How do I do standing back extensions?

How do I do standing back extensions?

Back extensions have been shown to be one of the best preventative movements we can do for our low back. It loves it. Why? Our backs love to extend but often in our modern lifestyle we don't give it the opportunity, spending most of our time bent forwards, sitting and lifting. Bending back (or extending) is a rare occurrence but if we do it is linked with significantly lower levels of back pain.  So how do I back bend? After sitting, bending forwards, or lifting something; 1. Put your hands on lower back 2. Keep your knees straight 3. Breathe in and then 4. Breathe out slowly and bend backwards as far as you are comfortable  Repeat 1-10x, and multiple times throughout the day.  Let me know how you get on with this in the comments.  - Bart p.s. To learn more about the back bend take a look at this article which goes into more detail. 

The world’s healthiest desk? Skeptical.

The world’s healthiest desk? Skeptical.

  Big calls in this day and age we rightfully meet with a healthy dose of skepticism. The loud extroverted nature of the internet sees us losing our faith as we are bombarded with hyperbole and BS each day.  So how did a little company at the bottom of the world (New Zealand) create something world renowned designers have called the world’s healthiest desk? Is it BS? Here is an overview of how Limber desks have come to be called the world’s healthiest desks, who called them this, why they made the claim, and what might out do Limbers in the future? Professor Galen Cranz The Limber Petal and Linear were the first desks we created and they were so interesting that in January of 2020 Professor Galen Cranz, a design and architecture professor from the University of California at Berkeley, decided it was worth flying to New Zealand to experience them herself. Professor Galen Cranz is a celebrated researcher, architect, designer, teacher and author. A world renowned leader in furniture design, architecture and founder of the Association of Body Conscious Design. Prof. Cranz wrote the book on the Chair, its history and role in our ever evolving culture and its flaws (see ‘The Chair; Rethinking Culture, Body and Design’) as well ethnography for designers ( see ‘Ethnography for Designers’). When in Wellington Prof. Cranz came and worked from a Limber Petal and we got to spend a day together talking about health, design and the role design plays in behavior change. After using the Limber for 30 minutes, prof. Cranz turned to me and said, “Bart, you have created the world’s healthiest desk”. I was speechless. Prof. Cranz knows about the latest designs in the world and lives at the cutting edge of workplace design and research (through the UC Berkeley Interdisciplinary Center of Healthy Workplaces), and here she was telling me that what we have created at Limber is the best in the world and was even happy to send me a video of her saying it!  You can listen to a Radio New Zealand interview with Professor Galen Cranz here.  But why?  Why did Professor Cranz call the Limber desk the world's healthiest desk? Let’s break this down to make sense of this huge call.  There are 5 key reasons; Largest range of motion: Limber Desks are the only desks in the world that allow for full standing to floor sitting range of motion, which in turn allows for a lot more movement and postural variety each day.  Limber Desks make active resting floor postures possible; this is important for 3 reasons. Getting to and from the floor is a predictor of how long we will live (or in researched terms, ‘all cause mortality’). Getting to and from the floor is a very important movement for our long term health. The strength, flexibility and balance required for this movement helps us stay independent and avoid falls in later life.    The floor environment as a working environment is the most movement rich we have. There are 10+ floor postures and many variations of them that we can circulate through, keeping us moving and our joints supple. We can use this environment to improve our mobility over time, rather than lose it which is what happens in a traditional setup, and when you are tired of the floor you can stand up.  Floor postures are also called ‘Active Resting Postures’. They have been shown to increase activity in the big muscles of our legs keeping our metabolism processing fats and our nervous system up-regulated. This is the opposite of the negative metabolic effects of chair sitting which contribute to the metabolic diseases they have been shown to promote (diabetes, heart disease, cancer) and also has the effect of sending more blood to our brain, for creativity and problem solving benefits.  Speed of movement between heights and no need for a traditional chair;  The speed the desk changes height influences how likely it is we will change height. If you are in the middle of a task, deep in thought, the amount of time it takes to change height will impact your ability to stay focussed. Think about a desk that offers you the ability to work from sitting in a chair, but it takes 15 minutes to do this. How often are you going to change height in the middle of a task if it takes 15 minutes? What about a crank desk that takes 60 seconds to change height? 95% of people don’t change height on a crank desk. Electric Desks that take 10-20 seconds? 80% of people don’t change height in a day. What about if it takes 1 second? Much more likely. As soon as your body wants to move, you can, without interrupting your flow. Although we don’t have exact data on the utility of Limbers, we have anecdotal evidence that people are changing heights much more frequently. The inertia to stand when sitting in a chair is high, it is a big barrier to movement. Not only are top of the line ergonomic chairs $2000+ they are comfort traps. They prop you up in just the right ways to help you lose the motivation to move. So naturally after trying standing for a few weeks at a new desk, getting uncomfortable standing because our hips are not used to being upright, we revert back to the chair. Removing the chair and working from standing or the floor brings in much more movement and having the speed to change height means it does not interrupt our work. We can move more freely, more often and gradually we begin to crave movement, particularly the floor postures.  Adjustability; the Limber desks come with the ability to change the desktop and monitor height to whatever height suits your body perfectly and it is all included - no extra thought, just set up the screen at your height with the adjustable single and double monitor mounts, have your keyboard at the right height for your arm length and you are good to go!  Limber desks are built with sustainable design principles; Most desks in the office space are made from crap that doesn’t last and ends up polluting your local landfill. Limber desks are made from sustainably forested Birch wood, are built to last decades (no electric motors that break easily, just a rope and pulley system) and are made in ways that they can be easily repaired should something ever go wrong.  Points 1-3 all add up to more movement. More range of movement, more diversity of movement and moving more often. Then you have the ability to set everything up so that it is perfect for your personal body shape and finally, working from something that has caring for our natural environment in mind.  As a bonus the Limber desks come with beautiful out of site cable management and a bird shaped headphone hanger for the ultimate workspace experience.  What about the future?  It would be great if we did not rely on a screen and keyboard to interface with a computer and do our work. As that really is what a desk comes down to, and we are trying to adapt that need into an environment we can move the most. I believe that beyond the floor we can add some functionality around the desk to help us move more, but as long as we require a screen and keyboard we will need a desk and there is not any further progress the desk can make.  Maybe there will be a future where virtual reality will be able to provide an environment where we can interface with computers in a way that is more natural for us, but that is yet to be seen and will present its own challenges, I have no doubt. Where does that leave us?  When a world leading professor, like Galen Cranz, from one of the world's most renowned universities calls Limber desks the world’s healthiest desks we can have confidence that it is not just a bunch of hyped up marketing BS, but rather there is substance to these claims.   We certainly feel very fortunate to be recognised in this way by someone this knowledgeable and look forward to the research that is ongoing at UC Berkeley, the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi and the University of Southern California to be completed and published so we can all learn more about the benefits of working from the floor.  - Bart de Vries | Physiotherapist and Limber Founder About Limber 8 out of 10 people get back pain in their life and back pain is the number one cause of disability, lost workplace productivity and income poverty. At Limber we are on a mission to halve that by 2050, and building the world's healthiest desks is just one part of the solution. We need your support to make that a reality. Become a back pain champion, share our back pain resource centre with your family and workmates. Subscribe to the Limber newsletter here to learn about floor postures and get access to special deals. 

Back Pain Facts Quiz (Questions & Answers)

Back Pain Facts Quiz (Questions & Answers)

Unhelpful beliefs about LBP are associated with greater levels of pain, disability, work absenteeism, medication use and healthcare seeking (Main et. al. 2010). Unhelpful beliefs are common in people with and without LBP, and can be reinforced by the media, industry groups and well-meaning clinicians (O’Sullivan et. al. 2019).

Our Newsletter Philosophy

Our Newsletter Philosophy

We take a different approach to our newsletter, so we thought you might be wondering why we do it the way that we do. Read on to get the full picture.  #1 Our goal with the floor posture of the month newsletter is to build your floor posture confidence and give you a few insights so you can use them to your health advantage.  You can sign up to it here. What is in it? We start with your "floor posture of the month" We like things that are simple, so we profile one floor posture a month. Plus, the best way to stay active during your workday is to work from the floor. So we want to help you along that journey. No matter if you’re new to active resting postures or you’ve been on the ground for years, we hope this segment teaches you something new and gives you more confidence in your active working journey.  You can do our Working From the Floor Course to learn more about this too.  We always include a song (newsletters don’t need to be boring) Crossing time, genres and cultures. Sometimes weird, sometimes wonderful, mostly good vibes. Often with obscure connections to living the Limber Life. We hope it makes you smile.  Song Keys (which will be in brackets after the song) V = Vibey (69% of the songs) B = Bold choice. You might find it quite weird, don’t worry, next month will be different (5%). A = Anthem - classics that last the test of time (10%) G = Gentle (15%) H = Heavy bass, lots of it (1%) Obs = Obscure connection to Limber (can you guess what it is? Reply to the email if if you think you know) - As much as we can link them, we will!  Some examples:  Finally Moving by Pretty Lights (V+Obs) Somethings got a hold of me by Etta James (A+Obs) Morning Sun by Melody Gardot (G) Get down on it by Peter Andre (Obs +A?) What's New at Limber? Just a quick snapshot from our team to give you an update on the things that are going on at Limber.   Back Bend Reminder Doing back bends regularly can halve your chances of getting back pain and if you do get it, it can halve the time it takes to recover.  At Limber our mission is to halve backpain globally by 2050. one of the easiest things we can do to reach this goal is increase the number of people doing back bends throughout the day. After meetings, prolonged sitting, bending lifting. Bring the back bend into your daily life.  Link to "Back Pain Relief Centre" Back pain can be very painful and scary. So we have this segment to support you or those you know in pain by providing access to science based information, like the back pain quiz. Plus answer common questions, such as “Is my back pain serious?” or “How do I find an experienced clinician”. And that's it!  We like to keep it short and snappy giving you the info you need to get the most from your Limber and help you and the people you care about navigate back pain.  Our mission is to halve back pain globally by 2050, please forward this blog or our newsletters to friends who you think will benefit or want to join this mission.  You can sign up to our monthly floor posture newsletter here. 

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