Posted by: ugleepen | January 24, 2017

5 Tips to Reduce the Risk Of Arthritis

oldpersonArthritis is not merely a circumstance of old age.

It is a generalized term used for over 100 disorders and diseases, thus it is difficult to pinpoint specific preventative steps for everyone.

However, these 5 tips will help you support the health of your joints and reduce strain and injury that often leads to inflammation, and subsequently painful arthritis symptoms.

1. Maintain or Reduce Your Weight-   Carrying extra weight leads to extra stress on your joints- especially your knees and hips.

Research has shown that losing as little as 11 pounds may improve your joint health and cut your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50 percent.

2. Strength Training- Lifting weights creates denser bones and builds stronger muscles that help stabilize and protect joints.

Strength training also boosts your metabolism while decreasing the percentage of body fat.

Work with a qualified trainer to assure you are using proper techniques to protect your joints. prevent injury and avoid undue joint stress.

3. Move that Body-  Exercise is great for overall health. It is possible to overdo it, however.

Pounding the pavement adds enormous stress to your joints.

Lowering the impact through aquatic exercises takes the strain off the joints while strengthening your muscles.

Hiking and walking builds bone strength as well, and Yoga and other forms of gentle exercise like Pilates and Tai Chi keep joints strong and muscles limber while erasing stress.

4. Ditch the Heels-   Wearing heels every day increases the force on a woman’s knees by 23%.

Research done in 2010 by Iowa State University also found that increased strain was put on a women’s back as a result of wearing high heels.

5. Feed Your Joints-   A number of specific nutrients have been shown to support joint health.

Strong bodies (and overall joint health) will benefit from bone-building calcium and vitamin K, tissue-repairing vitamin C, pain-relieving vitamin E, and folic acid.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to relieve pain and stiffness

Prevention always works better for your health, so these tips are applicable to everyone.

Practicing these five lifestyle changes could help reverse inflammation in your joints, thus possibly preventing the onset of arthritis.


Source: Robin Thomas/ Living Well Connections

Posted by: ugleepen | January 8, 2017

Work Smarter – Not Harder The Best Ergonomic Tools

ergo1If physical labor is part of your job description, making smart ergonomic choices about tool usage, lifting weights and other chores can prevent unnecessary pain, says journalist Erica Quinlan, who interviewed Shawn Ehlers, a research assistant at Purdue University.

“No matter what we do physically, we all have ergonomic issues,” Ehlers said. “Ergonomics is a big word that can apply to many things. It is basically anything that provides more comfort or reduced strain.”

Ehlers offered these 5 tips to work smarter:

1. Choose tools that fit you and your task.

2. Avoid excessive bending or twisting of back, wrist, arm, fingers.

3. Reduce duration of strain by using clamps, braces or add-on handles.

4. Consider taking brief breaks throughout the work session.

5. Use technologies that can reduce stress on the body.

There are a lot of individual factors that can determine how someone can get hurt and why, Ehlers said.

Factors include age, gender, strength, body size and shape, history of injuries and personality. 

No matter what factors you face, you can use what Ehlers calls “mechanical advantage” to work smarter, not harder.

“The way our bodies are built, certain postures and ways of holding things benefit us more than others,” he said.

“Holding things closer to your body is always better than holding things away from us. Elbows are always strongest at a 90-degree angle.”

Picking ergonomically appropriate tools can help prevent soreness and injury.

What makes a good ergonomic tool? Ones with the proper grip, handle size and shape for your body are ideal. Any tool that reduces bending, twisting or vibration also is helpful.

“You need to design your own tasks,” Ehlers said. “You’re in charge of doing your work, your way.”

Source: Erica Quinlan

Posted by: ugleepen | December 22, 2016

A Christmas Card Story

This image shows what's widely considered the first mass-produced Christmas card. It was printed in London in 1843.

This image shows what’s widely considered the first mass-produced Christmas card. It was printed in London in 1843.

Homemade and handwritten Christmas cards were popular in Victorian England. Beautiful, or at least precise, handwriting was considered a badge of honor, and Christmas greeting cards were one way to show off this skill.

Then Sir Henry Cole had an idea to speed up his own seasonal card-writing process.

Taking advantage of new printing technologies, Cole commissioned artist John Callcott Horsley to create a festive design, and produced about 1,000 copies of that Christmas card in 1843.

After Cole used the cards he needed, he sold the rest for one shilling each.

That card (seen above) is widely considered the first commercially produced Christmas card. Today, about 20 copies survive in libraries and archives

In Horsley’s illustration, a family celebrates at center, but lest you forget the charitable side of Christmas spirit, they’re flanked by images of people feeding and clothing the poor.

There’s also a banner that reads “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”

xmas-american-cardThe trend quickly migrated to the United States. Another early Christmas card (above), that was printed in Philadelphia around 1850, similarly shows a family of five around a hearth, while a servant in the background seems to be setting the table. The family is surrounded by food, drink, dancers and snow-covered houses.

The U.S. Greeting Card Association predicts Americans will send about 1.6 billion Christmas cards this year. This multimillion-dollar industry can thank Sir Henry Cole for its innovative beginnings almost 200 years ago.


Source: Megan Gannon, News Editor/ Live Science

Posted by: ugleepen | December 9, 2016

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and the Holidays – 5 Tips

woman-prevents-hand-pain-and-wrist-pain-during-holidays-with-carpal-tunnel-treatment-decorates-cookies-with-style-and-joy-and-no-hand-numbnessCarpal Tunnel Syndrome, CTS, occurs when repetitive stress to the hand and wrist cause the major nerve that passes over the carpal bones to be compressed.

This condition is painful and causes tingling and numbness in the hands, common symptoms of CTS.

With sore hands, numbness and wrist pain many of the activities of the holidays become difficult to perform, and often result in even  more pain.

How to enjoy the Holidays in spite of CTS? Here are some tips:

1- Take breaks to stretch your hands and fingers and rest during the day.

You will get more done with less pain if you take breaks to recover. You should rest and stretch at least every two hours.

2- There are many different types of hand stretches and exercises that are good for your hands.

One to stay away from is the so called “stress ball” squeeze. Ironically this is probably the worst thing you can do for your hands for CTS relief. Instead of relieving stress, it creates more stress on the compressed nerve.

3- A reverse flex with a wide elastic band around your finger tips and thumb nail “opposite of a squeeze” is one of the best gentle stretching exercises for CTS  prevention.

4- The best way to do any stretch, is to stretch gently and then hold the gentle stretch for only about 5 – 10 seconds.

Then release and rest for 5 seconds and repeat the stretch for 10 – 15 repetitions. Long intense stretching can do more damage than good for injured soft tissue.

5- Let someone else do the heavy lifting..

There are a number of things people can do proactively to avoid the increased discomfort at this busy time.

Follow these tips and you can enjoy the holiday season to the fullest without pain, without dropping things and without the sleep loss commonly associated with CTS.


Source: First Hand Medical




Posted by: ugleepen | November 22, 2016

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Part 2 – Nip It In the Bud

budIn Part 1 of our two-part article about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) we looked at basic symptoms of the syndrome, the causes, and some of the, perhaps surprising, jobs that are high risk for developing CTS.

Here in Part 2 we will continue our discussion of risky activities, and then look at ways of preventing, or at least minimizing, the impact of CTS.

If you are retired don’t think you’re exempt from developing CTS.

People who engage intensively in these domestic activities are at risk for CTS:

  • knitting, sewing and needlepoint
  • cooking and housework
  • carpentry and other types of woodworking
  • extensive use of power tools

Many leisure activities in the home can contribute to the development of CTS, including:

  • computer games
  • sports
  • card playing

So much for the bad news – now for the good. Here are some tips for “nipping CTS in the bud.”

The first thing is to be aware that you are involved in high-risk activities for CTS.

Then there are ways to give your hand and wrist relief:

  1. Take frequent breaks to rest and relax the hand and wrist
  2. Give the hand a rest by learning how to use your non-dominate hand
  3. Learn easy exercises to strengthen the wrist
  4. Use good ergonomics in the workplace

Whenever you write, whether its something you do a lot for a living, or just writing your grocery list, use an ergonomic pen  such as my UGLee Pen.

A pen such as mine will be a rest for the hand, and thus won’t aggravate CTS, or cause added stress and strain on the hand.

Any time you can let your hand and wrist rest, no matter what activity you are involved in, you’ll diminish the opportunity for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome to surface.


Posted by: ugleepen | November 10, 2016

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Part 1 – Surprising At-Risk Jobs

renton-737-moving-line-opening-2002Do you do work that causes repeated stress on your hand and wrist?

If so, you would be wise to watch for symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome (CTS) – aching, pain, tingling, numbness – and nip it in the bud.

Researchers have defined six key risk factors in the workplace for the development of carpal tunnel syndrome:

(1) repetition

(2) high force

(3) awkward joint posture

(4) direct pressure

(5) vibration

(6) prolonged constrained posture

Recent work place studies show that jobs that are high risk for CTS include occupations that combine force and repetition of the same motion in the fingers and hand for long periods.

Such workers include:

  • meat and fish packing industries
  • workers using vibrating tools, such as jackhammers and chain saws.
  • assembly lines, from assembling airplanes to food and beverage processing
  • cake decorators
  • postal workers
  • dentists and dental technicians.

And, most people are aware that office workers using computer keyboards, and the computer mouse, are developing CTS.

Many of these workers may not even be aware of the amount of force they exert while performing their jobs. For example, the fingers of typists whose speed is 60 words per minute exert up to 25 tons of pressure each day – can you believe it?

Posted by: ugleepen | October 25, 2016

Teens Say They Are Stronger Than Their Arthritis

logan-lentini-juvenile-arthritis-sibling“The Juvenile Arthritis (JA) Conference, sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, was created to give people the opportunity to discover that Juvenile Arthritis doesn’t define us, it doesn’t control us and it doesn’t stop us,” said Colleen Ryan, 2016 JA Conference Chair.

“Together we build each other up, hold one another’s hands, are a shoulder to cry on and a much needed sounding board. Together we are strong. Together we are tough. Together, we are champions!”

Teens at the 2016 Conference held this summer were asked how they would describe the way they are stronger than their disease.

Alexis Fox was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) when she was just 13 months old. With an avid love of gymnastics, music and art, she pursued competitive gymnastics up until she was 12 and her rheumatologist recommended she quit altogether.

Cortisone shots were not enough, and the impact of the sport she loved was causing pain and flares. Alexis battled bouts of depression, but found her way back through art and music.

“Me being stronger than my arthritis wasn’t a choice – I knew it’s what I had to be, “ said Alexis.

For Grace Burns, her JIA diagnosis also came early, when she was 20 months old. “When I was first diagnosed my parents were told I wouldn’t be able to play sports, but at 5 I started player soccer and haven’t stopped! I play lacrosse as well.”

The moment Grace says she realized she was stronger then arthritis was when she was able to play -and score – in an important tournament with her soccer team.

“I know no matter what happens in life I will always fight and be strong,” says Grace..”My parents tell me how strong I am but at that moment I knew for myself – I am stronger than this disease!”

Grace says, ”I want children to know they don’t have to give up on their dreams. I didn’t any examples of kids with JIA around me growing up.

“If one child is listening, can hear my story and say, “Guess what, I’m not giving up, I’m going to do my own thing and I’m a fighter!” then I can be happy that we all don’t suffer with JIA for nothing. We can all make a difference.”


Source: Arthritis Foundation


Posted by: ugleepen | October 13, 2016

How Did “Ergonomics” Come About?

nemOctober has been designated as National Ergonomics Month to help make workers and employers more aware of the importance of workplace ergonomics.

What is Ergonomics? Ergonomics is the study of the kind of work you do, the environment you work in, and the tools you use to do your job.

Why are ergonomics important? Ergonomics can help you be more comfortable at work. It can help lower stress and injury caused by awkward positions and repetitive tasks, whether you sit at a desk, stand at an assembly line, or use heavy equipment outdoors.

The association between occupations and musculoskeletal injuries was documented centuries ago. Bernardino Ramazinni wrote about work-related complaints that he saw in his medical practice in 1713.

Wojciech Jastrzebowski, a Polish scholar, created the word “ergonomics” in 1857, combing the Greek words ergon (work or labor) and nomos (natural laws).

Scientific Management, an ergonomic method that improved worker efficiency by improving the job process, became popular in the first decade of the twentieth century.

Frederick W. Taylor was a pioneer of this approach and evaluated jobs to determine the “One Best Way” they could be performed.

For example, at Bethlehem Steel Taylor dramatically increased worker production and wages in a shoveling task by matching the shovel with the type of material that was being moved (ashes, coal or ore).

World War II prompted greater interest in human-machine interaction as the efficiency of sophisticated military equipment (i.e., airplanes) could be compromised by bad or confusing design.

After World War II, the focus of concern expanded to include worker safety as well as productivity.

Areas of knowledge that involved human behavior and attributes (i.e., decision making process, organization design, human perception relative to design) became known as cognitive ergonomics or human factors.

Areas of knowledge that involved physical aspects of the workplace and human abilities such as force required to lift, vibration and reaches became known as industrial ergonomics or ergonomics.


Source: WebMD

Source: ErgoWeb

Image Credit

Posted by: ugleepen | September 25, 2016

Is Texting and Gaming an Arthritis Timebomb?

mobile-phones-make-users-selfishFifty years or older is usually the average age bracket for developing arthritis, but now experts say that has been lowered.

Hand surgeon Dr. Mark Ciaglia says that he is seeing more patients 40 years old and younger dealing with painful inflammation and stiffness in their joints.

It is the hours spent each day texting and gaming  that are dooming our younger people to develop arthritis early, Ciaglia feels.

“With the advent of texting and video games and excessive use of computers and typing you’re wearing the joints out sooner so we’re actually seeing a shift in the demographics of patients that get  arthritis because they’re just wearing their joints out so much sooner,” Ciaglia, who works at Woodlands Center for Specialty Surgery in Texas, said.

Developing arthritis from texting, emailing and playing games has to do with the continuous motion of your fingers, and what is known as repetitive stress syndrome.

Those activities put a lot of strain on joints, tendons and muscles –creating a recipe for painful inflammation and stiff joints.

“At the end of the day it’s a wear and tear how many times are you moving a joint back and forth where the cartilage that covers the bone within the joint,” said Ciaglia.

‘The more often you do this and the more aggressive you are with it the sooner you will develop arthritis-like symptoms.”

Studies have shown that the average teenager now sends some 3,340 text message a month – that is about 50 a day.

A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that middle-school and high-school students spend, on average, 95 minutes of the day texting.

“One of the most common places where we see arthritis from repetitive hand use is at the base of the thumb,”said Dr. Nanavat,  Kaiser Family Foundations’s

“This type of injury may cause shooting pain that radiates up the forearm.”

Dr. Ciaglia understands that it is impossible for us to stop moving our fingers, but says “all good things in moderation.”


Source: Stacy Liberatore

Photo Credit

Posted by: ugleepen | September 15, 2016

The Ergonomic UGLee Pen – Explained!

about-the-ultimate-grip-pen-1Holding the pen too hard?!  That was me, 100%.  I used to have a callus on my middle finger the size of a pea.

And yes, all stemming from the pencils that they make us use in grade school.

Typically, the reason for holding the pen hard is to minimize slippage of the writing instrument. You subconsciously do this by compressing the soft tissues of your fingers against the hard pen/pencil, pushing against bone to get the best transfer of writing movements.

This is great for hand-eye correlation, but torture to the actual tissues being compressed, not to mention the muscles doing the work of compressing.

I’ve made the UGLee Pen so that the shape of the grip itself does the bone-to-pen transfer, and the material does the gripping onto the soft tissues.

Minimal grip needed.

The brain will always call for minimal effort.  Over the course of about a week, most will start to notice that they have been subconsciously gripping with a lot less force.

If you go back to a regular pen, you will just about drop it when you write, because of the changed perception of what grip tension is needed.

This is why the UGLee Pen is such a great ergonomic pen.

The stress and pain that many experience when writing with a “regular” pen, is gone when you use the UGLee Pen!

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