October 2011

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work up the ladder SittingPretty Cruise through the workday in comfort with a desk chair offering posture-friendly support Lightweight design: Made with lightweight and mostly recyclable material, this chair blends flexible fabric with ergonomic design (in a variety of colors) for maximum comfort and style. $399 by Herman Miller; The Century House Home & Office, 3029 University Ave., Madison; (608) 233-4488. Straighten Up! Dr. Ken Bowers of Bowers Family Chiropractic offers five easy steps for main- taining healthy posture Check your setup. At your desk, your keyboard should be directly in front of you in a place that allows your forearms to be level with the ground. Keep your computer monitor at or below eye level. And don't fall victim to the most common mistake: having your mouse too far away, requiring strain and pres- sure when you reach for it. Instead, keep your mouse at a comfortable distance near or directly in front of your computer. Adjusted just right: A mesh back mirrors the curve of your spine, an ergonomic fit comforts the shoulders and lumbar region, and adjustable everything make this the Cadillac of office chairs. Available in more than 300 colors. $1,500 by Allsteal; Emmons Business Interiors, 4604 Hammersley Rd., Madison; (608) 441-8900. Have a good chair. The most important features include a high, adjustable- height back that rests along your shoulder blades, offers lumbar (lower back) support, and, when possible, has arm rests to alleviate pressure on the shoulders. Also make sure your feet stay squarely on the ground when seated to decrease blood pressure and boost blood flow. Do a mental check-in. Every few min- utes, for about five to 10 seconds, take note of your surroundings. Roll your shoulders down your back, lengthen your neck and sit tall through your spine. Make this a regular habit and you'll start to build muscle memory that helps your body naturally correct your posture throughout the day. Check your standing posture, too. If you're on your feet all day, prevent strain by standing tall, but lightly. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees. If you have access to a block or other raised sur- face, take breaks throughout the day to step on and off of it, which helps keep your blood flowing. Comfy color: A curve that hits you just right offers proper back support while adjust- able tilt and height make it easy to find your sweet spot. Available in a variety of colors to brighten any office. $129 by Jesper; Rubin's Scandinavian Furniture, 317 E. Wilson St., Madison; (608) 255-8998. 34 Be core-conscious. When exercising, try to work in planks and bridges (yoga-like moves that target your core) or other moves that strengthen your midsection. The more you pay attention to your core and spine, the more often you'll correct your posture until it's second nature. BRAVA Magazine October 2011

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