Ergonomics: Important to your Work Day & Every day!

According to the US Department of Labor, musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs account for about one-third of all injury and illness costs of U.S. businesses. MSDs are health issues that affect our movement or musculoskeletal system (i.e. muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, etc.) In recent years, research has focused on establishing the links between physical activity and health, largely overlooking the important distinction between sitting and physical activity. The opportunities for long term sitting in modern times, such as sitting in a car or sitting at a desk, are unavoidable. Statistics prove the average adult spends 50–70% of their day in seated positions.
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Here are some valuable tips to incorporate ergonomics into your workday:

  • Make sure that the weight of your arms is supported at all times. If your arms are not supported, the muscles of your neck and shoulders will suffer
  • Manage your head position by keeping the weight of your head directly above its base of support (neck). Don’t “crane” your head and neck forward.
  • Slouching puts more pressure on the discs and vertebrae of your back. Use the lumbar support of your chair and use good posture while seated to balance your body weight evenly. Move your chair as close to your work as possible to avoid leaning and reaching.
  • Your computer monitor should be placed directly in front of you, with the top edge of the screen at your eye level. The keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor so you don’t have to frequently turn your head and neck. Because lap top computers do not allow to arrange the keyboard and monitor this way, try to avoid using a lap top for an extended period. Also, be sure to rest your eyes periodically for several seconds by looking away from computer screens to view objects at a distance.
  • Do not crunch a phone between your neck and shoulder! Try to use a headset or speaker phone if need your hands free for other activities while on a call. Repeating the abnormal position of tilting your head toward your should can do permanent damage to your neck as well as creating other uncomfortable issues.
  • Your feet should not be dangling when you are seated. If your feet don’t comfortably reach the floor or there is pressure on the backs of your legs, use a footrest or lower your chair.
  • Stay hydrated and active throughout the day by drinking the daily allowance for your weight in water and taking breaks form long term sitting (and repetitive activities) by doing some ergonomic stretching activities.getty_rf_photo_of_office_workers_doing_stretches_at_night.jpgRemember to stay healthy outside of the office as well by staying active on your time off with continued stretching activities, staying hydrated and enjoying your free time.  Apply more ergonomic tips to your household chores and other activities to keep your body fit!

 

✍️☑️ Your New Years Resolution Solution! Tips to Beat the Stats in 2017…✍️☑️

A little more than half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but roughly 8% actually succeed in meeting their goals.

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Come the first of January, hoards of enthusiastic resolutioners account for the spiking sales of gym memberships, smoking cessation programs, diet programs and many other self-help programs. By the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolutioners are facing remorse and disappointment in themselves for falling out of line. Why is it that such good intentions seem so elusive?

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Changing your behavior, whether it’s eating less, exercising more, quitting smoking, etc., is very difficult. Research has repeatedly proven the ways in which exhaustion depletes our willpower and generates an unavoidable state of stress. A well-rested person will have a much easier time resisting that cookie than a sleepy one. And studies have also shown that people who don’t get enough sleep aren’t just more tired, but are also more distracted.

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With this in mind, here are 5 other useful tips to help you create, maintain, and succeed with your New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. It’s about you! Make it something you actually want, not something you should want or what everyone tells you it should be.
  2. Get proper rest! Without a good night’s sleep, the next day is challenging enough on it’s own without the added challenge of self control when you’re feeling week. 
  3. Cultivate optimism. Positivity may be blocked by habitual pessimism, but if you are determined to stop complaining (to yourself and others) you can prevail. Pessimism is an instinctive habit most of us have and should be considered when making your resolution as a by-product of your resolution. 
  4. Keep spirits high. Sometimes it feels impossible to cultivate optimism.  At those times, try a different approach.  Do something that makes you happy like watching your favorite movie, listening to your favorite song or doing something creative. 
  5. Account and reward. Don’t focus on the goals as much as the achievements.  For instance, by quitting smoking you can save an average of $35 per week or cutting back on meals may save you an average of $80 per week.  This adds up. 

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Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up! Everyone has ups and downs. Resolve to recover from your mistakes, get back on track and make 2017 your year!

Lack of Energy? Trouble Keeping Your Eyes Open? Supplements, Wellness Tips and More…

You stumble through the day and night, your brain slow, your body tired, your body aching; you’re tired, you’re groggy, and everything feels awful. Sound Familiar? 

Fatigue isn’t just tiredness, lack of energy and motivation can sometimes be a symptom of serious issues like depression, anemia, or thyroid problems. But in many cases fatigue is simply the result of bad habits. If you’ve ruled out any medical issue and developed better habit,s but are continuing to struggle with fatigue, it may be time to try supplements. 

Note: This article is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have questions about taking supplements, consult a medical professional. 

Feeling tired is a normal and natural signal that tells you it’s time for sleep, and getting a full night’s rest may be all that is needed for relieving any fatigue that may be plaguing you. A chronic state of fatigue, however, represents a much bigger issue. Considering that energy is a cellular function dependent on the vitamins and minerals you consume each day, consistent low energy levels typically indicates a cellular imbalance. When cells are receiving the energy they need, you in turn feel energized. When cells struggle to produce energy, they suffer damage or die, leaving you drained.

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10 Supplements That May Increase Energy

Your morning latte or black coffee does have certain health benefits, but it does nothing for improving energy. Yes, caffeine stimulates, but it also stresses the adrenal glands and endocrine system. Energy drinks rely heavily on sugar and other short-term stimulants, like caffeine. Similarly to the effects of sugar in candy, cereal, and other nutritionally-deficient snacks, chronic caffeine consumption results in energy crashes and dependence. Constant energy relies on three key factors: sleep, exercise, and eating healthy food. For a bigger boost, you may want to try any one of the following supplements.

  1. Iodine

Hormones regulate metabolism and initiate the release of the many biochemicals associated with energy creation. The thyroid uses iodine to form triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), the two hormones which regulate all other hormones. The best dietary sources of iodine include seafood, sea vegetables (dulse seaweed, arame, kombu, and wakame), and dark leafy greens. Iodine supplements can also be taken. The best and most bioavailable supplements are colloidal or nascent iodine.

  1. Vitamin B12

Every cell in the human body requires B12 for energy metabolism. In fact, the entire cellular energy creation, known as the Citric Acid cycle or Kreb’s cycle, depends on it. Unfortunately, the human body cannot create B12 on its own, requiring it from dietary sources. Clams, mussels, red meat, and dairy are the best natural sources of B12. Supplementing with B12 is safe as no side effects or upper dietary limit exists. 

  1. Melatonin

Individuals with inadequate melatonin levels suffer from fatigue and accelerated brain aging. Research indicates sleeping with lights on disrupts melatonin production. If sleep is inconsistent, a melatonin imbalance may occur which can disrupt energy levels, blood sugar, and even weight.

  1. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo has long-been known for its powerful antioxidant activity and for improving blood flow. A recent review also suggests that it improves mitochondrial respiration and ATP (cellular energy) production in brain cells. This normalizes metabolic activity at the cellular level, protecting the cells and promoting health and longevity. 

  1. CoQ10 

Coenzyme Q10 plays a vital role in the process of cellular energy creation. Every cell in the body contains CoQ10, although organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver have higher concentrations. Still, a deficiency can result. As an electron transfer molecule in cellular metabolism, it neutralizes free radicals, reducing its availability to assist with energy creation. Fatigue is one of the top symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency, although high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and blood sugar imbalance may also appear. 

  1. Androtrex® and Female Fuzion™

Hormone imbalances lead to fatigue and exhaustion. In today’s world of environmental toxins and poor dietary options, balancing hormones is becoming more or less a juggling act. Herbs such as Tribulus terrestris, ashwagandha, tongkat ali, and muira puama support endocrine organs such as the ovaries, testes, thyroid, pancreas, and adrenal glands. Each of these herbs can be found as individual supplements; however, the complementary effect each has makes herbal blends such as Androtrex® (for men) and Female Fuzion® an ideal supplement choice.

  1. Acetyl L-carnitine

Another biochemical necessary for energy metabolism, L-carnitine transports fatty acids into the mitochondria for conversion into energy. Acetyl groups also play an integral role in mitochondrial energy creation. While the body naturally creates acetyl L-carnitine, also called ALCAR, the body will use this biochemical to support and protect the brain. Supplementing with ALCAR ensures the body has enough acetyl groups for energy metabolism and neural health.

  1. Magnesium

Low magnesium levels have been linked to low energy and an increased struggle to complete basic physical tasks. The highest dietary sources of magnesium include raw spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, beans, avocados, and quinoa. Supplementation can also help raise magnesium levels.

  1. Ginseng

A recent chronic fatigue study found that taking the ginseng significantly greater improvement in cognitive function and had lower levels of toxins and free radicals in their blood. Overall, the patients experienced increased energy. 

  1. Whole Food Supplements

While taking a multivitamin may help a little, many of the minerals supplied do not have the necessary phytonutrients to facilitate digestion. The most bioavailable mineral supplements will have digestible mineral forms in combination with plant biochemicals. A supplement like IntraMAX® and other whole food suppliments provides an all-in-one formulas with over 65 organic trace minerals, phytochemicals, and superfoods.

Supplements shouldn’t be the first step to fix fatigue. It’s most important to examine your stress management skills, nutrition, and sleeping habits. Seek out the opinion of a medical professional, if necessary, and then make the healthy lifestyle changes. But if you’ve eliminated unhealthy habits, ruled out underlying disorders, and are still struggling with fatigue, then supplementation may be effective in helping you get back the energy you need.

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Ready, Get Set, Go!!! Energy Boosting Tips:

Find 35 foods to help you stay energized here.

Find 5 foods that make you sleepy here.

Find daily habits that increase tiredness here.

Find daily habits to increase your energy here.

💻 📬 📦 Online Shopping – Stay Safe & Keep It Simple 💻 📬 📦

 

Now that we are in the midst of the Holiday Shopping Season, we are trying to find ways to complete our gift lists while avoiding the hassle of crowded shopping centers, parking lots and all of the other external stressors that subtract from the joys of gift giving. Many people have chosen to bypass these hassles all together by doing all of their shopping online.

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While shopping online is convenient in so many ways, it also has it’s own set of precautions that we need to consider. Anything device connected to the Internet, including smartphones and tablets need to be protected – especially during heavy use periods, like the holidays. Scammers and cyber criminals can easily target shoppers.

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Being a safe and secure shopper starts with careful safeguards. Think about the consequences of your actions online before you act and enjoy the conveniences of technology with peace of mind while you shop online. 

Here are some great tips to help you find the ease of internet shopping to be a safe experience as well:

  • Use Familiar Websites rather than shopping with a search engine. Search results can be rigged to lead you astray. If you know the site, chances are it’s less likely to be a rip off. We all know Amazon.com and that it carries everything under the sun; likewise, just about every major retail outlet has an online store, from Target to Best Buy.
  • Beware of misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com, for example)—those are the oldest tricks in the book. Yes, the sales on these sites might look enticing, but that’s how they trick you into giving up your info!
  • Look for the Lock and NEVER buy anything that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed—at the very least. You’ll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar. It depends on your browser.
  • Conduct research when using a new website for purchases, read reviews and see if other consumers have had a positive or negative experience with the site.
  • Personal information is like money so value it and protect it! When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember, you only need to fill out required fields at checkout.
  • Be on alert for emails that might get us to act quickly and click through links and open attachments. Be wary of emails about problems with your credit cards or an account or the status of online order. Criminals know we are price sensitive when shopping online. Exercise caution when seeing and ad offer where the discount is way below normal.
  • Don’t Tell All! No online shopping store needs your social security number or your birthday to do business. However, if crooks get them, combined with your credit card number for purchases, they can do a lot of damage. The more they know, the easier it is to steal your identity. When possible, default to giving up the least amount of information.
  • Use safe payment options! Credit cards are generally the safest option because they allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn’t delivered or isn’t what was ordered. 
  • Read return and other polices so you know what to expect if the purchase doesn’t go as planned.
  • Limit the type of business you conduct over open public Wi-Fi connections, including logging on to key accounts, such as email and banking. Adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your phone.
  • Keep a clean machine by keeping all web-connected devices ‒ including PCs, smartphones and tablets ‒ free from malware and infections by running only the most current versions of software and apps.
  • Reinforce your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.
  • Make your password tough! A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “ILove2MyNewCar!”)
  • Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cyber-criminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords. 
  • Check your statements regularly and don’t wait for your bill to come at the end of the month. Go online frequently during the holiday season and look at electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts. Make sure you don’t see any fraudulent charges, even originating from sites like PayPal. (After all, there’s more than one way to get to your money.) If you do see something wrong, pick up the phone to address the matter quickly. In the case of credit cards, pay the bill only once you know all your charges are accurate. You have 30 days to notify the bank or card issuer of problems, however; after that, you might be liable for the charges anyway.

packagesxmas.jpgNow that you know the safest ways to shop, you’re only concern should be what is the best gifts to give your friends and family! If your loved ones are as concerned about internet security as you are, we recommend an online security tool.

Click here to see the top 10 Antivirus Software Programs of 2016!

Click here to see the top Identity Theft Protection Services of 2016!

Have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season!

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Tis the Season for a Home Inspection: DIY Tips for a Safe and Secure Home

Experts say that a little home maintenance goes a long way and saves you money.  For example, trimming away tree branches near or touching your roof can extend the life of your shingles.  This example and many other items also happen to be the minor issues that can make or break the value of your home.  Did you know that poor home maintenance can signify lack of pride in ownership, which can lower the value of your home and legally is a breach of your home insurance contract?

Contractors recommend seasonal detailed inspections of your home along with a regular routine of simply paying attention to the little things. (Regionally the things you need to check may vary.  Most property insurance companies offer regional checklists for homeowners.)

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Here is a recommended list of things you should check out on your home regularly as well as seasonally:

Check your roof for leaks or damage 

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Check for things like peeling shingles or holes.  Be sure to check around vents, skylights and chimneys carefully to be sure there are no gaps or leaks.  If you discover any issues, resolve them as quickly as possible.  If you can’t resolve immediately, patch the area to protect from further damage while you await repairs.  Also, if you discover damage, be sure to check the interior of your home in the same area for ceiling damage

Keeping the air moving in your attic is a must!

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If you don’t have a ridge vent, be sure you keep your gable vents open year round for proper ventilation.

Keep your gutters clean!

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Clogged gutters and drain pipes can also result in damage to your home. Make sure downspouts drain away from your foundation and are clear of debris.

Replace your Air Conditioning filters!

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Filtering the air is only a small part of the necessary filtering for home maintenance.  Not only should you replace your Air Conditioning filters once a month but also check your dryer ventilation and stove ventilation to make sure passageways are clear without obstruction and working properly.  Check these both internally and externally.  Most of us don’t think about this until a problem occurs, but with light maintenance you can extend the life of your unit and avoid possible home damage from flooding units.  Keeping your dryer vent clean saves energy and extends the life of your dryer as well.

Detectors are critical! 

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Ensure that all your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working order.  Replace batteries as needed.

Regularly check your plumbing 

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Feel the pipes for leaks and looking underneath.  If you find a leak, do your best to prevent damage and repair.  Often pipes spread or loosen over time as your home shifts and most of us don’t think to check this on a regular basis.  You will be surprised at the minor leaks you can discover under a sink.  And, though a leak can be minor, the damage can be major over time.  While checking your plumbing, be sure to check the hose connections for your washing machine and dishwasher and the tubing connections for your ice maker.

Check for Mold! 

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In the bathrooms, be sure to check shower and tub surrounds for any signs of damage or mold as well as your toilet supply/shut-off valve.

Window Seals Needed! 

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Regardless of the season, drafty doors and windows cost money! A large enough draft invites damaging rodents into your home, but even a small draft can suck away energy costing you hundreds! Replace seals as needed.

No Holes Allowed! 

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Check the exterior of your home for cracks or holes in your siding or paint.  Replace caulk immediately if you see areas where it has cracked or fallen away leaving a gap without a seal.  Also, when you discover any damage – verify that it is caused by wear and tear instead of rodents.

Know Your Water Heater Condition! 

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Check your water heater thoroughly to verify that it is in proper running condition without leaks.  At least once a year you should drain the water heater and remove sediment from the bottom of the tank.  This will also extend the life of this very expensive appliance.

No Pests Allowed! 

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Check your home for termites and other rodents by doing a full walk around inspection of the exterior of your home and also checking your attic if able.  Signs would include droppings, heavy dust piles, and holes. Remember, never store firewood within 2 feet of your home and always store it at least 18″ above ground to prevent termites.

Check the Sockets! 

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Electrical fires remain one of the main reasons for total home losses due to house fires.  Prevention is key and takes little effort.  Walk around your home to check all of your outlets for proper hot, neutral and ground.  Check all electrical cords to ensure there is no damage.  Remove outdated electric air fresheners from outlets and do not leave active air fresheners in outlets when not in use.


Staying on top of regular home maintenance helps you avoid costly repairs or worse! Scheduling seasonal inspections is a great way to start doing what you can to prevent hazards and expenses that you don’t need while also making your home a better place to live.  Now is the time to get your home back to 100% so you can relax and enjoy your family and friends!

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