Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Doing reflexology is good for you — for reasons you never expected

 Un-Sit Your Life

A new British study may help answer old questions about reflexology. Does the reflexologist receive as much benefit from reflexology practice as the client? Do reflexologists live longer? It may also raise a new question. Does self reflexology create results beyond those attributable to working the reflex areas of the hands and feet?
The study was about sitting time and fidgeting. It turns out that the positives and negatives of sitting are not as simple as counting time spent doing it. What one does while sitting is important too. And it’s here the questions about reflexology enter the picture.
According to the study, “Fidgeting is typically defined as involving small movements, especially of the hands and feet, often through nervousness, restlessness, or impatience. … The current results suggest that more complex movements of the hands and feet may be important to measure, in addition to level of physical activity (sitting time).
The study found women who fidgeted more while sitting lived longer. Among the women in the low fidgeting group, sitting more than 7 hours a day was associated with an increased mortality risk of 30%. “Among women in the high fidgeting group, sitting for 5–6 hours/day … was associated with decreased mortality risk. … Fidgeting may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality associated with excessive sitting time.
Previous research suggests why fidgeting may be beneficial. Fidgeting expends more calories than sitting still—118 calories an hour versus 80. Calorie consumption is linked to metabolism with more calories indicating more demand on metabolism. Research results showing sitting while reading or using a computer is less impactful on metabolism. It could be the benefit of intellectual stimulation while sitting.
So, where does reflexology fit into such concepts? Reflexology work whether applied to another or oneself includes complex hand movements of technique application. There’s mental mastery of techniques application appropriate to the specific part of the foot or hand and health concern. Then there’s assessment of what’s under thumb or fingers as one works as well as linking techniques in a coherent whole session.
The bottom line? Reflexology is good for you. Keep those hands moving.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sedentary behavior is associated with 35 chronic diseases and health conditions



Aging (Accelerated biological)
Anxiety
Breast cancer
Cognitive dysfunction
Colon cancer
Congestive heart failure
Constipation
Coronary heart disease
Depression
Diabetes (Type 2)
Erectile dysfunction
Hypertension
Liver disease (Nonalcoholic fatty)
Metabolic syndrome
Osteoporosis
Peripheral artery diseasse
Rheumatoid arthritis
Stroke
Thrombosis (Deep vein)
Additional16 from our research
Alzheimer’s (risk)
Blood pressure (high)
Dementia (risk)
Endometrial cancer
Heart attack
Infertility
Kidney disease
Lung cancer
Obesity
Ovarian cancer
Pain/Discomfort (musculoskeletal)
Prostate cancer
Pulmonary embolism
Reproductive organ disorders (infertility, cervititis, cervical polyps, pre-menstrual and menstrual period pain, dysmenorrhea; fallopian tube obstruction; endometriosis, prostatitis and vaginitis)
Sperm count (low)
Uterine cancer

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sitting on the Job, Will Law Suits Follow?

Start talking to people about sitting too much at work and the stories come out. And, everyone has a story. Some are sad. Some are indignant. Some are angry. You hear the stories and you wonder, what is the human toll and, yes, what is the legal liability for businesses requiring hours of sitting time of employees?
The 50-year old computer engineer talks about his fellow computer workers, some of whom he’s known since they were all in their 20s. They’ve gained weight over the years as he gestures with his hands to illustrate the increase in size. But he strikes a sad note when he talks about those “who aren’t there any more”, two forty-somethings who have died young.
There’s the 40-year old experienced UN attorney told by the boss, I expect to see you in this department sitting at your desks working from 9 to 5 with 1/2 hour for lunch. She’s indignant.
Then there’s the sixty-something event planner whose company has a policy of “move around” but when it comes to encouraging movement, there is none. She’s retired early due to her health problems and she wonders how much a work life of sitting contributed. She’s angry.
Is health and safety in the workplace compromised by requirements that employees sit for hours at a time? Research shows the answer is yes.
The presence of smoking in the workplace was debated as a health issue and anti-smoking measures were implemented. Now on the job sitting has the real possibility of being a similar contentious and  litigious issue. Will measures be implemented to lessen businesses’ liability?
People sue for all sorts of reasons. The bottom line on the issue: a company may need an un-sitting policy to show a good faith effort to meet the risk to employees sitting on the job.

Issue #1

On the job sitting is being linked to lifestyle conditions such as heart attack, colon cancer, diabetes and musculoskeletal problems.When an employee becomes ill, will he or she blame the employer for hours spent desk bound on the job?
Research shows:
• The risk for heart attack increases by 54% for people who sit most of the day
• Sitting on the job for 10 or more years doubled the risk of colon cancer and increased the risk of rectal cancer by 44%.
  • Each 2 hour per day increment in sitting at work was associated with a 7% increase in risk for diabetes for women.
  • Sitting at work more than 95% of working time is associated with neck pain. For General Electric expenses for employees’ musculoskeletal concerns account for 20% of health care expenses for white collar workers.

Issue #2

Then there are corporate wellness programs where employers ask employees to take responsibility and be accountable for their health. Weight and metabolic biomarkers are frequently used tools to measure accountability. Sitting on the job may very well explain why an employee has a hard time meeting such criteria. The employee’s seated job is shown to contribute to abnormal metabolic biomarkers for blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and more. Will an employee sue, after becoming unhappy when being penalized or denied rewards for obtaining wellness goals?
The issue is looming. A survey of 2,900 companies showed 43% give discounts on health insurance premiums and 40% award cash or gifts to employees who participate in health screenings or healthy behaviors, such as exercise, weight-loss and quit-smoking programs. In the future 64% of larger companies plan to start using rewards and 46% plan to start penalties
Help your employees un-sit their work lives. It’s good for business.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Is Preventing Alzheimer's a Possibility?

Can we build better brains lessening cognitive decline and risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s? 

According to researchers, the answer is, yes. Choices we make every day impact the functioning of our brains. And these choices can lead to a better future, lessening risk not only for Alzheimer’s but also for dementia and cognitive decline.
Choices about how much we sit and move around today and every day are being implicated in how well our brains and cognitive functions will work in the future. 
Physical inactivity, sitting too much, has a specific impact while metabolic factors resulting from sitting too much have an effect as well. Walking abilities and what we do as we sit, television watching in particular, impact risk.
Read more and find out what these indicators are. Then we’ll talk about what you can do to target these risks. Is it an Alzheimer’s preventive? Research shows the possibility.
Indicators for cognitive decline and risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s
Indicators linked to increased risk for Alzheimer’s include:
• heredity (46%)
  • physical inactivity (21%)
  • depression (15%)
  • midlife obesity (7%) (linked to physical inactivity)
  • midlife hypertension (8%) (linked to physical inactivity)
  • diabetes (3%) (linked to physical inactivity)
  • smoking (11%) 
  • low education (with limited mental stimulation into adulthood)(7%)
Metabolic indicators
Indicators linked to increased risk for cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s are also linked to metabolic processes that are impacted by sitting too much and moving too little including:
  • elevated levels of blood sugar, 
  • elevated levels of fats (cholesterol, triglycerides) 
  • elevated levels of lipoprotein lipase (helps fat utilization by muscles as movement takes place)
  • high blood pressure 
  • “overweight/obese (individuals) could have a greater risk of AD than those with a more active, healthy lifestyle”
Walking abilities and falls
A risk of falling may be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s. The slower the walk among senior citizens, the more the signs of dementia. 
Sitting too long and too much creates musculoskeletal stress and, over time, dysfunction. Impacted in particular is loss of flexibility in the lower back.  “Flexibility, particularly in your lower body, is a key determinant in how well you age, including your risk of falling and your ability to get around.”.
Mental stimulation
Did you know that researchers link television watching and risk for Alzheimer’s? It is thought to be because it is the least mentally stimulating of seated activities.
What’s a person to do? 
First, recognize your chair dwelling lifestyle does not match your cave dwelling metabolism and muscles. 
Next, get up and get moving is the answer. But how much and how often? 
The answer: two hour more a day than you currently move with two minute breaks from sitting every 20 minutes. Also consider practicing exercises that effect the stability of the lower back. See below.
Why the program to un-sit your life? This is what the body, designed to live a much more active lifestyle than our chair dwelling culture, needs to maintain its metabolism and muscles. Moving 2 hours more a day with breaks from sitting resets both metabolism and muscles.
The result is improved indicators for metabolism as well as flexibility for  competent movement and mobility. The bottom line is improved indicators for risk of cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
What’s the link to reflexology?
It’s all about pressure to the feet. The reflexologist provides quality pressure to the feet. Un-sitting provides quantity pressure to the feet.
We became interested in sitting too much as we realized sitting too much translates into feet not receiving enough pressure to maintain the body as intended. Over four years of exploring the research, it became apparent that 2 hours a day with breaks from sitting every 20 minutes that created needed change in biomarkers and other indicators of the body’s operating system. The result is improved health and lessened risk for a long list of lifestyle conditions including those impacting cognitive function.
For more information, see Un-sit Your Life, the Reflex Diet Solution, Change your sitting habits, Empower your life by Barbara and Kevin Kunz

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

8 reasons children should un-sit their lives


The more the sitting time, especially television watching time, the increased likelihood for children to have:
1. increased weight / Body Mass Index as active time is replaced by TV time and there is more opportunity to eat more calories and, as studies show, food of poor nutritional quality
2. decreased fitness 
3. lowered scores for self-esteem and pro-social behavior 
4. decreased academic achievement 
5. less healthy eating patterns that continue after TV watching  time as children’s eating preferences are influenced by ads for high calorie, poor nutrition foods and drinks and parents are pestered into buying them
6. poor biomarkers that in adulthood may significantly increase the risk of major chronic diseases particularly type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and breast and colon cancer
7. potential for foot problems for children with excessive weight
8. poor established sitting habits and TV watching/snacking habits that carry into adulthood.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Have the figure you want—in spite of your paleo ancestors


What’s this? Paleo man and woman are the reasons we women today face the unwelcome specter of big behind and pot belly? And, we can do something about it? What’s going on here?
We are our ancient ancestors, body-wise that is. And, this creates problems for the figure we desire. There is a mismatch between what our bodies do all day and what they are designed to do. As our chair dwelling lifestyles meet our paleo-designed muscle and skeletal systems, the result is a series of events leading to big behind and pot belly. (There’s also paleo metabolism and weight gain but that’s a discussion for another time.)
Muscles meant to be up and moving now live a life of sitting. Particularly impacted are muscles that keep in place the hips and lower back, the hip flexors. With too much sitting these muscles shorten and tighten pulling the hips forward. The result? The buttocks are thrust out creating the big behind.  
The culprit is implicated as well in the notorious pot belly. You see your abdominal muscles work together with your back, leg and hip muscles to keep you upright as you walk. Abdominal muscles weaken as they are under-utilized by too much sitting. No longer held in place by tight abdominal muscles, the belly comes to protrude.
Taking action: Un-sit your life
Consider how much you sit. Sitting less and moving more will interrupt the pattern that creates big behind and pot belly. Also, as we sit, the fat cells of the buttocks become compressed by the body’s weight. Sit too much and the fat cells enlarge and spread. 

We often take breaks from reading the computer to save our eye but consider how often you take breaks from sitting. You probably don’t even think about it!

But imagine this: taking breaks from sitting has more to do with  a smaller waistline size than exercise according to research! Those who take the most breaks from sitting actually have smaller waistlines! Some by as much as 1.6 inches smaller (in one study). Oh the joy!

Taking action: Target the hip flexors 
The great thing about exercises and stretches targeting the hip flexors is that they are multi-purpose, working to lessen big butt syndrome as well as helping back pain and “age-proofing”. Tight hip flexors are a major cause of back pain as the back hyperextends when the hips are pulled forward. As years go by, such frightening tightening results in the lower back becoming a less stable platform for standing and walking. Created are risks for falls and lessened abilities to get around in old age.
Exercises and stretches that target the hip flexors are variations on the lunge where one leg is moved in front of the other into a position of a 45˚ angle.
As you consider the exercises described below, take care to work within your comfort zone. If you have knee problems, consult with a health professional before proceeding. If you have balance problems, consider working with the stretches only.
If you have not exercised recently, start slowly. Spend a week or more trying the stretches. Consider how they feel especially the lunge stretch. 
The stretches can be done every day. However, exercises should be done every other day to allow muscles to recover. Start with fewer repetitions and build up to more. Rest between exercise sets. Alternate lunge exercises with exercises targeting muscles other than those used during the lunge to allow recovery. 
Stretches
Hip flexor stretch
Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet touching. Sit comfortably for a minute. 
The bridge stretch
Lie on the floor. Raise the center of your body upward while keeping feet and shoulders in place on the floor. Stay in place for a moment.
Lunge stretch
Kneel on the floor. Extend your right leg forward moving into a lunge position with knee bent at a 90˚ angle.
If it is difficult for you to maintain your balance, position yourself between an ottoman and a chair so you are supported as you move into position. Begin by holding the stretch for one minute and build up. 
Reposition with the left leg in a lunge position. Hold for a minute.
Practice until you can independently balance in the lunge position.
Exercises
The lunge stretch/exercise
As you feel more comfortable with the stretches or want to start with the exercises, practice the lunge stretch for a longer period of time. Move into position as described above. Now hold the lunge for 3 minutes. Change legs and hold for 3 minutes. (My lower back discomfort was instantly eased by this 3-minute stretch. It also helped with my competence in doing the following lunges.)
Pendulum lunge 
Stand holding a chair with your right hand. Step forward with your right foot moving into a lunge position with knee bent at a 90˚ angle. Stand upright. Step back with right foot and extend it so your left leg is at a 90˚ angle. Repeat. Build number of repetitions to 8. Repeat with left leg.
Mobility lunge
Once you feel comfortable with the pendulum lunge, try the mobility lunge. This lunge may be a challenge for both maintaining balance and leg strength. The pendulum lunge helps build strength. Position yourself between an ottoman and a chair or by a chair to ensure balance.  
The description below is from a Men’s Health article. The mobility lunge is described as helping flexibility of the hip flexors.
… Assume a lunge position with your right leg forward and both knees bent 90 degrees. Place your hands on your right thigh and push down to activate your core. Then place your hands behind your hips. Flex your glutes as you push your hips forward and down, feeling the stretch in your left hip. Hold for 5 seconds, and return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 reps, switch legs and repeat.”
Easter, Michael, “4 Mobility Exercises To Build Your Strength And Power, Build an athlete's body with these four power moves,” July/August 2014, pp.100-103

NBC Today Show just did a show

NBC Today Show just did a segment, "Too much sitting can ruin your health." Missed it. Did anyone catch it? Thanks

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Carol Alt is the real deal and so is this book!!!

My Amazon review of Carol Alt's book. 


First I want to make a full and fair disclosure before reviewing Carol's book. We have been on her show and have mentioned in her book. Having said that Carol is the real deal. She is all about optimal health. Her passion is not only great health but she truly wants to help others have great health.

This book is a reflection of those passions. I like this book because you can crack it open and learn something. I do a lot of reading on health and the information contain in this book is current and well researched.

Even the section on cosmetics had no real appeal to me being a guy. But a female friend found valuable information there.

As an author and a publisher to me this book is well laid out and attractive.

Kevin Kunz
Author Complete Reflexology for Life

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Is sitting hitting your bottom line?

Is sitting costing your business money? And, is it time to un-sit your business and preserve the bottom line?

On the one hand, sitting is the cost of doing business. In the workplace of the 1980s, office workers spent 70% of their time sitting. Today it’s 93%. On the other hand, there are real expenses related to the cost of employees sitting all day at work.

Increasing health care cost

Sitting on the job is related to weight gain, diabetes and cancer, as well as musculoskeletal discomfort, pain and problems. Health care costs linked to on-the-job sitting may not be immediately evident but over time, as the work force ages, costs increase.
  • A significant portion of the increase in body weight by men and women in the US is attributed to sedentary jobs. A sedentary jobs means fewer calories are expended in the workplace, 100 fewer calories a day according to one study. The accumulated effects over the years closely match the weight gain for 40-50 year old men and women. Obesity is related to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
  • Jobs with the most sitting double the risk for diabetes (112%), double the risk for heart attack or stroke (147%) and increases risk of death linked to cardiac disease (90%). 
Prolonged periods of sitting are linked to 21% of breast cancers, 54% of lung cancers and 66% of uterine cancers. Sitting time is associated with 30% of colon cancers. Sitting on the job for 10 or more years doubles the risk of colon cancer and increases the risk of rectal cancer by 44%. It is implicated in increased risk of endometrial, ovarian, prostate, kidney, pancreas, and lower esophagus cancers.
  • The typical office worker has more musculoskeletal problems than any other industry-sector worker, including construction, metal industry and transport workers. Addressing musculoskeletal problems is the number two medical expense for General Electric. Years of sitting impairs mobility and creates potential for injury while moving through the day and participating in sports, exercise or other activities. Later in life prolonged sitting creates potential for falls and lack of mobility.

Lessening the efforts of your company’s wellness program

Wellness programs encourage preventive efforts by employees. Yet the employees’ seated jobs and failure to address the impact counteract these efforts. For example, some wellness programs track abnormal metabolic biomarkers (blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose  and waist size). As sitting time increases so too does the risk for abnormal biomarkers. Abnormal biomarkers are lined to lifestyle conditions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardio-vascular disease.

Lost productivity and impaired cognition

  • Sitting hour after hour is linked by research to reduced productivity.
  • Moving=manufacture and transportation of food to the brain. Brain food (glucose) is created as postural muscles are used to stand and walk. Transportation of glucose through the blood stream is encouraged as postural muscles are used to stand and walk. Lack of movement interrupts the flow of food to the brain impairing cognitive abilities. A lifetime of sitting accelerates cognitive decline natural to aging as well as contributes to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Absenteeism

Musculoskeletal problems are linked to absenteeism, lost productivity and health care costs. In the UK more working days were lost to musculoskeletal concerns such as back and neck pain than any other cause.

Bottomline

Un-sitting your business can rescue your bottom line from employee health-related expenses, absenteeism, and lost productivity. In addition un-sitting can bolster the proactive efforts of company wellness programs.

Un-Sit Your Life


Friday, September 11, 2015

Un-sit for Weight Loss


I (Kevin) felt like I would never change. I was stuck with the weight I was. I was stuck with the waistline I had.
I lost four inches off my waistline and just over 40 pounds in a year. Almost four years later, it’s still gone and so is 10 more pounds and 2 more inches. I didn’t change my eating habits. I didn’t exercise more. After all, neither had helped before. It even seemed like dieting was counter-productive. Whatever I lost, I’d gain back and then some.
What happened to change my life? I became interested in my wife’s research about the health perils of prolonged sitting. In response, I un-sat my life. I created a standing desk for work hours and a standing platform to hold my IPad during the evening. Underfoot as I stood were mats with raised surfaces— reflexology mats.
As time passed, the unexpected happened. My pants were looser. One day they slipped off—as I was standing in my driveway (apologies to my neighbors). My diet and exercise habits hadn’t changed—un-sitting was having a profound effect on my weight and waistline. I wanted to do more and I did.
Most curious, I felt like I was shaping up—from the inside out. Not only is my waistline reduced, it’s firmed up. I’m seeing abdominal muscles instead of flab. It’s magic to someone who had tried almost everything to no effect. Then there’s the reduction in my appetite. It once was I had food in front of me and I’d eat it with no stopping. Now I actually feel full and stop eating
Every time I tell this story to someone who, like me, has struggled to lose weight, it strikes a cord and I hear: That’s the way I feel. I’ve tried everything—I even flunked out of Jenny Craig.
Then I tell them about what sitting too much does to the body, how our bodies are not designed for it and how it dis-regulates the metabolism of the body — among other things. And, it suddenly makes sense to them—why their efforts to keep weight off are doomed to failure.
Change your sitting habits, change the way your body works and change your life.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why I left my comfy couch

Jeanene
It’s always good to hear from you. You always go to the heart of the matter and in such an entertaining way. We’ve answered your question below, what we do once we leave the comfort of the couch. 
But we’d like to address your unasked question: why leave my comfy couch? It really strikes at what’s important: motivation to get outside the comfy couch zone. So, here’s our stories.
Why I left my comfy couch (Barbara)
The short answer is: I’ve always been an active pursuer of good things for my health, following a good diet, exercising and doing reflexology. I want a good quality of life both now and in the future. I want to avoid all sorts of dread diseases. 
I read the studies about prolonged sitting. I was interested. I was concerned. I was alarmed. My interest, concern and alarm were both professional and personal. Here were these results (see below) and bad health things were happening because, from my professional perspective, people weren’t getting enough pressure applied to their feet as they sat too much.  I’ll skip the professional concern—people should know about this—and go straight to what motivates me personally because I think that’s what you’re really asking here.
In reaching the decision to leave my comfy couch, I realized I wasn’t covering all my bases in seeking good health. I discovered (1) sitting too much is related to risk for many dread diseases and (2) diet and exercise doesn’t overcome the negative impact of sitting. Once Kevin started losing weight (see below), I had the satisfaction of knowing I was on the right track to being the healthiest I could be. Ok, concern for physical appearance is there too. I’ve maintained my weight and sitting-too-much exercises are allowing me to reclaim my figure.
Sitting too much is linked to increased risk for: 
obesity, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, depression, cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s, erectile dysfunction, decrease in longevity, musculoskeletal pain, falls and walking stability in the elderly, infertility, low sperm count, cancer (breast (21%), colon (30%), lung (54%), uterine (66%) as well as implications for risk of endometrial, ovarian, and prostate cancers)
Leaving the comfy couch
Here’s what we done when we leave the comfy couch as taken from Un-sit Your Life.


Kevin’s Strategy

For Kevin un-sitting his life originally included a standing work station for some working hours and a standing station for use during the evening while watching television and using his IPad. He placed a reflexology mat underfoot at these times. Kevin was seldom standing still, preferring to shift from foot to foot. He usually stood on his mats for one and a half hours per evening. Since then he’s revised his program and is wearing a tracker to measure 12,000 or more steps a day. He takes a walk each morning, bounce-steps on a mini trampoline for 15 minutes after meals, and takes breaks from sitting every hour. Kevin prefers to use a timer to time his activities.



Barbara’s Strategy 
When Barbara’s sitting at the computer during the day, her feet are on a vibrating foot platform. She takes 2 minute breaks in sitting every 15 or 20 minutes, timed by the foot platform turning itself off. A two minute break is timed by noting 200 steps on the VivoFit. She walks on a reflexology mat for 15 minutes after meals timed by casually noticing the time on the clock. In the evening, the television may be on but while she’s walking on a reflexology mat after dinner and, when seated in a rocking chair, an electric foot roller or vibrating foot platform is underfoot. She’s usually reading and frequently applies hands-on foot and hand reflexology techniques. Two-minute breaks continue through the evening. Timing two hours more (of up and about activity) throughout the day is done by noting steps on the wearable fitness tracker. By the end of the day, she’s taken 12,000 to 14,000 steps measured on the tracker. To compensate for years of sitting, she follows hip flexor exercises.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sitting kills: Chair dweller meet paleo metabolism



Sitting is a killer! And it’s because we are our paleolithic ancestors (physically anyway) living in a chair bound world.

There is a mismatch between what the body does all day and what it is intended to do. As a chair dwelling lifestyle meets a paleo metabolism, the result is a cascading series of events leading to weight gain and back pain as well as risk for stroke, heart attack, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer and more.

The body is pre-programmed by paleolithic ancestry to be up and moving yet most of humankind lives and works in a chair bound world. What can be done to mitigate the effects of this sedentary lifestyle? Research by the Kunzes has discovered the answer.

Every footstep is a potential “nutrient” feeding the body the nourishment missed as one sits too much and too long. Move two hours more a day including breaks in sitting every 20 minutes. Un-sit and re-set are metabolism and muscles. Lessened is risk for the lifestyle conditions listed above. 

Sitting with a purpose and moving with a plan describes a new “diet” approach. Sitting, standing and walking used in appropriate amounts normalizes metabolism, keeps weight in check and makes muscles happy. It is possible to target specific lifestyle conditions by considering how much and how often to be up and about.  

A chair is a tool to be used wisely. Un-sit and save your life.


Why would two reflexology authors write a book about sitting too much?



Why would two reflexology authors write a book about sitting too much? And, how can it help you and your reflexology practice? 

We’ll begin at the beginning. For Barbara it started with a newspaper article noting how those who sit more, die earlier. Hmmm, she thought, those people are not getting enough pressure to the bottoms of their feet as they sit so much. For Kevin, who un-sat his life by getting rid of his desk chair by day and easy chair by evening, it started when he realized this new chair-less lifestyle caused him to lose weight—and it would become over the months 40 pounds and 4 inches off his waistline.

We were hooked both professionally and personally. For Barbara it became a quest for dosing—how much and how often one needed to move about to impact chronic degenerative conditions liked to sitting too much. This list includes: weight, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline, dementia and more.

Kevin began telling his clients how our culture’s chair dweller lifestyle did not benefit our cave dweller metabolism. We are our paleo ancestors, inhabiting bodies designed over eons to be up and about moving most of the time. 

We saw a similar pattern to what we saw in reflexology: pressure to the bottoms of the feet caused a profound change in one’s well being. The reflex actions involved in moving are linked to metabolism and more. By using pressure to the feet as you stand and walk, you can take control of your body.

When we sit too much, move too little and do the same things over and over again, the reflex actions involved in moving us about don’t get the workout for which they were designed. Metabolic and other processes are not practiced adequately to maintain the operation of the body as it is meant to be. 

Weight loss solution: take breaks in sitting and expend more calories


Taking breaks in sitting at the office expends from 24 to 132 calories during an eight-hour day depending on how much of a break you take each hour: 
  • a 1-minute break every half hour results in the expenditure of an additional 24 calories over an 8-hour time period 
  • a 2-minute break every half hour results in 59 extra calories expended 
  • a 5-minute break every half hour results in an 132 additional calories expended.
Take “commercial” breaks while watching television in the evening and expend more calories. If you stand up and step in place (or go to the kitchen) during commercials, you’ll be eating up 67 more calories an hour than if you had stayed seated.
Why would this be? It’s all about moving time and sitting time. There is a mismatch between what our bodies do all day and what they is intended to do. As a chair dwelling lifestyle meets a paleo metabolism, the result is a cascading series of events leading to weight gain.



Weight Gain? Blame paleo metabolism + sitting too much






Does it seem like you gain weight despite your best efforts to diet and exercise? Time to blame your paleolithic metabolism and the sitting lifestyle common to the workplace and leisure time entertainment.

When we’re up and about as much as intended by our body’s paleo design, the mechanisms that keep weight in check are able to go about their work. Metabolism causes fats and sugar to be consumed instead of stored. Over-eating is reined in as the appetite control mechanism matches feelings of hunger with food needs.

These natural mechanisms go astray over a lifetime of sitting. Getting up and moving about the house or office not only consumes more calories but also re-sets / re-boots metabolic and appetite control mechanisms thrown off by sitting too much. 

It’s all about moving time and sitting time matching the body’s paleo needs. For those seeking to lose weight, the formula is moving two hours more a day and taking 2 minute breaks in sitting every 20 minutes. (If this sounds like a lot to fit into the day, consider, one hour of moving is accomplished as 2-minute breaks are taken over 10 hours.)  Researchers have found this does two things: re-sets metabolism and causes more calories to be expended. 

Two who lost weight when they found the right amount of moving time and sitting time are author Kevin Kunz and researcher Dr. Avi Patel. Both lost 40 pounds (and kept the weight off) by un-sitting their lives. Kevin got rid of his office chair, creating a standing desk as well as a standing station his IPad during the evening. Dr. Patel parked further from the office, walked 1/2 hour during lunch and walked more around the office.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

10 reasons to un-sit your life


#1 Re-set metabolism
Un-sitting re-sets our basic metabolisms with blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides, “good” cholesterol, and waistline size responding positively to moving about.

#2 Lessen risk for stroke, heart attack, breast/colon/lung cancers, diabetes, obesity
Un-sitting creates lessened risk for these sedentary “lifestyle” conditions and creates better biomarkers (measurements) for metabolism, indicators of risk for these conditions.

#3 Helps control weight
Un-sitting means re-set are mechanisms important to controlling weight: metabolism, appetite control, and leptin resistance. More calories are expended as well.

#4 Fight big butt/big belly 
Un-sitting re-sets muscles that shape butt and belly, under-used and mis-used as we sit too much.

#5 Lessen neck/back pain
Un-sitting re-sets muscles that work to hold our skeletons in place, muscles that work in unintended ways with too much sitting, creating discomfort and pain.

#6 Sharpens the body and mind
Un-sitting improves mental and physical performance as well as lessening risk for injury and increasing creativity.

#7 Decreases risk for cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s
Un-sitting increases blood flow to the brain as well as provides physical activity and improves other indicators for cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s: glucose levels, high blood pressure, obesity and depression.

#8 Improves balance and mobility
Un-sitting improves balance and gait abilities, making less likely falls and mobility problems both for the elderly and all of us as we grow older. 

#9 Improves physical appearance and mental acuity
Un-sitting improves all of the above creating a more energetic, positive you.

#10 Live longer, live better
Un-sitting increases life spans and, as you can see from the above, the quality of that life



Monday, August 24, 2015

Does your back hurt?

I know mine did. Most of my life, all the way back to college years. Reflexology application kept things at bay but it was still there, that nagging, and sometimes more than nagging, pain in my lower back. 
Then I started looking into prolonged sitting. (The pursuit became such a passion it turned into a book, Un-sit Your Life.) And that’s where I discovered sitting too much is linked to back pain. (Hmmm, I thought, so it was those hours of sitting through class that was the beginning of my back problem.)
It seems we are literally bent out of shape by chair living. Muscles used to walk and stand are mis-used or under-used by long time chair sitting. The result is back pain.
Excessive sitting shortens your hip flexors, pulling your hips forward. That hyperextends your back and weakens your core. “Tight hips are the main cause of back pain,” says Mike (Reinold, a Boston based physical therapist and performance specialist). ” as noted by author Michael Easter.*
I discovered there are solutions. Taking breaks in sitting is one. Getting up and taking 2 minute breaks every 20 minutes took care of my neck pain. 
Then I started doing exercises aimed at the hip flexors, basically lunge exercises. My back was helped and my posture’s better too.
If you’d like to try the exercises, I describe them below. If you have knee problems, I suggest you start with hip flexor stretches before attempting lunges. 
Lunge stretch
Kneel on the floor. Extend your right leg forward with knee bent at a 90˚ angle. Hold the lunge for 3 minutes. Change legs and hold for 3 minutes. 
If this is difficult for you, position yourself between an ottoman and chair so you are supported as you move into position. Begin by holding the stretch for one minute and build up.
Pendulum lunge 
Stand holding a chair with your right hand. Step forward with your right foot moving into a lunge position with knee bent at a 90˚ angle. Stand upright. Step back with right foot and extend it so left leg is a a 90˚ angle. Repeat. Build number of repetitions. (I do 8.) Repeat with left leg.
Mobility lunge
This lunge instantly helped my back. It was a challenge to do for reasons of balance and leg strength. Becoming accomplished at the lunge stretch described above helped. The pendulum lunge helped as well. At the beginning I positioned myself by a chair to steady myself if needed. 
… Assume a lunge position with your right leg forward and both knees bent 90 degrees. Place your hands on your right thigh and push down to activate your core. Then place your hands behind your hips. Flex your glutes as you push your hips forward and down, feeling the stretch in your left hip. Hold for 5 seconds, and return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 reps, switch legs and repeat.”*
Easter, Michael, “4 Mobility Exercises To Build Your Strength And Power, Build an athlete's body with these four power moves,” July/August 2014, pp.100-103

Saturday, August 22, 2015

FitBit / VivoFit Tips


How do you get more steps out of your FitBit or VivoFit? Until we shared our tips with a friend we didn’t realize others were looking too.
A friend works for a company that gives a health insurance discount to those who wear wearable fitness device and participate in group competitions for steps taken. She shared our tips and soon her work mates from around the world were asking for more. Here’re our tips to make your every step count.
First realize the wearable fitness device is an accelerometer. It measures the swing of the arm on which you wear it. Note how much of an arm swing is needed to give you credit for a step.
  • Going up or down stairs use your non-FitBit wearing arm to grasp the hand rail.
  • When using a shopping cart, pull the cart with your non-FitBit wearing arm instead of pushing it. 
  • When using a treadmill, move your FitBit wearing arm with each step.
  • Park farther out in the parking lot.
  • Use stairs instead of elevator
  • Take breaks in sitting. Five minutes every hour over a 12 hour time period adds up. 
  • Use the rest room furthest from you at work.
  • Consider taking commercial breaks. When a commercial appears on the television, step in place or walk around the house.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Reflexologists Sit too Much

Let’s face it. Reflexologists sit too much. It is after all a seated occupation. Does it take a toll? Consider how your body feels at the end of a day in the chair? Aching muscles? Then there is all the research on the impact of sitting too much on what’s going on with the “inner” us, our metabolisms.
Here are some ideas to add more activity to a busy reflexologist’s day. 
  • Take 5 min. breaks between clients- Get up and walk about. 
  • Take 15 min. breaks after meals. This normalizes blood sugar levels thrown off by sitting too much 
  • Be up and about during your time off. 
  • Try stretching on your breaks to counteract the effects of uninterrupted sitting
A walk down the hall or a trip to the water fountain can break up that pattern of stress that forms from uninterrupted sitting. 

Un-Sit Your Life, The Reflex Diet Solution


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Un-sit with FitBit

Un-sit with FitBit
If the idea of un-sitting your life and moving about more through your day seems uninviting, consider motivating yourself by counting your footsteps. An easy way to do this is using a FitBit or VivoFit. Suddenly a chore can become a challenge.
I didn’t realize I was addicted until I lost my VivoFit at LAX. Suddenly I wasn’t getting credit for each footstep I took as counted by the band on my wrist. I wandered through the day without that rush of satisfaction knowing how much I was contributing to my own health. Lacking that  dopamine release I immediately ordered another one.
FitBit and VivoFit are wearable fitness trackers, basically an accelerometer on a wrist band that measures and reports foot steps. The band on your wrist can display instant feedback or your Smartphone can receive reports. They can do more but I’ll focus on the simple here.
Count your steps/build your health. Here’s what taking steps can do for you.
• Every 1,000 steps = 16% smaller waistline, 12% better HDL (good cholesterol), 15% better triglycerides
• Every 1,000 steps = 65 calories expended  if you weigh 120-pounds/100 calories for a 180-pound person
  • Add 2,000 steps/day and you’ll maintain your weight. Add more, you’ll lose weight
  • Taking 6,000 total steps per day significantly reduces risk of death
  • 7,500 steps/day = better self esteem, confidence, productivity; experience improvement in quality of life; lose weight, feel better / more satisfied about their physical appearance
  • 10,000 steps a day for 8 months = decrease in waistline circumference by 2 inches, weight loss of 10 pounds, reduction in high blood pressure by 34%, decrease by 69% the odds for men of having cardiovascular disease
For a hilarious take on wearing a FitBit see David Sedaris’s article in New Yorker magazine (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/06/30/stepping-out-3)

Un-Sit Your Life


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Reflexologists need to pay attention to prolonged sitting


Reflexologists need to pay attention to prolonged sitting

For one thing we are selling a book on prolonged sitting and you need to buy it so we can purchase  that beach house we have always dreamed of owning.

Seriously though think about the people you are seeing in your reflexology practice. Reflexology is amazing in what it can accomplish. But what caused their problem in the first place. And what could make it more difficult to get results with their particular problem.

I am reminded of a client who said the worst mistake he made was putting his beermeister ( a contraption that dispenses beer like a bar tap) next to his recliner. The first evil is obvious- beer at your fingertips. 

The second evil is not as obvious. The recliner was truly made by the devil. It makes movement a thing of the past. And it sets off a whole chain of events that can turn truly catastrophic. 

We were built to move. Your ancestors metabolism still dwells with in us. Our paleolithic ancestors didn't go to the gym- their gym was the environment around them. Survival depended on them continually moving.

When we become sedentary our metabolism runs amuck. Blood sugar gets out of control, fats accumulate and other nasty things occur. Yet the solution is simple we need to un-sit and get moving. 

We need to activate our postural muscles by standing up. This applies pressure to the feet- a whole orchestra of muscular activity takes place. Sound familiar? The very same action pressure to the bottom of the feet helps reset the metabolism with both reflexology and un-sitting. 

So getting educated about prolonged sitting is:

1. Helpful in understanding why people get ill. Prolonged sitting is connected to about 80% of illness such as diabetes, cardiac problems, cancer and Alzheimers just to name a few. 

2. Understanding musclo-skeletal problems like low back and neck and shoulder problems. 

3. Helpful in making the connection to stress related problems like high blood pressure.

4. Helps your client regain control over their body. You can help with your reflexology work but to get true control educating them about prolonged sitting enhances your work. 

Look this is personal for me (Kevin). I lost initially 40 pounds and 4 inches off waist. I was in the danger zone at 267 lbs. and a 44 inch waist. That was nice enough but I gained something else that was equally important. It was a sense of control.

I felt empowered to continue on and I am far from done. Yet I know how this works and I can get to where I want to go. It is beyond hope it is hope with certainty.  

Now go buy a book so we can buy that beach house!!!