September 2012

Save your wrists!

As we discussed in class, using a vertical mousse will decrease wrist and shoulder tension.

Using a vertical mouse releases elbow and wrist tension.

Avoid flaring the elbow. Keep the mouse close to you and keep the elbow down to relax the shoulder muscles.

According to all reviews, the best vertical mouse you can get is the Evoluent right handed vertical mouse 4 (4th generation). It takes a bit of time to get use to and is expensive but is really worth it if you type a lot. You will eventually save on physiotherapy or osteopathy bills!

Great review in PCmag by Nathalie Shoemaker

Think about how you hold out your arm when you’re about to shake someone’s hand, or how about the way your arms fall naturally to your side. The VerticalMouse’s design mimics this neutral hand posture, aligning the buttons vertically (as the name would suggest). The science makes sense: Rather than twisting your forearm to abide the requirements of a traditional mouse, the VerticalMouse lets your arm rest in a natural pose while you navigate.

The VerticalMouse 4 Small ($99.95 direct) is the next in Evoluent’s series of ergonomic mice. Though its design may look intimidating to casual consumers, believe me when I tell you that this mouse’s form factor is better for your overall hand health. Where some manufacturers use ergonomics as the mouse’s sole selling point and stop all other features there, the VerticalMouse adds browser buttons, a nice design, and customizable software on top of a navigating experience that is not only better for you but one of the smoothest in the consumer category. It’s for these reasons that we have awarded the Evoluent VerticalMouse 4 the Editors’ Choice for ergonomic mice.

You can read the whole article: www.pcmag.com

There is another great review:

http://shkspr.mobi/blog/index.php/2011/06/review-evoluent-vertical-mouse-4-and-how-to-make-it-work-in-ubuntu/

There are plenty of cheaper mice to choose from. But I would make sure there is a lip at the bottom edge to support your hand and avoid rubbing your little finger on the desk. I also like the thumb support. Your hand has to be able to relax. Gripping won’t do as it will create neck tension. Try them out. If you don’t like the mouse you bought, you can always return it!

Amazon offers a great choice and is usually cheaper than the professional websites. Still you can check www.posturite.co.uk as they offer good advice on ergonomics.

PS: no no I do not get royalties!

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My feet are killing me no more!

These are two good ways to improve your balance and counteract the narrowing effect shoes can have on the feet.

Massage the soles of your feet: With a stick, a tennis ball or a foot roller, thoroughly massage the heel, arch, sides and ball of the foot, the base of all the toes and the toes themselves. Avoid pressing too hard (painful) or too little (just touching).

 

Stretch between the toes: Place a toe separator between your toes and leave it for one to five minutes. Great for bunions.

 

These are three good ways to counteract the muscle-shortening effect of high heels and supination. Keep the feet parallel, heels in line with the middle toes. Be precise!

Calf stretches

1. Step forward with one foot, feet parallel. Bend the front knee slightly and straighten the back leg. Press the centre of the back heel down to the floor while pressing the hips forward. Hold for one minute, then repeat with the other leg.

 

2. Take a small step forward, then bend both knees and press the centre of the back heel down to the floor. Lower your bottom towards your back heel as far as you comfortably can. Hold for one minute, then repeat with the other leg.

 

Toe stretches: Tuck your toes under, keeping your feet parallel. Progressively sit back on your heels. Hold for one minute.

 

These are three good ways to counteract the stiffening effect shoes and boots can have on the ankles.

Point and flex: Hinging at the ankle, draw the heel in and point the toes. Draw the heel out and flex the toes. Do ten repetitions.

Ankle circles: Rotate the ankle drawing a big circle with the toes. Ten circles clockwise and ten anti-clockwise.

 

Front of the ankle stretch: Sit back on your feet, feet parallel and toes pointed back. Keep the heels towards each other. If your ankles are stiff, place a cushion or folded towel under them. Hold for one minute.

 

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High heels management

Women do like their high heels! I know I do. The price we pay for them is often high in term of posture. High heels shorten your calves and increase the natural lumbar curve (lordosis) which can lead to ankle, knee or back pain.

Here are some very good tips I’ve picked up , so the price is not so dear…

Buying shoes:

 

Comfortable high heel shoe

High drop! Not so comfortable!

Christian Louboutin recently explained that it is not so much the height of the heel but the curvature of the foot that matters. High heels that respect a good foot curvature will be comfortable. The weight will be better distributed on the foot. You shouldn’t feel perched on the balls of the feet.

 

Check the heel width. Thicker heels are more stable so safer on your ankles.

Check the width of the shoe. If  you have wide feet, shop accordingly. When your foot is compressed in a shoe, the interossei muscles (muscles between the metatarsals) cannot function correctly and you will be more prone to loose your balance.

Make sure the shoes hold your feet well to avoid twisting your ankles and falling. Try heel grips, especially if you are wearing tights that slip.

Break your shoes progressively to avoid blisters!

 

You wear high heels to look sexy so walk well in them!

Stay upright. Do not lean forward! Keep your pelvis upright.

When wearing high heels, draw your sitting bones and tailbone in. Feel your buttocks lifting and the front of your hips opening, decompressing your lower back.

Fully straighten your knees! Many women walk with bent legs and bottom sticking out, looking like ageing ducks!

Don’t rush! Walk at a pace you can control with smaller steps, standing tall.

 

Aftercare:

Stretch your calves and feet regularly! Check the exercise category for stretches.

If your feet are killing you afterwards, give your feet some TLC. They deserve it! If my feet are swollen or burning, I like a coldish soak to refresh the feet then drying them up with a warm towel, followed by a little foot massage with a relaxing foot cream. Heaven! You might prefer a warm soak…

Inserts can be helpful at taking the heat out of your feet as long as they don’t add more foot compression.

Minimise the time you spend in high heels. Have a pair of flat shoes in your bag so you can swap anytime.

Enjoy your high heels!

 

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Watch your spine 3D!

Fantastic videos from National Geographic!

www.natgeoeducationvideo.com

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In a nutshell!

Watch this excellent video and save yourself years of discomfort!

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