5 ways you can make your #office space #women #friendly

Office ergonomics is an important factor to create a modern workspace. This science of designing workspaces aims to provide an employee friendly environment, which further helps in increasing the efficiency of the workforce. Since women juggle between different roles, home and work pressures, installing a few changes especially for female employees will surely encourage a healthy working environment.

A healthy workstation

Studies suggest a rise in the number of calcium deficiency cases in women which results in low bone density issues too. A standard seat and fixed desks can further aggravate health issues for women employees, who have desk-bound jobs. Hence, offices should invest in ergonomically enhanced furniture which is designed to relieve pressure, increase blood flow and eliminate back pain.

Footrests

Since Indian women are of average height and it is difficult for them to find comfort in a chair too high or a table too low, offices can provide footrests along with the chairs. This would provide comfort and enhance their sitting posture increasing their productivity too.

Pregnancy care

With the rise of expectant working mothers, offices must have a dedicate resting area for them. A cosy space with comfortable lounge chair, couch or a recliner is suitable for this. The same room can also be used by nursing mothers with adequate storage and a freezing facility.

Sanitation

Facilities in women washroom areas are very important. Cabinets to keep basic essentials and proper sanitary disposal dustbins are a must for a hygienic environment. Additionally, if an office has a luxury of space, providing shower or changing facilities and a full-length mirror will certainly be appreciated by the female employees.

Creche

Owing to the erratic work schedules, modern organisations are investing in creche and play areas. Irrespective of the fact whether it is a working father or a working mother, such facilities strengthen employees’ faith in their company resulting in enhanced efficiency.

#Survival for the #fittest

Eating little and still putting on weight? Have low stamina, weak bones and frequent low back pain and headaches? Congratulations. You’ve just won yourself a spot in the 21st century tired people’s club. “I meet people in their 20s and 30s who can’t even climb stairs or walk a kilometre. They are clocked out even before they touch midday,” says Gagan Arora, a Delhi-based fitness trainer. Fatigue has become one of this century’s most debilitating, yet underrated, conditions, affecting the youth physically, emotionally and mentally.

While getting the fit figure is still the driving factor for many, most strive to just get the basic, everyday fitness to do their household chores and professional jobs better. “Doing the kind of work I do, there’s always a lot of load on my back. Having suffered a previous slipped disc, I would come back from assignments wincing in pain,” shares photographer Mansi Midha. She started functional training recently with the prime objective of not losing weight but to strengthen her back and get overall endurance. “I feel I can handle much more now – physically and mentally. I’m in a more positive space now,” she adds.

TOO MUCH TO HANDLE

Today’s coffee-and-adrenaline-fuelled lifestyle leaves less room for physical movement. Arora says, “Although we have more health clubs than ever and new fitness programmes, a huge population still lacks basic cardio respiratory endurance and strength required to perform daily chores effortlessly.” Agrees strength and conditioning coach, Raoul Hirani: “The biggest problems people face are mobility issues. They have incorrect postures and flawed squat patterns.” He feels that most gym trainers focus more on body building and teach only partial range of motion.

GET STARTED NOW

Exercise is a must. The energy you produce while exercising breeds more energy, not caffeine and sugar. “Redesign your schedule to squeeze in some movement on a daily basis. Simple tasks like standing, walking a few steps every hour, climbing stairs or 10-minute morning/evening yoga can deliver positive health benefits,” says Arora.

He recommends a healthy combination of elbow planks, wall push-ups, squats and pelvic tilts for starters – done in a slow, controlled manner, breathing normally and under proper guidance. Do not get too ambitious if you seek everyday strength. “Getting the form right is more important. Keep weights for later,” says Hirani.

SAY NO TO…

Sodas: Drink plenty of water throughout the day

Starch: Go for wholegrain over refined flour

Packaged food: They are high in preservatives and salt

Artificial sweeteners: May contain less calories but has an adverse effect on insulin levels

Stay #active for a better #heart #health

A study conducted by the New European research has found the health benefits of being physically active. It suggests that staying active can outweigh the impact of being overweight on cardiovascular disease during the middle-age and in elderly people.

The Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, conducted an observational study and looked at more than 5,344 participants aged 55 to 97 (average 70 years) and free of cardiovascular disease at the start of the research, who were followed for 15 years.

The information that the team collected from the participants was about BMI, physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, diet, education, and family history of premature heart attack.

Participants were then categorized into groups according to their BMI: normal (18.5-24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2) and obese (>30 kg/m2); and physical activity, low and high.

With 16% experiencing a cardiovascular event in the 15-year period, analysis showed that physical activity on its own was associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, regardless of BMI category.

However, the results did not show any association between BMI and cardiovascular disease. When the team analysed the effect of physical activity and BMI combined, they found that in comparison to normal weight people with high physical activity levels (the ideal combination), overweight or obese individuals with high levels of physical activity were not at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Overweight or obese people with low levels of physical activity had a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The results led the team to conclude that it is physical activity rather than a normal BMI that has a protective effect on cardiovascular risk, explaining that being overweight and obese increases cardiovascular risk by accelerating atherosclerosis – the hardening of the arteries – whereas physical activity helps to protect from atherosclerosis.

While the group was particularly active, with ‘low’ and ‘high’ levels of activity representing two and four hours a day, author Dr Klodian Dhana points out that “any physical activity is positive for cardiovascular health and in elderly people of all weights walking, biking and housework are good ways to keep moving. European guidelines recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The findings can be found published online in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Forget these myths

Many people stop training but don’t modify their diet to their current calorie needs. When you are training, you tend to eat more as your body demands the nutrition. So, if you cut back on the exercise rethink your diet too.

There are many myths that surround women who work out. Forget everything you think you know, and read on to get your fitness facts straight.

Myth: Thin women don’t need to work out

Fact: It’s a common misconception that thin women needn’t work out because they don’t need to lose weight. The truth is everyone needs to work out — thin or fat — to get basic strength and flexibility. In fact, weight loss is not ‘the’ goal of working out, fitness is.

Myth: Stopping training makes me gain weight

Fact: Many people stop training but don’t modify their diet to their current calorie needs. When you are training, you tend to eat more as your body demands the nutrition. So, if you cut back on the exercise rethink your diet too.

Myth: Pilates is for women

Fact: Not really. Pilates is developed by Joseph Pilates, a man, for everyone. Recently Sylvester Stallone tried it and called it brutal. On his Instagram video, the star said: “For anyone who’s never tried Pilates – the name sounds cute, but it ain’t cute.” Exercising doesn’t have a gender, it’s a choice.

Myth: Don’t exercise during your periods

Fact: Some women benefit from exercising during their monthly cycle – it helps them with cramps and mood swings. Others like to pass it, lying down on their bed. Whatever your menstruation mojo, fitness experts advice you to listen to your body.