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How to Live a Holistic Lifestyle While Embracing Smart Technology

How to Live a Holistic Lifestyle While Embracing Smart Technology

When you think of living a holistic lifestyle, do you picture someone being completely off-grid with no computer, no internet, and no smartphone? While some people do live this way, the absence of IoT tech doesn’t define a holistic lifestyle.

Smart technology and a holistic life aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, plenty of people live a happy, healthy, joyful life filled with smart technology. The key is they don’t allow their tech to control their lives. They’re not glued to their smartphones, and if their smart coffee maker stopped working, they’d happily brew a cup of coffee by hand.

There are countless ways smart technology can improve your life. Here are just a few specific ways.

Smart tech can give you critical food and drug recall alerts

Part of living a healthy, holistic lifestyle involves knowing when your favorite food brands test positive for dangerous contaminants. This goes for your pets’ food, too. Food recalls are far too common, and it’s hard to stay on top of every single situation. The easiest way to stay on top of each situation is to subscribe to alert mailing lists and pipe your emails through your smartphone so you’ll never miss a recall.

Even more common than food recalls are drug recalls. As much as you might try to live without over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, sometimes that’s hard. For instance, you might need to take ibuprofen once in a while to ward off a stress headache. There’s no shame in that. However, some seemingly innocent OTC drugs end up having devastating health consequences.

For example, the popular heartburn drug, Zantac, has been voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer. Zantac is the brand name for the generic drug called ranitidine. Unbeknownst to the public for years, the chemical structure of ranitidine literally becomes a carcinogen during metabolization. That’s pretty scary.

If you’re not taking any OTC drugs, you might be taking a medication that is keeping you alive. If that drug gets recalled or black boxed, your doctor may not know about it for a while. Using a smartphone to receive alerts when drugs are recalled could save your life.

Smart technology and holistic living are compatible

You can live a holistic lifestyle while embracing smart technology; you don’t need to choose one or the other. Technology won’t negatively impact your health unless you’re literally sitting at your computer all day long and you never get up to interact with the world.

In some cases, smart tech can even help you live a healthier life. For example, Fitbit tracks a user’s health data like steps taken, burned calories, and heart rate. Tracking this data can help individuals see the impact of their exercise routines, and it also helps them achieve their goals. Other wearable smart tech can be used to transmit data to a healthcare provider, and some wearable devices deliver pulsed electromagnetic frequency (PEMF) treatments.

Other smart devices are incredibly helpful to people with disabilities. For example, there are smart shoes that provide haptic feedback to guide blind people safely around neighborhoods using a smartphone GPS connection.

Haptic shoes convey directional information in a way that doesn’t distract the wearer or anyone else around them. The shoes are equipped with actuators and vibrators on all sides. After the wearer’s smartphone calculates their route, vibrations in the shoe guide the wearer to their destination. These amazing shoes also detect obstacles like steps and curbs and use the same vibrations to guide the wearer around immediate obstacles.

You can use smart tech to connect with likeminded people

Smartphones and smart tablets are tools that can connect you with likeminded people. No matter what your passion is in life, you’ll find a group of people online who share your interests.

The best way to connect with people is to use video conferencing software. Audio phone calls are okay, but why just use voice when you can connect through video conferencing? If you have an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, you already have video conferencing built into your device via FaceTime.

It’s more fun connecting with people through video chat than voice chat. You can tell so much more about a person when you can see them live. Video is the next best thing to an in-person meeting.

You can also connect with people all around the world and you won’t pay a dime beyond what you would pay for data. If you’re on Wi-Fi, then there’s no extra charge.

Connecting with people all around the world is inspiring and can be beneficial for your business. People from different cultures often have different ways of viewing situations and can come up with ideas and solutions you would have never thought about.

You can use smart tech to discover potential business partners

If you’re running a business, there’s no better way to find potential business partners than by assessing the people you’re already connecting with online.

If you’re discussing business with people over the internet, you might get a feeling that someone is a potential business partner. Smart tech will facilitate video conversations so you can get a better idea of who those people are.

Most people can sense who a person is just by being in their presence. Video conferencing is the next best thing if you’re working with people across the world.

Smart technology allows you to bring your workouts anywhere

Perhaps one of the coolest ways smart tech supports a holistic lifestyle is facilitating the ability to take your workouts anywhere. Some online workout programs are hosted in the cloud, like Apple Fitness Plus, which makes them available anywhere you have an internet connection.

You can also upload your workout programs to your private cloud hosting account if they’re not already available online. Last, if uploading is too much work, you can simply load your smart device with your workout programs and use your device to play the programs. If you happen to be in a hotel with a smart TV, you can connect your device to the TV to play your workout video on a larger screen.

Smart tech will help you track progress and goals

As long as you aren’t tediously tracking data that doesn’t matter, using smart tech to track your progress and goals in any area of life will prove beneficial. For instance, you can use your smartphone to track your reps while you’re at the gym instead of lugging around a notepad. You can also download an app to track what you eat. There are also apps that will tell you what to eat and when to eat depending on your body type and specific goals.

Technology has always been great for tracking progress. You can also track your business goals, sales, and just about anything else from a smartphone app.

Embrace smart technology as a way to enhance your holistic lifestyle

Living a holistic lifestyle is central to wellbeing. A holistic lifestyle involves taking care of your entire self – your mind, body, and soul. Smart technology can help you take better care of yourself by providing you with tools to stay on track.

Regardless of what you’ve read online, living a holistic lifestyle isn’t about giving up gluten, eating a plant-based diet, and living in a converted shipping container tiny home. Living a holistic lifestyle is about unifying your mental self with your physical self to promote overall wellness. It’s a lifestyle that keeps you in touch with the way your thoughts and attitude impact your physical health and keeps you in tune with nature, whether you eat gluten, fish, beef, or potatoes. It’s not about what you eat – it’s about who you are.

Technology has the power to facilitate your growth both in your personal life and in business. There’s no reason you can’t use a little smart technology to sustain a joyful, healthy life.

The post How to Live a Holistic Lifestyle While Embracing Smart Technology appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Gifts Health immune system immune system boost Lifestyle Ryla self-care Vit C wellness

Meet Ryla — COVID Boosts Health Food Products and Immune System Awareness

Ryla immune system support

With the holidays in full swing all around us and COVID claiming its share of the attention this year — many of us are giving closer consideration to self-care, including finding out more about the immune system. Care of our immune system may be a life-saving opportunity at this critical time. The health food industry has seen an increase in the number of people seeking ways to boost their immune system — and Ryla is here to help.

Here is an easy way to quickly begin supporting your immune system to withstand the viruses of life (stress) and maybe even COVID.

You can do something today to begin to boost your immune system. Exercising, reducing stress, and getting the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals in your body has never been quite so important than it is right now.

Buy the ingredients and make yourself a fresh-squeezed juice shot when you can — or head to the juice-bar for fresh-squeezed. Both of these options are quite time-consuming and expensive.

Try Ryla — If you want a quick and convenient option for immune support with plant-based wellness.

Ryla is a quick and convenient option for your immune support. Ryla’s plant-based wellness shots are a superfood loaded packet. They are immunity support blends in powder form made with organic immune-boosting superfoods and 500mg of Vitamin C.

These packets are vegan, keto, non-GMO, and gluten, soy, and dairy-free. The ingredients list contains real, recognizable foods that you will know how to pronounce. Contains NO refined sugar.

The packets are convenient and portable — you merely toss the powder into a glass of water — stir and drink. Open a packet and dump it in your water bottle and shake for a refreshing drink on your break or at your desk.

“Ryla was created to offer a plant-based immunity support solution that is easy to take on the go,� said Chris Douglass, co-founder of Ryla.

Ryla’s drink powders come in three blends; check them out below.

immune boosting shot
Orange Strawberry

Orange Strawberry Link

Fruity and tangy, the Orange Strawberry shot is juicy and approachable, containing, you guessed it — real organic oranges and strawberries, with a touch of organic stevia.

Super fruity with a bit of a tart kick, this fresh-squeezed powder is great in a smoothie or your water bottle. It’s been featured on Goop as one of their best in wellness products — so you know it’s the real deal.

Ensure that you are eating and drinking high immune-boosting nutrients as your personal way to stay active in maintaining your personal health and wellness.

 

immunity boosting shots
Turmeric Orange Ginger Black Pepper

Turmeric Orange Ginger Black Pepper Link

The Turmeric Orange Ginger Black Pepper shot is dynamic and flavorful. It brings warm citrus, a fun tart bite from the organic ginger and organic turmeric, and a slight spicy kick from the organic black pepper.

I think this shot tastes great in a glass of water and it is also delicious when made as a hot cozy tea. The turmeric and ginger are also full-spectrum, so there is no nutrient deterioration in the roots when they are dried.

Turmeric has long been known for its anti-inflammatory response. Reducing inflammation throughout the body also helps your antibodies respond to toxins better—a must during cold and flu season.

immunity boosting shot
Ginger Lemon Cayenne

Ginger Lemon Cayenne Pepper Link

If you love spicy, you’ll be incorporating this shot into your daily routine in no time. The Ginger Lemon Cayenne Pepper shot is all about tart and spice —Ryla calls it her “no pain no gain” shot, and she’s not kidding. It is fantastic.

The organic ginger and 500 mg of Vitamin C are there to support your immune system, and the organic cayenne pepper helps clear your sinuses.

Cayenne Pepper has been found to help with stomach issues and is a natural pain reliever — Ginger, so refreshing to sip, is also a pain reliever.

Want to mix it up? Try this shot warm with a touch of soothing honey added — you won’t be disappointed.

immunity boosting shots
Try the variety pack for immunity-boosting power.

Variety Pack Link

If you’re not sure where to start, please try out Ryla’s Variety Pack. The variety pack gives you a chance to sample all of the shots, each containing healthy superfoods and immune-boosting goodness. Stock up on your favorites and feel safe and secure, knowing that you are doing the best for your immune system and relieving stress by taking care of yourself.

With each of these packs, you’ll notice that sometimes the juice will settle, just like a fresh-squeezed juice you see at the store. This is because the Ryla company doesn’t add any additional dissolvents, chemicals, or fillers. Pure goodness.

Conclusion

Start each day off with a different Ryla shot and rotate through the different flavors — you’ll love them all. It’s reassuring to know that you’re getting a healthy dose of Vitamin C during this pandemic.

It’s also wonderful to know that you’re consuming immune-boosting superfood plants like ginger, turmeric, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, which have been used medicinally for thousands of years.

Ryla’s straight-forward list of ingredients is pure transparency — you’ll recognize every word on the list.  The minute you take a refreshing drink — you’ll love it.

We are all in this pandemic-thing together — and can pass along any information we think might be a help at this time. Remember, the best time to support your immune system is now — to avoid getting sick.

These ingredients and processes are clean and simple. This drink is clean and simple. Can’t think of a better place to grab some immune-boosting power than with Ryla’s. Check it out — grab glass — take a shot — and stay well. Happy sipping!

 

Top Image Credit: andrea piacquadio; pexels

The post Meet Ryla — COVID Boosts Health Food Products and Immune System Awareness appeared first on ReadWrite.

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AI AI Technology anxiety Health Healthcare natural anxiety treatments robots social anxiety stress management workplace anxiety

Treating Your Stress with AI Technology

Robots are our stress relief

Anxiety, stress, overthinking, and trauma are commonly used words to describe people suffering from mental health disorders that appear from work overload, depression, negative feedback, and much more. It’s very likely to see people suffering from anxiety faster than coming in contact with positive and uplifting people. Here is how to treat your stress with AI technology.

Will AI technology become a panacea for mental disorders?

The fact is, the world isn’t becoming a safer or stable place. It’s rather becoming stressful and discouraging with the COVID 19 pandemic taking over the world and putting us on lockdown.

Nevertheless, technology hasn’t given up on humankind yet. Researchers and scientists are doing their best to provide aid and stabilize the situation for the greater good.

 

“We are changing the world with technology.� Bill Gates

Changing the world with AI Technology
It’s one small step for man, one giant step for technology.

Artificial intelligent technology is now blasting through the roof with its extraordinary inventions. You have robots that can clean, play with you, and make you a drink with just a simple voice command. It’s remarkable how today’s modern age high-tech gadgets can complete simple human tasks, and even complex ones, to make everyday life easier. Sometimes robots can even do these tasks better than humans.

We have used technology to facilitate our lives and make the world a better place with motor-related tasks. The real question is, how far can Artificial Intelligence go from there? Can it subserve humans in the mental aspect? Can AI technology treat anxiety and depression?

What is Artificial Intelligence Technology?

Artificial Intelligence is the process of having robots or technology adapt and react to human tasks by learning from experiences. It’s using the technology of machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing to have robots doing motor-related tasks, competing in chess, and driving cars without passengers. Which are the type of inventions we see now.

This definition of artificial intelligence can vary from one person to another. Though what’s known for sure is that it’s robots thinking and acting like humans. It all depends on programming technology for problem-solving.

You notice today’s modern development in AI technology and the inventions created using this deep machine learning process, with phone features like the voice activation commands you can give to your phone to make it schedule an appointment, make a call, or set a reminder for you.

You might also be aware of the word translation feature on your phone. A simple scan of a written page (handwritten or typed) will have it fully translated for you by using the camera on your phone.

AI technology is found all around us nowadays.

You can see your phone using AI — it’s all over the internet, other technological objects like cars, and much more. It makes you wonder how all of this works and how it’s possible to make robots interpret human thinking.

How AI works is not the essence of this article. I can tell you that it all relies on the processing of data through advanced algorithms and learning from the patterns or features from the data given. It includes machine learning, deep learning, cognitive computing, and other factors that make the process possible.

After that brief explanation of AI, a question comes to mind. If robots can almost think and do what humans can, is it possible for them to develop emotions as well?

Can AI Technology Feel?

As we have mentioned, AI technology processes data and algorithms to distinguish certain patterns and features. This process allows them to solve problems as well as think and do what humans can do. So, is it possible for AI robots to develop emotions just like humans?

AI Technology Robots are our stress relief
Let robots help you with your stress.

While it’s never scientifically proven that AI technology can acquire or develop human emotions from using deep and machine learning, a group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a neural-network model that can detect signs of depression from a person’s voice or written text. It detects depression in a person’s speech depending on the answers to the series of questions given to him/her.

Although this might seem a massive leap for AI and can help numerous people suffering from depression. It still isn’t accurate enough, for the process relies on the person’s specific answers to specific questions. Therefore, it limits how and on whom this model can be used.

On the other hand, researchers have discussed a neural-network model that might be introduced in the future to mobile apps and more. This model is able to indicate depression from speech patterns and text typing. They are hoping that this modified model can help distinguish depression even in natural conversations.

If this model succeeds, it will facilitate many people suffering from depression that can’t get a clinical diagnosis because of the distance, high cost, or other factors.

AI Technology Treating Depression and Anxiety

It’s clear to us now that there’s no proof or successful implementation of AI technology developing human emotions. Even so, are emotions needed to treat human’s mental health? Is it required to have emotions to treat others’ anxiety?

There are numerous techniques and methods that help people reduce anxiety and depression.

Whether it’s picking up a new hobby, playing some sports, or even traveling to a country to clear the mind can aid your stress and reduce depression levels. The one method that I want to shed some light on is owning a pet. Yes! Taking care of your dog, cat, or any other pet is proven to reduce anxiety and help people suffering from depression.

Studies have shown that snuggling up to your furry friend and showing unconditional love to it will make a pet owner less likely to suffer from depression than other people who don’t own a pet. Also, it’s proof that playing with a cat or dog can stimulate high levels of dopamine, which will ease a person’s mind, relax them, and calm them down.

Different studies prove caring for a pet will reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness, and other health disorders. Besides, pets also help us develop healthy lifestyles like increasing exercise, meeting new people, and more, but that’s a whole different story. So, what do animals have to do with AI treating human anxiety and depression?

Since animals don’t have human emotions, and can sometimes sense depression. But at the same time can help their owners with their anxiety by just playing and snuggling. Can’t a robot do the same?

Vector the Robot

Take Vector the robot, for example. This magnificent AI technology gadget is a small robot. It’s about the size of the palm of your hand. It can take pictures, tell you the time and temperature, and do other tasks by using your voice.

This innovative invention amazes me because it has a curious and attentive personality that makes it almost think and act like a pet. It gets sad when you ignore it, gets angry when it loses a game against you, and it gets excited when it sees you. Now call me crazy, but I think you can call this robot a somewhat animal pet (that is a pet-robot). And think — no allergies!

Even though it’s not proven that Vector, the robot will reduce your depression and anxiety levels. It seems to me that it almost acts like a pet but with a more intellectual background. Meaning, what has been proven that pets can treat human health disorders, can also be treated by AI technology robots like Vector. As well as other AI operating robots in the market.

Conclusion:

To make things clear, this was only my opinion on the topic at hand, for no scientific breakthrough has proven my theory and thoughts on AI treating human anxiety. But I believe that there are many ills — both in society and in mental and physical healthcare that AI will be able to help with, if not cure.

To conclude, Artificial Intelligence technology is truly remarkable and has yet to exceed the limits in the near future. Although my opinion is just a theory, it still seems like at some point in time; AI technology will improve and develop to things we have not yet imagined — aside from the motor-related tasks it provides and iterates on today.

Image Credit: lenin estrada; pexels

The post Treating Your Stress with AI Technology appeared first on ReadWrite.

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CBD Cream cbd gummies CBD Lotion CBD Oil CBD Products Gifts Health Lifestyle ReadWrite unique and thoughful gifts

Just CBD – Best Christmas Deals

CBD deals

Forget baking cookies or picking up a gift card at the grocery store. This Christmas, give the fun, smart, and often delicious present of CBD merchandise. The right items come from hemp, as opposed to THC-heavy marijuana. That means they are completely legal in all 50 states. Better yet, Just CBD will help users manage both mental and physical stress. So, if you want to give the perfect gift this holiday season, search for the top CBD products for sale, such as tasty gummies, tinctures, lotions and more.

CBD Gummies

Delicious gummies are the most popular item of all the CBD items on the market. After all, the top CBD Gummies are available in a wide variety of colors and shapes, including rings, worms, cherries, emojis, rainbow ribbons and gummy bears.

The flavors are excellent too. Give a 250mg jar of Blueberry Raspberry Rings to your coworker, but save the giant 3000mg Party Pack for your significant other. You can even hand out CBD vegan gummies and sugar-free CBD Gummies to people following special diets.

Of course, it may take a little trial and error to figure out your favorite flavor of CBD edibles. Within 30 to 60 minutes, the cherished CBD snacks should help you to relax, both physically and emotionally. Keep an eye out for Just CBD Strawberry Banana Gummies, along with limited edition Christmas Trees, Snowmen and Snowflakes.

CBD Oil Tincture

The most beloved gummies may be yummy in the tummy, but some folks prefer a faster-acting delivery device for their cannabidiol. That’s when a pure CBD tincture makes an ideal gift for Christmas. Not unlike the edibles, the tinctures of CBD oil do not possess any chemicals whatsoever. They are also small and convenient, as people on the move can easily toss them into their pockets, as well as their purses.

Meanwhile, CBD hemp oil tincture is rather easy to use. The merchandise comes with a dropper, allowing a person to take a single “drop� of CBD oil at a time. Simply drop it in under your tongue, or stir it into an ordinary drink, like coffee. Best of all, users tend to feel the benefits of CBD oil in as little as 15 minutes and for up to 6 hours at a time. How cool is that?

CBD Topicals

It can be hard to appreciate Christmas morning if you’re suffering from incredibly sore arms or a pulled hamstring. Nobody likes dealing with dry and sensitive skin. That’s why waking up to the gift of powerful CBD cream can be a blessing in a gift-wrapped box.

Keeping it all-natural, the Strawberry Champagne CBD lotion is made of vitamins, coconut oil and aloe to decrease discomfort. CBD Pain Cream comforts sensitive and irritable skin. CBD roll-ons supply an icy sensation, and Ultra Relief CBD Gel efficiently improves blood circulation.

Give a loved one a rub down with smooth CBD Massage Oil. As long as you depend on a high-quality topical CBD, you should have no trouble relaxing. Getting 8 hours of unbroken sleep should come easy, doing wonders for your energy level the next day. Even one’s aging memory and concentration skills tend to improve.

More CBD Goodies

Don’t forget to look at all the other CBD items that are now available. CBD bath bombs soak away stress. CBD vape pens and capsules also make wonderful gift ideas. The same can be said for CBD honey sticks and coconut oil. Individuals even love using CBD isolate while they cook.

To sum it up, there are many fine options for CBD merchandise this holiday season. Thankfully, it couldn’t be any easier for your friends and family to enjoy a fabulous Christmas present from our spectacular CBD store.

Spend up to $50 and get 25% off your order with coupon code: ELF

Spend up to $100 and get 30% off your order with coupon code: REINDEER

Spend over $100 and get 35% off your order with coupon code: SANTA

Promotions are good until December 1, 2020.

David Baker is an expert on CBD products, as he has spent years using them to destress after long days at the office. Follow him on Medium, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora and reddit.

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6 Brilliant Brain Hacks for the Remote Worker

brain hacks

What was once a niche work lifestyle has become commonplace. Millions of Americans now work remotely – and millions more are ready to join in. While remote working offers many benefits, it also has its own distinct challenges that must be worked through. Understanding how to power through friction and optimize productivity for better output is the goal. Here are six brilliant brain hacks for the remote worker.

Do you know where to start? Here is a practical guide to on-boarding remote engineers from a topmost expert. Consider these 6 brilliant brain hacks for the remote worker.

The Upward Climb on Remote Working

If you work from home, you used to be the anomaly. Today, you’re in good company. Pretty soon, you’ll be part of the majority.

According to Global Workplace Analytics and Quarterly Global, the leader in PR, marketing and advertising, the number of individuals working from home has grown by 173 percent since 2005.

Overall, 4.7 million employees (roughly 3.4 percent of the overall workforce) work from home at least half the time.

Approximately 40 percent of American employers offer more flexible workplace options today than they did five years ago. But with 80 to 90 percent of the U.S. workforce saying they’d prefer to work outside the office at least some of the time, this number is expected to rise in the coming years.

As remote working becomes more commonplace, so will the need for better remote working strategies.

The Top Remote Working Challenges

Remote working is highly appealing and advantageous for freelancers, employees, and employers alike. But it’s not a perfect setup. There are plenty of challenges, including:

Blurred lines

Everyone wants to talk about tearing barriers between work and personal life, but too much overlap can equally problematic. One of the keys to maintaining optimal work-life balance is being able to separate the two. When you work out of the house, it’s challenging to carve out a meaningful division between each area. This can make you less effective in both aspects of your life.

Distractions

Have you ever tried to work from home when you have a house full of rambunctious children? Or what about participating in a conference call in the middle of a loud coffee shop? Wherever you’re working, distractions abound.

Procrastination

Whether you’re an employee or freelancer, your remote working status typically comes with greater freedom in how you manage your time. If you aren’t careful, procrastination can get the best of you. Over time, it may even become habitual.

Inconsistency

When working in an office, there’s something to be said for the predictability. You basically know what to expect. Your desk is in the same place, you see the same people, and you go through the same basic routines. Remote workers rarely have the luxury of consistency. This makes it hard to get in a state of flow.

Communication

We may have more communication methods than ever before, but there’s still nothing that can fully replicate being face-to-face in the same physical space. For remote workers, trying to communicate via a combination of phone, email, SMS, and video chat creates an extra layer of friction.

Isolation

Finally, remote working often gives rise to feelings of isolation – particularly in people with extroverted personalities. This can lead to boredom, pessimism, and a lack of drive. It can even have serious side effects, like anxiety or depression.

Most people ignore these challenges, and the results show. But if you’re someone who wants to increase productivity and maximize output, you need a better strategy.

You need to find what works.

And once you discover what works, you need to bottle it up and use it to your advantage.

Powerful Brain Hacks for Better Results

Brain hacking.

It sounds like a buzzword – and it kind of is. But that doesn’t make it any less valid.

Our brains are constantly being shaped by events, experiences, external stimuli, and other environmental factors. And as weird as it may sound, the human brain is subject to regular physical and cognitive changes.

The neuroplasticity concept says that the brain, like muscles in the body, becomes weaker or stronger over time. It’s continuously changing and rewiring. Over time, targeted techniques and purposeful strategies can morph into automatic habits and processes.

These targeted techniques and strategies are brain hacking. And it’s something that every remote worker can do to overcome the aforementioned challenges and optimize productivity and output.

Here are some brain hacks you may find helpful:

  1. Try Intermittent Fasting for Better Focus

Intermittent fasting is a biohacking concept that involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating. There are various techniques, but the most common is to eat all of your meals in one eight-hour window. In other words, you’re fasting for 16 hours every day.

If you’re someone who loves food, this probably sounds impossible.

However, it’s not nearly as difficult as it initially seems.

It basically means you eat your first meal at 11 a.m. and your last meal at 7 p.m. (or whatever variation works for you).

Aside from the fat loss and metabolism benefits, intermittent fasting actually helps with focus. The consolidated intake of food prevents wasted energy from digesting food. Instead, you’re able to allocate those energy reserves to concentrate on work-related tasks.

On a related note, be mindful of what you eat.

While health professionals have spent years telling people to avoid fat, the truth is that you need healthy fats to maximize cognitive functioning.

Why?

It’s pretty simple: The human brain is 60 percent fat.

When you eat, try incorporating items like eggs, avocados, nuts, salmon, trout, and coconut oil into your meals.

  1. Eliminate Digital Media from Your Morning Routine

Bing! Bing! Bing!

Your morning alarm goes off.

You slap the snooze button. Once. Twice. Three times.

Once you finally come to your senses, you grab your phone, pull up Instagram, and start scrolling.

Then you get out of bed, walk downstairs, and turn on the news.

While watching the news, you reply to a couple of late-night texts that came in while you were sleeping.

Over breakfast, you check your email.

It’s not even 8 a.m., and you’ve consumed more digital media than your brain can process. You’ve also unintentionally heightened your stress level, stifled your creativity, and destroyed your focus.

When you start your day with digital media, you’re actually beginning your morning playing catch-up on what happened yesterday. You’re also letting other people dictate how you feel. You haven’t even started working, and stress, worry, and discontentment become the resounding feelings of the day.

Try taking a digital fast for the first two to three hours each day.

In a study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of British Columbia, 124 individuals were asked to check their email frequently for one week. The next week, they were told only to check their email three times per day (and to disable all notifications).

The data was analyzed against the time spent viewing email, and participants reported feeling significantly lower stress levels and higher feelings of positivity when email exposure was limited.

Once you cut back on exposure to email, social media, news, and other digital media forms, you’ll start to feel the positive effects.

While everyone can benefit from less digital media exposure, it’s especially helpful for remote workers close to digital distractions like the TV, video game systems, and personal smart devices.

  1. Leverage the Pomodoro Technique for Better Scheduling

Americans have a love affair with multitasking. We wear our ability to juggle responsibilities like a badge of honor.

But research shows that multitasking actually suppresses productivity. And if you work from home, where personal distractions are omnipresent, it can severely limit your output.

Enter the Pomodoro Technique – a revolutionary brain hacking method that remote workers have been using for years to increase focus and productivity.

The Pomodoro Technique consists of breaking your workday into 25-minute sections of work separated by five-minute breaks. Each one of these half-hour chunks is referred to as a Pomodoro. Once you’ve completed four Pomodoros, you take an extended break of 15 to 20 minutes.

These 15- to 20-minute breaks can be used for remote workers to do tasks around the house – such as folding laundry, fixing lunch, or taking a shower. This allows you to be productive with work while also taking full advantage of the fact that you’re home.

  1. Use Parkinson’s Law to Avoid Procrastination

In a satirical piece written for the Economist in 1955, British naval historian Cyril Parkinson made the following statement:

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.�

He would later write a book that fleshed out this idea. Eventually, people would refer to this concept as Parkinson’s Law.

In a remote work setting, Parkinson’s Law states that the time it takes to complete a work project depends on how much time you allot for it. In other words, if you give yourself eight hours, you’ll slow down and make it take eight hours. If, however, you only give yourself five yours, you’ll block out distractions and get it done in five hours.

If you’ve grown weary of procrastination and hope to finish your work faster and more efficiently, you need to set tighter deadlines.

Instead of telling a client, you’ll have the project done by next Friday, tell them you’ll have it in by next Tuesday. By tightening the time constraints, you force yourself to work more efficiently.

  1. Optimize Your Home Office for Productivity

One of the major challenges of working from home is that you’re forced to create a professional workspace in the middle of a very personal place.

But this is also one of the distinct advantages.

You have the capacity to design your own workspace – so why not optimize your at-home workspace in a way that puts your brain in the right frame of mind to be productive?

For starters, choose a room in the house that’s as far away from communal living areas as possible. In other words, being located right off the living room isn’t ideal. You’re much better off positioning a home office in the back corner of the house.

Secondly, you need natural light. It plays a catalytic role in brain performance, creativity, and focus.

Thirdly, paint your office walls a soothing color. The principles of color psychology suggest cool greens, blues, or neutrals. Avoid colors like red and orange, which provoke feelings of urgency.

Finally, eliminate distractions by avoiding clutter. While some creative minds thrive in messy environments, the vast majority of people wilt. Clutter zaps up energy and makes it hard to focus on the task at hand. By adopting a minimalist environment, you can get more done with less effort.

  1. Keep a Schedule

The human brain thrives on predictability. Remote working is far less predictable than working in an office where you’re expected to show up, take lunch, and go home at the same time each day.

If you want to give your brain a solid framework to latch onto, a consistent schedule is necessary.

Start your day by having your alarm go off at the same time every single morning.

After waking, implement a consistent routine that helps you transition from personal duties to professional responsibilities.

Start working each day simultaneously and use a couple of familiar tasks to help your brain slip into the right frame of mind.

Taking lunch at the same time is also advisable – particularly if you’re leveraging intermittent fasting.

The hardest part for most remote workers is “clocking out� at a consistent time. It’s easy to continue working and filling time until late in the evening. To prevent this from happening, try scheduling obligations in the evening. This makes it less likely that you’ll keep working.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Not all of these brain hacks and strategies will appeal to you. It’s all about finding your best approach and leveraging whatever it is that helps you achieve a state of flow.

What works for you?

How can you set yourself up for max productivity?

Your approach will differ from the next person’s – so don’t try to mimic or replicate what others are doing. Instead, become like a scientist in the laboratory. Mix, match, and blend proprietary formulas until you discover a brain hacking system that puts you on a path for success.

Image Credit: David Cassolato; Pexels

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Aeris 3-in-1 Aair Pro AI breathe easy Health Product Reviews Smart Home smart home devices Tech

Aeris 3-in-1 Aair Pro: Fighting Against Coronavirus from Your Living Room

air purifier

Living in California I’ve tested many air purifiers. Between the recent uptick in wildfires as well as the threat of Covid-19, peace of mind in breathing good air has saved my bacon more than once. Recently I got to try out the Aeris 3-in-1 Aair Pro — and color me impressed!

Aeris is fairly new to the US — and gaining in popularity. The Aeris brings to mind the mantra never send a small air purifier to do a big air purifier’s job.

The high performance of the Aeris 3-in-1 leaves most other purifiers (literally) in the dust.

3-in-1 Aeris Aair Pro

The 3-in-1 Aeris Air Pro gets its name from the three layers of filtration Aeris has incorporated into its replaceable filter, in essence performing the job of three purifiers.

The first filter is a protective pre-filter, designed as the first line of defense against larger particulates.  The next layer is activated charcoal, designed specifically to capture gases and odors.

The final layer is its True HEPA filter that stops particles clear down to a tenth of a micron, protecting you from viruses that are on all of our minds these days.

Pricing

Coming in at just under $1000, the 3-in-1 is not the cheapest on the market, but the extra cost does bring some bang for your buck.

The unit boasts a 750 square foot cleaning area, which is saying something for its modest size. Standing just below 24â€� tall and about a 15×15â€� square, it takes up only a bit more space than other air purifiers.

Admittedly, the unit was heavier than I expected, coming in at about forty pounds, but it likely isn’t something you’re going to be moving too frequently. The filter itself, on average, lasts you about a year and is, at the time of writing, $199 to replace.

Pros

 

AQI

Something that I really liked in the Aeris is that it notes the actual air quality index rating (AQI). Most purifiers only give you a generic rating that will, at most, indicate general levels from “healthy” to “very unhealthy,” often using colors for these blanket categories.

The Aair 3-in-1 actually shows you the indoor air quality rating on the unit while the app will display both the indoor and outdoor air quality.

Covid-19

In addition to all the other particulates and pollutants that are removed from the air, it comes as some relief that the 3-in-1 Aair Pro has been tested specifically against Covid-19. Tests indicate that 94% of coronavirus was removed within two hours.

Side note: I was initially concerned that the testing noted “feline coronavirus.” Upon further research, Feline coronavirus/Munich Strain is the alternative virus strain that is used as industry-standard testing because of its close relation to Covid-19, while being non-transmittable to humans.

AI

Aeris has also developed an AI that will learn with age. So, the longer you use it the better it will be at analyzing environmental patterns and household habits to boost its performance. While I haven’t yet noticed a difference I look forward to seeing the improvements listed in my air-quality over time.

Air Quality Over Time

No Ozone

A large issue with many air purifiers is the generation and release of ozone. While these other purifiers may be purifying your air, removing pollutants, allergens, pollens, bacteria, mold, or other particulates — a hidden danger of air-purifying is the release of toxic ozone gases.

The Aeris 3-in-1 is designed to prevent the release of ozone. Having the quality of “NO-ozone” protects those in at-risk groups of asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Environmental Changes

Of all the air purifiers I’ve used and tested over the years, I’ve never had one notice (and respond) when I’m cooking. It stands to reason that off-gassing and carcinogenic changes would be occurring while you cook — but this was the first time that an air purifier that did anything about it.

I took bread out of the oven, and within a minute of opening the oven, the Aeris sprung to life in the other room. The Aeris gave me just a small note — but that is really cool.

Cons

While there were many great aspects about the 3-in-1, there was one con that really stood out to me. At present, Aeris doesn’t allow more than one user to be signed into the account through the app.

In the event that you try to log on from another phone or device, the app will actually kick off any user currently logged into the app.

I reached out to customer service and they were wonderful and quick to respond (A+ to their CX team). Sadly, it also doesn’t seem to be an upcoming feature to change that anytime soon.

Only one signed-in user may be a real dealbreaker for many households who have multiple partners, roommates, or children who need to be able to access and control the unit’s settings.

While you can increase fan speed and put into Smart Mode from the unit itself, it was a bit of a bummer to not be able to do so from the app on more than one phone.

One other minor thing to note is that the light of the unit does not turn off when in night mode which may make you reconsider putting the device in bedrooms — or remember you slumber mask.

Additional Notes

Modes: The device features a Manual, Smart, and Night mode. I generally keep mine in smart mode, with a few scheduled “Quick Cleans” now and then.

Noise: Smart mode’s low fan setting is almost impossible to tell it’s on. The Aeris is very quiet on the low settings. That being said, the unit can also pack a punch in the higher fan settings during Quick Clean.

Customer Service: A+

Unit Functions: You can see indoor AQI, raise or lower fan speeds, turn on Smart Mode, or power off.

App Functions: Indoor and outdoor AQI, change device mode settings (Night, Smart, Manual), view filter status. Analytics (Hourly, Daily, Monthly). Schedule modes, change account settings, contact customer service.

Connectivity: I was pretty impressed with the connectivity. I only had to connect the unit to the internet once, and it hasn’t disconnected.

specs on Aeris Aair Pro

The Specs:

Room Size: 750 ft²

Fine Particule CADR: Up to 390 cfm

Gas-Phase CADR: Up to 115 cfm

CCM: P4/F4

Fan: EBM papst

Power: 25W (avg) | >50W (max)

Noise: 35 – 65 dB(a)

WiFi Connectivity: IEEE 802.11b/g/n

PM2.5/PM10 Sensor: aeris asense

Filter Class: F7 and H13

Gas Filter: Active charcoal and active alumina

Filter Layers: 3

Dimensions: 14.56×15.23×23.62 in

Weight: ~36lbs

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this air purifier. The Aeris 3-in-1 Aair Pro is a big air purifier, with even bigger results.

Easily handling 750 feet squared areas, and giving you peace of mind in knowing your home’s AQI. While it may be on the more expensive end of home air purification, this is one to seriously consider adding to your home.

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covid-19 Health Lifestyle personal safety safety wearables Tech

Sick of Quarantine? 8 Simple Steps to Go Out Safely

quarantine safely

Pandemic-related quarantine isn’t just annoying; it’s also a mental health problem. Global studies show that both adults and teens are negatively affected by staying indoors for long periods of time. And that’s not good for individuals, families, or communities.

Sure, you could wait until the emergence of a vaccine to reduce the risk of acquiring Covid-19 before leaving home. However, that could mean more months cooped up. Instead, rely on some technologically sound preventive measures and products to enable you to go out safely. 

Our team tried a few dozen popular ones. Here’s what we recommend:

1. Breathe in sanitized air wherever you go.

Do you worry about the possibility of inhaling contaminated air, especially in highly trafficked places like airports and train stations? A light-based sanitation tool called uvSABA delivers disinfected air right to your nose.

The uvSABA unit uses UVC light, which has been proven to change the genetic properties of viruses similar to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It can also be carried around discreetly and used in conjunction with face masks and shields.

2. Wear jewelry that reminds you to stop touching your face.

One of the fastest ways to transfer pathogens to your nose or mouth is by touching your face. Yet it can be tough to stop the habit. That’s where a piece of unique jewelry could come in handy. 

The water-resistant Slightly Robot bracelet vibrates gently when you engage in unwanted behaviors, thanks to an internal accelerometer. It’s a fashionable, friendly reminder to keep your hands below your chin unless you’re securing a face mask.

3. Avoid hand-to-surface contact in germy places.

You’ve probably wondered whether you should be wearing some kind of protection on your hands. After all, opening doors and grabbing products off shelves can expose you to Covid-19 through surface contact. But walking around with gloves on might be uncomfortable.

One interesting, and potentially fashionable solution — is the ghluv. Like a toeless sock that goes around your wrist, the ghluv makes the world safe to the touch. Anytime you need a barrier between your hand and a surface, pull your ghluv around your fingers. It’s a surprisingly simple solution to carrying extra protective gear. Plus, it’s unlikely to get lost because it sits on your body.

4. Get an antimicrobial keychain tool.

The next time you’re forced to touch a keypad, forget about using your fingers. Instead, pull out an antimicrobial keychain tool. 

Many of these innovations have popped up since the beginning of coronavirus. Some of these key-shaped devices can even help you open certain doors.

Use your keychain not just for storing your house and car keys, but also to protect you from virus exposure. You’ll still want to have hand sanitizer as a backup, of course. But knowing that you’re touching fewer grimy places should give you peace of mind.

5. Cover your torso and head completely. 

Maybe you have a compromised immune system. If so, you may hesitate to go outside at all, even for walks in the park. Instead, consider the BioVYZR.

The BioVYZR forms a seal around your upper body and head. Pressured, filtered air is pushed into the headspace, and the air you exhale is forced out. A built-in, see-through visor gives you clear front and peripheral vision. Though a bit space-age in looks, the BioVYZR could be your ticket out of the house.

6. Download contactless payment apps.

Originally, contactless payment apps were touted as time-savers. Now, they may be literal lifesavers.

If you own a smartphone, you have all the hardware you need to make contactless payments. Still, you may have to open an account with a new financial provider to enjoy this service. 

Alternatively, get a contactless credit card. It’ll give you the same benefit and you won’t have to whip out your phone.

7. Bring bacteria-fighting bags to the store.

Perhaps you already bring your own bags with you when you go shopping. To protect yourself further, consider purchasing a reusable bag treated with proven antibacterial technology.

Be sure to research these bags before you buy them: Depending on the coating used, some are more effective than others.

Want another reason to reach for different bags? Antimicrobial versions can protect you against common problems associated with fabric ones, like salmonella and e-coli development.

8. Practice the six-foot rule.

A final, and decidedly low-tech but highly effective, way to protect yourself when you’re heading out during the pandemic is to practice the six-foot rule. Give anyone in your vicinity at least six feet of space to minimize viral transference. 

Many people don’t realize what six feet looks like. Give yourself an idea by taking a measuring implement — like a measuring tape — measuring it out. 

Already in the parking lot? Use your sedan as a guide. Cars are generally around six to seven feet wide. So make sure you have about a car width between you and non-family members while shopping or dining.

You don’t have to stay home all the time as the world recovers from Covid-19. You don’t even have to limit yourself to solo walks in empty parks. Enjoy life a little and de-stress—just make sure you’re taking your health seriously by practicing prevention.

Image credit: Anna Shvets; Pexels

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Connected Devices covid-19 Health personal safety Work

How This Personal Safety Startup is Protecting Teams from COVID-19

Humans don’t do well without specifics. A call to “practice social distancing” leaves too much to the imagination, while instructions to stay at least six feet away from strangers provides a more straightforward, more actionable message. Here is how a personal safety startup is protecting teams from COVID-19.

As teams return to work, companies must wrestle with the realities of shared office spaces and the continued threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employees will continue to feel anxious and unsafe until a trusted vaccine hits the market. Until that time, businesses can either allow employees to work from home or take measures to keep their office environments as safe as possible.

Companies that can facilitate remote work should continue to do so where possible. Others, though, do not have that luxury. Those businesses need a solution to keep their employees safe, and a company called POM just came out with the answer.

How does POM’s pandemic solution work?

POM began as a company on a mission to make it easier for people to get faster access to first responders. After a college student lost his life in a situation where he could not get emergency services, POM’s founders wanted to create a simple product that could save others from similar situations.

The company’s flagship product works as a simple, portable button that connects to a backend security platform. Three taps of the button transfer the user’s location data and profile to a dispatcher who can summon emergency help. One long press can activate a number of custom features, from sending an automated text to initiating a fake phone call to the user’s phone.

How to help a virus? How to help a pandemic?

You can’t call the fire department on a virus, though. As the pandemic grew more serious, POM recognized the opportunity to help in a different way. By leveraging its existing hardware and adding new features, POM found a way to help businesses and other organizations substantially reduce the threat of the virus within their workforces.

The POM Tracer, POM’s newly developed social distancing, and contact tracing technology, uses the foundational components of POM’s primary line of products with a few important additions. The devices, which are about the size of a large coin, clip easily to ID badges or fit into pockets or bags.

POM has modified its product with an IoT angle, allowing devices to recognize when carriers get within six feet of one another and alert users to increase distance for their safety. Even more, the technology is based on proximity so users don’t need to worry about being tracked by a GPS.

What if I test positive?

When a person within a business tests positive, POM Tracers help businesses minimize exposure risk, with contact tracing. The devices can easily track both Level 1 contact, where a person is within six feet of a person who tested positive, and Level 2 contact, the next layer of people who were in close contact with the first group who may have been exposed.

Do I have to have the app on my computer or phone?

These devices do not require users to download apps to function. HR owns the entirety of the system, allowing an organization to collect accurate and informative data without infringing on the privacy and labor rights of users.

As long as the pandemic lasts, POM’s solution will remain an effective and efficient way for people managing in-office teams to maintain the highest possible standards of safety.

Projecting the future of contact tracing and personal safety

Solutions like the POM Tracer, which does not need a companion app to operate, may eventually become standard-issue at all organizations with coworking teams. Apps alone are unreliable, and even when more than 80% of users actually download them (which is rare), many labor laws and unions prevent employers from requiring employees to download software to their personal devices.

What’s the philosophy on data collection?

POM’s device-based philosophy of data collection and analysis is the future. Without the need to rely on smartphones, companies can get the data they need without overstepping their boundaries. When users pass through a gateway, a bluetooth device begins transmitting proximity information.

Going through the gateway protects each of the companies from the consequences of collecting and keeping personal data — a practice that can carry hefty penalties when done poorly. IoT sensors placed in doorways and other common spaces help ensure accuracy.

Where is the data stored?

Keeping this data in house allows businesses to run immediate risk reports to identify and contain threats before they spread.

CDC guidelines quantify “close contact” as being within six feet of a person for more than 15 minutes, but more cautious businesses can customize their parameters to be even safer.

The POM tracer system also ensures confidential and anonymous communication.

Having the POM tracer system at work, the employees never need to know which of their coworkers could have been infected.

HR gathers the appropriate data, traces opportunities for exposure, and privately communicates the next steps to affected parties. No one feels singled out, and the business protects itself from potential liability. Even the other employees and coworkers in your employ don’t ever have any information on each other.

When is the vaccine coming?

Perhaps a vaccine for COVID-19 will arrive ahead of schedule and allow businesses to return to the office quickly — with more confidence. Even if that does happen, however, the distribution of such a vaccine will take months in even the best circumstances.

Organizations continue to face a long and uncertain timeline for social distancing and enhanced cleaning practices. And who knows what the wave of the future will be?

What are the costs?

The POM Tracer provides a simple and cost-effective solution to a highly sensitive and nebulous problem that will not disappear on its own.

Businesses with coworking teams should follow the cautions provided (or insisted upon by local and national governments).

However, it’s essential to business to move forward. We have a better and safer road where organization can implement the POM tracer and begin with smarter tracking. Implementation now will avoid more serious problems in the months to come.

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Health health risks ReadWrite

Discussing the Potential Health Risks of Sitting Down All Day

health risk sitting all day

Sitting down all day – is it the new killer born from the deadly legacy of 2020? It’s not that humans have just begun to sit all day long since the world has been in lockdown, but, within six months, we can see the drastic effects it has had on our children’s health and wellbeing. 

Having to stay home from school and not having the regular peer interaction that is so important to their social development, they sit indoors and do their school work, unable to go outside to run around the playground. Then they play video games and watch TV.

The Research

We might be able to ignore the daily toll the sedentary lifestyle takes on ourselves day after day, but for our children? In the famous words of one Sue Sylvester from Glee, “It will not stand!� Take a moment to let it sink in, perhaps stand up while you think about it. – The research results are in.

Linked Illnesses

The list of illnesses directly related to the act of sitting down for prolonged periods is not a conspiracy theory. No one is sitting quietly on the medical facts; they are released to the public, so why are we not personally changing our lifestyles to avoid heart disease, stroke, and cancer risks, dementia, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, muscle and bone deterioration, nerve damage, mental illness, and, ultimately, premature death? 

Are these not scary enough reasons to get off the couch and out for a walk? Horrible Histories, the comedy sketch television show, has a segment called ‘Stupid Deaths’ which is quite entertaining in a cringe-worthy way. Could sitting down for long intervals every day be the ultimate stupid death? It does seem like a dumb way to die. Extreme only for its pedestrian and preventable, even voluntary nature.

Leading Signs

And what of the physical signs leading up to these deadly medical conditions? The pinched nerves, numbness or tingling in the legs, feet, and hands, poor blood circulation, acute stress and anxiety, increased abdominal fat and weight gain, lethargy and muscle weakness, backaches and muscle tension. Maybe we recognize some of these in our lives already? 

Like that our glute muscles just aren’t firing anymore when we walk up the stairs, the climb makes us puff, and the hips ache after walking over the road to the café for our morning coffee. Or, maybe the pants are a tight fit or don’t even fit, and come to think of it, the GP mentioned high cholesterol, blood pressure, or blood sugar levels at our last physical check-up? What’s our wake-up call going to be, and how will we react when we get that call? 

Reaction

It is time to react to the news that prolonged sitting leads to serious health risks and death. The human form is naturally designed to stand up and be mobile, and it doesn’t like that we choose to sit more often than not, which it’s clearly showing us by acting out against our sedentary choices. Knowing our body’s ill-mannered, physiological reaction to these choices, how will we react to avoid developing a diminished quality of life, or, worse, becoming one of the ‘stupid death’ statistics?

What steps can we take to mitigate the risks of developing one of the above potentially deadly diseases and noxious conditions? 

Pro-action

Forming a plan to be proactive in the prevention of serious medical conditions for ourselves and especially for our children is the first of several steps we should take to establish a healthier way to live. What might that plan look like?

Begin with determining why, when, and where we sit down, then cut back on each instance, even if it is just incremental, simple changes to start. Taking forward steps in the right direction is good, and we naturally walk one step at a time. We get to where we are going by taking continuous individual steps, one after another.

Work and School

So, traditionally, children sit down to study and we sit down to work. We may not be able to stand up all of the time, but we can arrange to stand while working. Stand-up and adjustable desks have been trialed in the workplace for several years now, and we are beginning to see positive health results come from those trials. Not that it takes years to reap benefits.

Some short-term results are increased energy, more calories burned, relief from sciatic pain and other musculoskeletal soreness, and better posture. Long-term benefits are the prevention of disease and the unraveling of the knots in our body caused by sitting down all day at work. 

If children are unable to stand at school while doing their classroom tasks, they might be able to stand while doing their homework. If we consider investing in a stand-up desk for our home office space then the whole family can take advantage of its benefits.

Meals

Other times we sit down, are for our meals, so another way to cut back on sitting is to stand up while we eat. We can trade the neglected dining table in for a cool bar lean and start standing for our meals at home.

Often, when weight-conscious people are revamping their nutrition habits, we are told to make sure we sit down to eat. This is primarily so we take our time to eat healthily and think about what we are eating, which we should still do, but sitting down is not actually the necessary component.

Arranging walking lunches at work can be a great alternative to eating in the lunchroom, and definitely better than sneaking a bite at our desks. At least with kids, they tend to play after they eat their lunch at school. Adults, not so much.

But we might be able to go to the gym at lunch for a quick workout, or even a walk on the treadmill if it’s raining outside. If not, perhaps we can run the stairs in the office building.

Commuting

There isn’t much we can do about standing during our commute to and from the office unless we are taking the tube or other crowded public transport. A car is a sit-down zone, but if the distance between work and home is close enough, we can arrange to cycle there and back at least some of the time.

Watching TV

At the end of the day, or all day on the weekends (yeah, right!), the couch calls us by name. Again, yet again, we sit down to binge-watch our favorite TV shows or a movie marathon before going off to bed. No more!

 Stand up and do some lunges and squats. Involve the whole family in a nightly physical challenge while watching TV, provided no one pants too loudly, or just turn up the volume. 

The bottom line

Hours upon hours are spent sitting down on our backsides, probably more than the UK adult’s estimated nine-hour daily average. The results of our sedentary ways are catching up to us with deadly consequences. We can’t let it get the better of us. Be proactive and make a wellbeing plan. Choose to stand up and move around rather than sit down and be still. Our bodies will thank us for it. So will our children.

Image Credit: rgstudio; pexels

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Connected Devices Health safety wearables workplace wearables

5 Safety Aspects to Include in Your Work Stack in the Age of COVID

female wearing mask covid

Though some companies have chosen to remain mainly virtual many organizations are bringing their employees back to their main physical locations. Although about half of team members say they’re worried about returning to in-person work arrangements, nearly three-quarters have confidence in their employers’ ability to keep them safe.

As an owner or top executive, those figures should both boost your spirit and cause a bit of pause. Yes, your workers are mostly open to the idea of working shoulder-to-shoulder — figuratively, of course. However, they’re counting on you to make wellness and welfare decisions that will protect them from foreseeable exposure to coronavirus and other communicable conditions.

Of course, you can meet both the demand to have an onsite cadre of personnel and put measures in place to lower their health risks. You simply have to put a little thought into boosting your work stack and processes.

Below are several tools and measures that can work to keep your workers productive and empowered, as well as assured that you’ve kept their needs in mind.

1. Self-reporting systems

Privacy is essential, but so is the importance of knowing who on your team might be contagious. Tools like TeamSense allow workers to self-identify any health issues they’re having in an encrypted format that will only be seen by the employer. Team members receive daily texts at home and can conveniently indicate red flags. 

Many people appreciate being able to send in daily symptom screening information discreetly rather than being examined or questioned in front of colleagues. Plus, staffers don’t need to download an app or give out anything other than a phone number to make the tool work.

2. Fast, touchless temperature checking 

Everyone’s been through the point-the-phaser-thermometer drill. It works, but it’s clunking and not exactly a timesaver. Plus, it requires that one employee be dedicated to doing nothing but performing temperature checks for an undefined amount of time whenever someone walks in the door. 

Devices like the FLIR Screen-EST camera and its lightning-fast skin temperature measuring ability have made it easier for corporate organizations, government agencies, and schools to evaluate large numbers of people in seconds. By adding a mounted thermal camera to your tech stack, you’ll free up workers—and free yourself from the possibility of human error.

3. Employee contact tracing

A huge part of containing and controlling COVID-19 has been instituting contact tracing whenever possible. As an employer, you can be a part of the solution by asking your workers to wear the POM Tracer device. Since the device is based on proximity, your employees can feel assured that their privacy is protected as the POM does not track employees or take personal information. Visitors can also be issued Pom Tracers to wear while in your building.

Once activated, the POM Tracer collects information on when and where employees crossed paths. It can also send alerts if two devices come within 6 feet as a reminder to social distance. If an individual later tests positive for coronavirus, the POM Tracer’s stores of information can be assessed to determine which colleagues might be at risk so they can get tested quickly.

4. Personal protective equipment

The age of the mask is upon us, and everyone from brands like Old Navy to independent Etsy sellers are making money selling unique, trendy mask wear. According to information from Johns Hopkins Medicine, just about any mask can provide some level of protection. Nevertheless, workers may not understand how to properly wear masks, have properly fitting masks, or keep their masks sanitized.

As an effort to put staffer safety ahead of profits, consider supplying workers with at least two masks as personal protective equipment (PPE). Treat the masks as part of a uniform. By standardizing and supplying face masks across your workforce, you remove any obstacles to people accessing safety gear. Worried you’ll get pushback from employees who see masks as a fashion statement? Think about creating a corporate mask that defines your strong culture.

5. Flexible scheduling

Across the country, many companies are seeing a rise in both retirement and absenteeism rates, especially in “essential� fields such as child care, health care and food production. In addition to actual COVID exposure, stress, childcare issues, and a general lack of flexibility all contribute to absenteeism. 

By partnering with a workforce management platform like MyWorkChoice, you can take your existing schedule format and use it to create flexible shifts with seamless shift transitions. This allows employees to set their own schedule of up to 40 hours per week, a benefit which 75 percent of hourly employees say would allow them to be less worried about going back to work. And if they have any sign of a COVID symptom, they can easily reschedule their shift to get tested, keeping your workplace safer.

Your people are eager to do their best work and help move your company forward. Take away their barriers to success by overlaying your old-norm processes with a few new-norm systems to foster a sense of security throughout your facility. Some of these tools may even support you in flu seasons to come, after COVID is in our rear-view mirror.

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