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Posture: More than Just Ergonomics

Author Bio

PAIN: Why Your Productivity is Suffering

Luke Sniewski

Luke Sniewski began accumulating his extensive fitness experience with playing quarterback in high school. He then went on to become a collegiate football player, afterwards becoming a player and a coach in professional football leagues in Europe. Over a decade of training as an athlete has enabled Luke to amass a wealth of knowledge about strength and conditioning.  
A California Licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by trade, Luke experienced first-hand the detrimental effects that a lifestyle of a business professional has on the body and well-being. That inspired him to build upon his sports training foundation by studying the sciences of corrective exercise, neuromuscular therapy, and nutrition. The collective wisdom gained from his experience and education resulted in Luke becoming an expert on lifestyle transformation and the formation of his stern belief that a proactive physical lifestyle is essential to living a happy, healthy life.

Book synopsis

Business professionals have finally been affected by their sedentary lifestyles in the only realm they seem to understand – their pocket book. If you productivity is hindered as a result of poor lifestyle choices then your income subsequently decreases while medical costs increase. By implementing simple, yet effective, proactive lifestyles your personal and workplace productivity will soar. PAIN focuses on four key components relevant specifically to accountants and business professionals: Poor posture and how it is much more than ergonomics, Aimless fitness and how your time at the gym is actually making things worse, Improper nutrition and how it contributes to your low energy, weight gain, and brain fog, and how neglecting the way your brain functions drastically hurts your work flow and output.

Why did you write this book?

Working in the trenches with other accountants made me realize the true neglect of the human body within the industry. It was all about cash flow and profit at the expense of individual workers. As a health and fitness professional, I felt I had an opportunity to make a difference, so I wrote the book and created a NASBA certified continued education curriculum that teaches accountants the benefits of healthy living while they earn continued education credits for their CPA license.

A paragraph stating why readers should buy your book and what they will get out of it after reading it.

Readers will learn the most important aspect of their new healthy and productive lifestyles. They will learn the ‘why’. Understanding why things are the way they are, why the current lifestyles are creating problems, and why we must change these detrimental habits are all paramount to creating lasting lifestyle changes.

Posture: More than Just Ergonomics

It’s a fitness industry secret that marathon runners and business professionals keep physical therapists and fitness professionals in business. In terms of running, it’s relatively straightforward to see how an excessive amount of running can damage ankles, knees, and hips. Business professionals are on the other side of this activity spectrum. The typical day of a business professional includes sitting behind a desk, typing away on a keyboard, and frequent clicking of a mouse. These hardly seem like situations that warrant interventions of professionals. Yet, this type of sedentary lifestyle creates more long term damage than some full-contact sports. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, yearly costs associated with work-related injuries have resulted in productivity losses of over $60 billion per year. The reason is simple. It took Mother Nature millions of years of small evolutionary changes to create upright posture and movement, but only a century to create lifestyles dominated by sitting. And sitting is where much of the problem lay.

Ergonomics: The Right Way to Sit?

The simple application of common sense would dictate that sitting is counter-intuitive to evolution. Human beings were not designed to sit for long periods of time. According to a May 2010 article in Business Week, Arianne Cohen recognized sitting as a public health risk, citing its role in fat storage, cholesterol implications, and obesity. The health hazards do not stop there. Our bodily systems of muscles, bones, and nerves function optimally when we are upright. Efficient bipedal movement, commonly referred to as walking, is an intricate phenomenon that requires a multitude of individual parts of the human body to work in functional synergy. The moment you sit is the same moment you begin to create dysfunction within this synergistic system. Hip muscles become tight and lose important range of motion, glutes become dormant and lose functionality, shoulders slump down, and the head protrudes forward. Though these physiological changes may seem insignificant, these very same changes lead to major postural distortions afflicting business professionals each and every day. This simply means that there is actually no correct way to sit as it all causes underlying postural damage. Even with the most advanced ergonomic tools and products, consequences are only minimized.

Common Postural Distortions

Prolonged sedentary lifestyles have created an epidemic of postural issues. So prevalent are two of these distortions, that they have been named by the fitness community as upper cross syndrome (UCS) and lower cross syndrome (LCS), each with its own set of typical characteristics. UCS involves the tightening and shortening of neck, chest and upper trap muscles, and the lengthening and weakening of back and scapular muscles. This creates the common shoulders-slouched, head-forward look you see on all too many people. Although UCS and LCS typically exist simultaneously, LCS has its own set of defining characteristics, which include tightness of the hips, hamstrings, and lower back muscles, accompanied with a lengthening and weakening of glutes and abs. There are obvious reasons these distortions have their own classifications. They are widespread and more importantly cause serious side effects that adversely impact workplace productivity.

Serious Symptoms

With proper posture, the human body ensures proper muscular function, prevents potential arthritis, prevents fatigue as a result of efficient movement, and even helps in preventing backaches and other muscular pains. Poor posture, however, has one significant symptom even a business professional can notice without the assistance of a physical therapist: Pain. Many cases of lower back pain, shoulder aches, neck tightness, headaches, fatigue, and even carpal tunnel syndrome manifest through underlying postural issues. The problem is that most people address symptoms with pills rather than fixing posture. Eventually days, weeks, or even months of production are lost due to timely and costly medical procedures that could have been avoided had a proactive strategy been implemented.

Solving Postural Problems

Don’t reach for the ibuprofen just yet. Masking bodily aches and pains created by postural issues will only intensify and exacerbate problems as time passes. Instead, try these three simple strategies to fix those postural issues once and for all.
• Getting a massage and foam rolling exercises are effective techniques used to inhibit overactive muscles, rejuvenate the muscle tissue quality, and relieve trigger points that potentially create pain throughout the body. As your masseuse or focus yourself on tight areas of both UCS and LCS for maximal benefit.
• Stop sitting in the gym. The gym is a place designed to improve human function and performance. If you sit at work and at home, then avoid sitting in the gym. Get off the bikes and seated machines and workout upright. Another little fitness industry secret is to work the muscles you do not see in a mirror. These muscles include the glutes and back, and are significantly responsible for maintaining proper posture and appropriate function.
• Changing your work environment may seem like an impossible task, but a simple way to counteract the harmful effects of long bouts of sitting is to shift sitting positions often to ensure that forces are distributed on various parts of the body equally rather than intensely on the muscles of a single sitting position. Of course, choosing an ergonomic office chair will help in minimizing harmful postural effects as well.
Poor posture is only one physical roadblock in your peak physical performance and productivity. The other three most significant factors include aimless fitness, improper nutrition, and neglecting brain function. Or simply the acronym PAIN. All of these factors are important to consider when creating optimal personal productivity. A neglect of your body will lead to a decreased quality of life, regardless of how much money you amass during the journey. Someone once told me that “He who dies with the most toys, wins.” I wholeheartedly disagree. With an endless pursuit for money and a complete disregard for health you will be long gone before you enjoy the fruits of your labor. Better to focus on these factors now and implement long term strategies that will support not only your future, but also your present.

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