not acceptable excuses anymore. Home workouts are cool again. There is a range of home trainers and virtual trainers that help you in achieving your fitness targets right in the comfort of your house.

Mental and Physical Fitness are Inseparable

Yes, the focus on mental fitness is real and for good. Fitness no longer implies putting in long extraneous hours in physical workouts. It is all about achieving the right balance by catering to your mental wellbeing as well. If you are not mentally at peace, no amount of workout hours can put you in good shape. To be truly fit, you need to focus equally on mental wellbeing and physical fitness.

Virtual is the new Digital

Digital technology has changed the way the world worked, and now virtual reality is giving it a whole new dimension. Big names in the industry are investing their money in creating virtual games aligned with a person’s fitness requirements and goals. The fitness centres are welcoming this move, and people are elated more than ever to make physical workout fun this way.

Face Workouts, Anyone?

You read that right. We were just as baffled as you are. Workouts were always focussed on arms, legs, biceps, triceps, abs and hips but the new member to make an entry to this frenzied club is the face. You might have already invested, and perhaps still spending a filthy amount of money every month to make your face look radiant, fair, glowing, youthful, wrinkle-free et al. You can get rid of all that by investing in a trainer having expertise in face workouts.

The paradigm shift in the fitness industry from simply aspiring to have a revered figure or body to being fit in the real sense of the term has changed the way the industry works today. If you are the one who loves staying fit or somebody who is new to the fitness world, these are the trends to look out for in the coming year.

Diagnosed With High Cholesterol Levels? Here Is What You Need To Know

Good heart health begins in your younger days. The lifestyle and eating habits during your prime years will have a lasting impact on your overall health during the later years of your life. An average person’s heart beats about 2.5 billion times during their lifespan during which, millions of gallons of blood is pumped through the body. The blood is a carrier of oxygen, hormones, fuel and essential cells required for the proper functioning of the internal organs and the human body. Blood also clarifies the waste generated by the metabolic function.

It is no rocket science that heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. The sedentary lifestyle and stressful work and living conditions are adding to the ever-increasing health woes. The long and stressful desk jobs today are cited as one of the major reasons on unhealthy mind and body.

What is Cholesterol?

The most common heart health risk today is the high cholesterol levels in the body. Where does this cholesterol come from? It is a fatty substance found in certain types of food as well as made by the body itself. The human body requires cholesterol to work properly – it helps in protecting nerves and makes cell tissues. However, when the cholesterol levels cross the optimum level required by the body, it puts the person at risk of having strokes or heart attacks.

The high level of cholesterol in the body results in unused cholesterol. This unused cholesterol then builds up into blood vessel walls which results in blockages. These blockages, in turn, affect the blood and oxygen flow in the body which results in a stroke or a heart attack.

What are the Optimum Levels of Cholesterol?

The level of cholesterol varies in different age groups. Cholesterol consists of Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High-density Lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is commonly known as ‘bad cholesterol’ and HDL as ‘good cholesterol’. The blockages caused in the human body are due to high or increased levels of LDL in the blood.

As we grow, the cholesterol levels tend to rise in the body. Doctors recommend getting your cholesterol levels checked every 5 years after the age of 20. Men are at a higher risk of having high cholesterol levels compared to women. The cholesterol level in women tends to increase post menopause.

The cholesterol levels are measured in milligram per decilitre (mg/dl).

Cholesterol Level in Adults:  A total cholesterol level less than 200 is considered as a good level to maintain. The LDL should be 40 or higher and HDL should be less than 100.

Cholesterol Level in Kids: A total cholesterol level less than 170 is considered as a good level to maintain. The LDL should be 45 or higher and HDL should be less than 110.

What to do when you have a high level of cholesterol?

It is not the end of the road if you are detected with high levels of cholesterol in your blood. It is time to make some lifestyle changes that include healthy eating and living. The most common cause of an increased cholesterol level is bad eating habits and lack of exercise in the daily routine.

Here are a few things that you should do when detected with high cholesterol level:

  1. Healthy Eating Habits

Obese people, be it an adult or a kid, are at high risk of having high levels of cholesterol. Keeping a check on your weight is the best way to control your increasing cholesterol levels. Get rid of the fatty and unhealthy foods which are full of bad cholesterol. Reduce saturated fats and trans fats from the diet eat foods with Omega-3 fatty acids.

  1. Exercise Regime

Long sitting hours and no exercise can affect your heart health. You don’t need to get into extraneous workout regimen but maintaining a healthy exercise regime can go a long way. Exercising for at least 40 minutes every day has been scientifically proven to keep the cholesterol levels in check.

  1. Stretching between work hours

Stop being glued to your desk all the time. Take stretching breaks every 30-40 minutes. Get up from the chair, walk around a bit and stretch your body to get rid of the stiffness. This helps in maintaining a healthy flow of blood in the body while relieving stress and tension.

  1. Meditation

There are many scientific studies that back the claim that meditation helps in reducing stress and tension over time. By adopting a meditation regime, one can help in keeping a check on the stress and tension levels which, in return, helps in controlling and maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.

In today’s time, increased cholesterol levels have become a common occurrence. Getting the cholesterol levels checked at regular intervals can help in curbing the risk of heart diseases. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during your prime years is as important as taking your multivitamins every day. Sometimes, just changing the dietary habits or changing the lifestyle may not be enough and you might need to take medication. Speak to your doctor to take the appropriate medication.

Quick Tips To Detox After The Festival Binge

What is a festival without food and merriment? And, Diwali is all about indulging your taste buds and forgetting all about calories, isn’t it? Well, now that Diwali is over and we are sure your brain and body must be killing you with the guilt of the entire festive binge that you have done. Oh, we forgot to mention your trainer there! Do we see you smiling and nodding at that? Then, you should definitely read on for these quick tips to detoxify your body after that festival binge.

What is detoxification and why it is needed?

Detoxification is the process of cleaning the bloodstream by getting rid of toxins. Detoxification has been in practice since centuries across cultures. In olden days, fasting was a largely practiced tradition to detoxify and the methods have evolved over the years. The purpose of detoxification is to get rid of impurities from blood in the liver which processes toxins for elimination from the body.

Detoxification process helps in providing rest to the internal organs thereby felicitating the elimination process of toxins from the body. It is known to improve blood circulation and helping to refuel the body with healthy nutrients.

How to detoxify?

There is a plethora of ways to detoxify the body. Rather than opting for a strenuous detox program which is usually difficult to maintain, it is better to adopt and adapt to the following healthy lifestyle routines:

  1. Warm Water with Lemon and Honey

As clichéd as it may sound but starting your day with lemon & honey in warm water is the best thing you can do to detoxify your body. It promotes good digestion thereby ridding your body of bloating and constipation.

  1. Try Fasting

By fasting, we don’t mean to  say that you stay hungry. Here, fasting implies consuming lighter and easy to digest foods. You can fast for a day or two depending upon your body’s needs. Load yourself with fresh fruits and juices and clear soups and salads on the day of fasting. This will provide much-needed rest to your digestive system.

  1. Say no to Processed Food

Diwali is all about binging on fried foods and snacks. Your body is already high on all the puris and laddoos you have had. It’s time to cut down on your sugar and carbohydrate intake now.

  1. Say bye to your regular tea

As heartbreaking as it sounds, it is going to be good for your body. Replace it with either Green or Chamomile tea. They are rich in antioxidants and boost immunity. This will also help in combating the winter season.

  1. Add lots of Vitamin C to your diet

Vitamin C is known for its detoxifying properties. Foods rich in Vitamin C will not only help you in detoxifying but also act as a shield from common cold as winters are almost here; the chances of catching a cold are higher than ever. Perhaps it’s time to soak in the sun and enjoy those oranges.

  1. Eat fibrous foods

Fibrous foods help in promoting healthy gut bacteria which aids digestion. Fibrous foods are also very filling and low on calories. They can also help in maintaining weight.

  1. Replace the regular vegetable oil

The regular vegetable oil along with other oils like peanut and sunflower are heavy to digest. Replace them with lighter ones like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or flaxseed oil.

  1. Add probiotic foods or supplement to your diet

Probiotic foods contain live cultures i.e. healthy bacteria which help in combating unhealthy bacteria in the body. Greek yogurt, curd, and kefir are a very good source of healthy bacteria. Or, you can simply start your day with probiotic supplements that are easily available in the stores today.

  1. Replace the sodas and canned juices for fresh juices

Sodas and canned juices are loaded with processed sugar and it’s time to bid adieu to these. Replace canned juices with fresh juices without sugar.

  • Abstain from alcohol

Alcohol messes up big time with your body’s metabolism. It’s time to give rest to your liver. Avoid alcoholic drinks post the festivities. It will help in better digestion and detoxification.

  • Hydrate your body

Water is all that your body craves post the festive binge. Consume as much water as you can. Water is the best source of flushing out toxins from your body.

  • Sweat it out

The best way, after consumption of water, to flush out toxins from your body is through sweat. So, get done with your festive lethargy and hit the road. Get back to your exercise regime without much ado.

We know it is difficult to get back to a healthier routine post the festivities but as much difficult as it is, it is essential to detoxify your body. Taking a break now and then from your routine is completely fine but then one shouldn’t prolong that break especially when it is about your body and health.

 

 

 

Networking for Smart City and Smart Health

The Smart City mission, a part of the Urban Rejuvenation initiative by the Government of India, is a step towards leveraging technology to create smart solutions to make our cities efficient and sustainable. This concept includes smart governance, education, and healthcare along with smart buildings, infrastructure and energy. The rise of digital India and the government’s ongoing initiatives towards digitisation have taken this concept from dream to a reality. Considering that the success ratio of any city is directly proportional to the health of its people, can the smart city and smart health concepts remain mutually exclusive?

Nilesh Vyas, a US-based technologist, has a long experience in healthcare systems and solutions. He is the founder of MARS Plus, a fully-integrated healthcare platform. “This digital age compels us to explore opportunities for doing things better. An integrated ecosystem for smart health is a strong push in making healthcare better, more organised and accessible for all,” he shares. He further gives a lowdown on the same.

According to him, new and emerging technologies in healthcare are driving the consumerisation of healthcare. The smart health ecosystem, much like the smart city concept, aims to leverage technologies to bring about healthcare transformation. This concept gives healthcare providers the option to leverage technologies to create a healthcare system that is more efficient, organised and resilient, thus helping them become more patientcentric by connecting the dots in our existing healthcare structure.

However, in order to reap the benefits of the ‘smart’ concept, what we need is a completely connected and integrated ecosystem that removes the silos that impede growth.

A connected healthcare system, much like the Smart City concept, leverages data to improve efficiencies. Whether it is to improve doctor-patient interactions, improve process efficiencies, or improve healthcare management, data is where we must look. However, when data is stored in siloes, it becomes hard to access and process. An integrated ecosystem takes care of this challenge and makes sure that the users and providers have anywhere, anytime access to all health-related data to facilitate better decision-making. An integrated platform that offers OPD, and IPD management, EHR/ EMR management, finance management, electronic medi-claim supplemented with data analytics helps in eliminating performance inhibitors in the hospital environment.

Such an integrated ecosystem works towards connecting all the stakeholders of healthcare on one platform to facilitate information exchange. This means the patient, the doctors, and the ancillary healthcare branches such as pharmacy both inside the hospital and outside, and labs are also connected seamlessly using a central network. Patient care, thus, becomes infinitely easier with greater access and management of health data for all stakeholders.

The data generated from smart health initiatives can be used to further public health initiatives. Identifying public health problems, assessing risks of pandemics and epidemics, facilitating better decision-making and proactive care become easier and efficient with the help of data.

Such systems can also help in better disease management by enabling better pre and post-operative care. Chronic health diseases management can become easier using mHealth. This helps in reducing hospital readmission rates. Additionally, this variety of data is a goldmine for aiding preventive medicine along with aiding research.

This article originally appeared in Times of India