Ergonomic Workstations for a Healthy Back
May 19, 2016
Ergonomic Workstations Provide Comfort While Promoting Back Health
Taking care of your body is essential for health and wellness, and when you feel good, you’re always going to be more productive. While labor jobs can be hard on your spine and body, sitting all day is really a stress to your lower back and neck. Chiropractors attribute a lot of back dysfunction to prolonged sitting, poor posture, and poorly-equipped workstations. Sore necks, headaches and backaches are just a few of the symptoms that may present when confined to a desk day after day. Posture, exercise and ergonomic workstations and equipment are essential components to back health.
While periodic massages are great therapy and help de-stress you after a week’s work, there are lots of things you can do for yourself to help keep your back in shape and your body feeling good. Of course, if you have chronic problems, you’ll want to consult a professional, but exercising every day, even if only walking 20 minutes helps decompress your spine, as well as providing cardiovascular benefits.
Taking short breaks and moving around during your work day is ideal. Periodic stretching and brief walks get your blood flowing and are good for circulation and your muscles, joints and mental well being. Of course, if you can schedule longer walks into your work day, that’s a good way to break up the day and potentially boost your metabolism.
Making ergonomic changes to your workstation, whether you commute or work out of a home office, can greatly benefit your posture. Ergonomic workstations require optimal computer height, desk height, chair height and keyboard heights – all tailored to fit your body. The top of your computer screen should be about 2-3 inches below eye level for optimal viewing. If it’s too low, the neck and shoulders tend to automatically bend forward to adjust your viewing height. Setting a monitor directly on a desk is probably the most common mistake in computer station setup. A desk monitor stand helps boost the height of your monitor. This inexpensive Monitor Stand adds 4 inches in height to your monitor, accommodates monitors up to 24-inches and, combined with an adjustable-height chair, forms a fairly ergonomic workstation.
The Mid-back Task Chair has a gas lift for easy lever operation and a generous travel range from 17.5 to 23 inches, which accommodates most desk heights. Comfortable arm rests and a sleek contemporary design make this a handsome and functional choice for a home or work office. The chair has superior lumbar support, a comfortable, faux-suede upholstery and comes in a variety of colors from neutral gray to festive Wasabi green for the more adventurous types.
An Adjustable Standup Desk gives you maximum control over your work height and enables working while standing up, which many find preferable to sitting. A front hand crank makes it a breeze to adjust and the smooth glass top is easy to keep clean. The keyboard tray slides out for convenient access and pushes in when you don’t need it. A similar model with a composite top is also available.
Many people have headaches or feel nagging pain and discomfort without really questioning the source. While lots of factors can contribute to head and back pain, if you pay close attention to your surroundings and assess the ergonomics of your workstation and make appropriate adjustments, you may feel some immediate benefits.
Seasonal Clothing Storage Solutions
April 15, 2016
Clothing Storage Solutions for All Seasons
It’s April, and while we could be in for more snow here in Michigan, it’s really time to start packing away winter clothing. In with the shorts, out with the sweaters and, crossing fingers – no more snow! I also like to change out my linens, stash away the comforters, and replace them with cotton and lighter blankets. Seasonal clothing storage frees up space for warm-weather clothing and linens.
Airtight Storage Containers
I live in a small schoolhouse, where space is limited, so seasonal items usually go in my occasionally-damp basement, and longer-term storage items are relegated to the barn or shed. We sell two airtight storage boxes that are ideal for basement, shed, rented locker, or garage storage. Both have foam gaskets and locking latches to keep air, moisture and insects out. One is 63-quart capacity, and the other holds 30.6 quarts. A clear body allows you to see the contents and a stackable design means maximum space efficiency – just stack them ceiling high in a corner, out of the way.
Underbed Clothing Storage
Underbed clothing storage is another way to organize, and it’s a great way to utilize unused space – for long or short-term storage of clothing, shoes, toys, memorabilia and more. Using under-bed storage boxes is especially convenient for storing linens, as they’re right where you can access them. The Stor-n-Slide Container is 28.5 inches long with a low profile, latching handles and gliding discs on the bottom for sliding across carpet and floors.
Underbed Shoe Storage
Underbed shoe storage is easy with the Cedar Underbed Shoe Storage Organizer. Made of canvas with a zippered clear vinyl top and sewn-in side pockets, this storage container can hold up to 12 pairs of shoes. The cedar lining repels insects and keeps your shoes smelling fresh. Side handles make it easy to slide out from underneath your bed. We sell a variety of other underbed storage containers on our Under Bed Storage page.
Cedar and Air Fresheners
For longer term or outdoor clothing storage, adding some eastern cedar or other odor-absorbing products helps keep your clothing and stored items smelling fresh, while discouraging moths and other insects from ravaging your clothes. The Bamboo Air Purifiers are an eco-friendly product made from bamboo carbon and are great for keeping shoes and other items fresh. Cedar balls and similar products are great for containers, closets or inside drawers. We sell a variety of other cedar products on our website including the Cedar Woodlore Basics Kit, which includes hang-ups, sachets, blocks and everything you need to keep your clothes moth-free and smelling fresh.
Five Meal Prep Tips for Beginners
March 12, 2016
Between work, school, kids, family, appointments — all of the things we juggle day in and day out, making meals is just another stress factor. Meal prep is a growing fad and for good reason. Preparing a week’s worth of meals ahead of time not only saves you time, but ensures you have access to healthy, quick meals and stay away from the junk. And if you do it right, it can save you some cash. What’s not to like?
We understand that undertaking a project like this can be overwhelming. That’s why we have collected our top five tips to help get you meal prepping like a pro.
1.) Meal Planner:
Search online and find a template you like or create your own, but you will need an easy-to-use meal planner. This will let you properly plan and shop for the meals you want to make. Once you start planning, you can make a grocery list for the things you need. This is the most important step. It is hard to continue successfully prepping if you do not have the supplies you need, and as a result are either not making enough food to last you the time you need or are finding yourself returning to the store and cooking throughout the week.
Sit down and make a list of all the meals you already make and love. While prepping is important to save time, you want to ensure the meals you are making are something you will actually eat. If you don’t like the recipes you choose, you are more likely to ignore the food in the fridge and order out or just stop prepping all together.
Use the internet, too. There are millions of recipes out there. Find some that you like.
Now take these two lists and try to fit your recipes into categories. This is an easier way to plan. You do not have to stick to strict recipes every day, but make the staple items and have them available. A little wiggle room will allow you to still be creative and satisfy any cravings you have without falling off course.
Keep variation in mind, too. You won’t be looking forward to three nights of pasta. Or maybe some of your will. Do what works for you!
- Easy meals for prepping: Pastas, soups, stews, stir fries and Mexican (i.e. tacos, enchiladas, burritos). For breakfast, think things you can make in bulk: individual quiche, muffins, protein bars, cold oats.
For the actual cooking, stock your kitchen with the right tools. We recommend having:
- A veggie slicer or mandolin: Cut veggies properly for steaming, sauteing or roasting. Having veggies at the ready will help you make better choices when you’re hungry.
- Salad spinner: Keeping a bowl of clean salad greens in the kitchen and use your prepped meats and veggies to create a salad.
- A good cutting board: Keep your meat and veggie boards separate.
4.) Food storage:
Cooking ahead of time is great, but you want to make sure you are storing foods correctly so they do not spoil.
Things like soups and stews lend themselves to freezing. The easiest way to store them is pouring them in plastic freezer bags. Make it easy on yourself and use a counter-top storage bag holder. This life-changing gadget will make it easier for you to store your food in disposable bags and not worry about cleaning out your Tupperware.
For meats and veggies, go for glass over plastic. The less porous material will lock out air, will not absorb odors and will keep your foods fresher for longer.
5.) Don’t forget dessert:
Give yourself something sweet to eat and you will not be tempted to cheat. Fresh fruit keeps well and is a great go-to snack. Either keep fresh fruit cut up and stored in the fridge or add a fruit bowl to your counter.