Under pressure – computer hands

How much pressure are your hands under

  • 40 words a minute
    12,000 keys per hour
    96,000 keys per eight hour day
  • 8 ounces of force per key
    16-25 tons of force each day

One of the biggest causes of back pain is the use of computers and keyboards, and the above infographic shows you how much pressure your hands are under.  Sitting at a desk all day long, tapping on the keyboard and peering at a screen is not what our bodies were designed to do. As a result we can get tight and painful shoulders, RSI in the hand and wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even arthritis in the hands.

The cost of RSIOne of the main problems is the way that people lean in to their screen to look at or read what’s on there, rounding the shoulders and putting pressure on the back. The best position is upright on a good chair that supports your back, with feet flat on the floor, and preferably the keyboard or laptop on a desk in front of you, not on your lap. It was designed for your lap, but your body wasn’t designed to cope with it!

Plenty of offices now provide standing desks, that can be at the right height for sitting, or enable you to have a choice of standing while you work, which is surprisingly good for your back and posture.

The Alexander Technique is a good discipline for understanding and being aware of how you put pressure on your back. A good teacher can work with you to show you how you are causing unnecessary strain.

Penclic Infographic-stereo typingAlso, you can try ergonomic products, such as a Back Friend on your chair which enables your back to be correctly positioned.

Or Penclic’s Mini Keyboard, either wireless or connected, which is said to prevent RSI. It’s small and can be easily moved around the desk to ensure that hands and wrists are more comfortable, and what’s a big boon is that the keys are light to touch so you don’t find yourself bashing down on them and putting pressure on fingers.


Eat smart, not less App

NutracheckResearch* shows that keeping track of calories in a food diary can double weight loss because it makes you more aware of portion sizes and food choices. The Nutracheck App  keeps track of the calories for you.

Many people think that losing weight means eating less food. Not so if you choose wisely – it’s the type of food that’s the problem. By changing the proportions of what you put on your plate, you can still enjoy a good volume of food that will fill you up but without the high calorie count.

It’s all about energy density. Quite simply, ‘energy density’ refers to the amount of energy (or calories) per gram of food.

Lower energy density foods provide fewer calories per gram of food so you can eat more of them – it’s a good way to help control how much you eat, without going hungry. These foods often have a high water content, such as stews or soups; foods like pasta and rice that absorb water during cooking, and foods that are naturally high in water, such as fruit and vegetables.

Nutracheck is a super fast calorie counter and food diary service, delivered via an App and website, that makes tracking calories easy. Just set aside 10 minutes a day to record what you eat from over 180,000 foods and drinks in the database; photos of food are on the site to make it really easy to spot the exact product you ate. The App lets you scan a barcode and add a food in just 2 clicks.

There are no banned foods, so you’re free to choose the foods you want to eat while you lose weight at a steady and healthy rate of around 2lbs a week. It’s a fact that when we pay close attention to what we eat, we tend to eat less.

In contrast, high energy density foods tend to include foods that are high in fat and have a low water content, such as chocolate, cakes, biscuits, crisps, peanuts, butter and cheese. A very small amount has a high calorie count, which doesn’t fill you up – so it’s really easy to overindulge.

Download the App: search for ‘Nutracheck’ in the App Store or Google Play, by registering at Nutracheck. 

Women need more iron

woman youngThe symptoms of low iron are:

  • Fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Cognitive problems
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath after exertion
  • Concave fingernails

Women need more iron

Women – Iron is the only mineral where women’s requirements are greater than men’s, this is due to menstrual blood loss and pregnancy. Iron is a one of the difficult minerals for the body to absorb.

Pregnant Women – can be prone to low iron levels because your baby needs the iron it gets from you to grow and develop. Iron deficiency is common in women carrying twins, vegetarians or women who are having pregnancies close together. An adult woman needs to absorb between 1.5 – 2mg of iron per day. For a pregnant woman, this can increase to 2 – 4mg in the second trimester and 3 – 6mg in the third trimester.

Women who exercise – runners especially need to ensure appropriate iron intake because of ‘foot strike’ hemolysis (repeated pounding of the feet on a hard surface which can damage red blood cells) and iron loss through sweating and urine.

Over 60s – As we get older, our capacity to absorb iron diminishes. This coupled with a reduction in appetite can lead to less than ideal iron levels.

SpaTone Apple  contains Spatone® spa water that is rich in iron from the Snowdonia National Park. Iron is more easily absorbed with Vitamin C so apple juice has been incorporated in Spatone Apple.  It’s a great way of taking it because it doesn’t make you constipated, which some iron tablets can do.

Good sources of iron in your diet include red meat, whole grains, pulses, nuts, green leafy vegetables and dried fruit, but it can be difficult to absorb – needing Vitamin C to make it more absorbable.   Young women are often at risk of low iron levels because of losing it through their periods.

Use the promotion code: HSoul1 to get a 5 per cent discount at superfooduk.com. Click below: Nelsons Spatone Apple 28 day pack (28 sachets): £11.95


Tax sugary drinks?

sugar Recommendations to put an extra 20 per cent tax on sugary drink to prevent people becoming obese were put forward by the BMA (British Medical Association) recently. But will anything change? Recommendations come out all the time but do they get taken up. The BMA claims that poor diets cost 70,000 premature deaths a year.

The BMA suggests an extra tax of 20 per cent on unhealthy food and drinks. A 330ml fizzy drink is likely to contain up to nine teaspoonfuls of sugar. Apparently a sugar tax on drinks in Mexico has resulted in lower consumption. The overall aim is to reduce the number of people becoming obese and getting diabetes, which are both attributed to the increase in sugar consumption, which is highest in the 11 to 18 year old group. They take 15.6 per cent of their energy from sugar, when the limit for everyone should be 5 per cent.

There should be restrictions on promoting unhealthy foods to children through advertising and fun characters. Instead they suggest that there should be marketing campaigns to promote awareness and the importance of healthy foods. Other suggestions are for school meals to include a free fruit and vegetable scheme, and for the price of fruit and vegetables to be subsidised.

How many times have you visited a hospital and found the full range of fizzy drinks, crisps, sweets and chocolate on sale in the shop? The recommendations suggest banning these sales, and having a traffic light coding on food.
Other recommendations include:
• No trans fats in food allowed.
• Compulsory reduction of salt levels in food and drink products.
• Targets to reduce calories, fat, saturated fat and added sugar levels in a range of soft drinks, confectionery, biscuits, and many other processed foods.

Needless to say this needs international co-operation.
Dire warnings from the British Medical Association include the spectre of 30 per cent of the UK population being obese by 2030.

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On your feet Britain

walking peopleThe On your feet Britain campaign is led by the British Heart Foundation and Get GB Standing. Sedentary lifestyles have been recently found to be bad for our health in general. Sitting for more than four hours every day has been found by researchers to cause:

• Enzymes responsible for burning harmful blood fats shutting down.
• Reduced calorie burning (metabolic rate).
• Disrupted blood sugar levels.
• Increased insulin and blood pressure levels.
• Leg muscles switch off.

For practical reasons one London ad agency used to have meetings standing up so that they wouldn’t waste too much time, and no coffee was on offer!

Carnegie researchers Dr Michelle Mellis and Dr Zoe Rutherford, provide expert advice on how to become more active in the workplace.

1. Take small-group walking meetings – this is a pleasant way to have discussions with your colleagues and get some activity.

2. Do a standing meeting – these have been reported to be more productive so they will be over quicker! Remember our time is precious.

3. Walk to a photocopier/printer at the opposite end of the corridor or on the next floor.
4. Remove the kettle from your office and walk to the staff room instead.
5. Do stretching exercises at your desk to mobilise – these small movements count as light physical activity.
6. Drink water so you get up to get refills or to go to the loo!
7. Move the rubbish bin to the opposite side of the office so you have to get up.
8. Walk over to colleagues rather than sending an email or phoning them.
9. Stand up and pace when on the phone.
10. Set a reminder on your computer or phone to stand and move around every 30 minutes – alternate between sitting and standing.
11. Take active breaks – walk around the office or go outside for 5 minutes.

12. Leave your desk for lunch – many of us are culprits of working over lunch but it’s important to take a break to boost productivity in the afternoon.

13. Go out to get lunch or drinks for the team – this will always go down well!

There are other serious risks of spending a lot of time sitting, irrespective of your level of physical activity:

Heart disease
Back ache
Muscle degeneration
Find out more at: www.getbritainstanding.org