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SITFIT posture

"I sat on in it for two hours today and I can feel it working the core. It was great feeling the effect without doing much. I’m not beyond getting one for the office too!" - B.E.

"I've had debilitating lower back spasms in the past. When the same area started re-stressing from sitting for too long, I found Sitfit helped increase flexibility and reduce muscle tension." - R.V.

"All my clients (patients and athletes) could benefit from building their core!" - Joanna L., RMT

"As I regularly go work out with a professional trainer, this Sitfit compliments what I do outside of the office. Better sitting on the Sitfit than my regular leather chair in the office!" - J.Y.

At a recent health and wellness roundtable of the BC Human Resources Management Association, roundtable chair Antonio Zivanovic of Corporate Occupational Solutions spoke on the topic of Affordable Corporate Health and Wellness Programs.
He invited the group to share suggestions or ideas that they had implemented in their own organizations.
Here were three that I found helpful and that I felt would benefit other organizations.

1) Put out a bowl of fruit at reception that employees, clients and visitors can enjoy. This inexpensive gesture is a visual cue to employees and visitors that this is a workplace that values health and wellness. Moreover, when employees are feeling a little hungry they may opt to simply reach for an apple rather than leaving the office to buy a chocolate bar or a bag of chips.

2) Encourage staff to participate in a team sport or train for a team event. One former colleague used to play soccer after work with a team made up of friends from a number of companies around town. Not only did it keep him in shape but it was also a good opportunity to meet people and generate business. In Vancouver, one of the big events that companies enter teams in is the Vancouver Sun Run: a 10 km running race around the downtown area that annually attracts tens of thousands of people. For $40 per person each team member gets a t-shirt and is encouraged to train either with the group or on their own for several months before the race. Training for the event keeps people jogging and in shape while they also get to interact with co-workers outside of the office environment.

3) WorkSafeBC’s “WorkSafe Sam Stretch Prompter”. WorkSafeBC offers this free tool on its website. It is an applet that when installed and running sits in your computer’s desktop tray. It runs in the background and prompts the user, at set intervals, to get up and stretch and offers other tips. The intervals can be set by the user. The applet can be found at:

http://www2.worksafebc.com/Topics/Ergonomics/Resources-office.asp

The important thing to remember is the even if your company does not have a large budget for health and wellness there are always options at every budget level – even free.

In an online article posted on February 28th , 2010 for annarbor(dot)com titled, Ann Arbor Christian School Finds Yoga Balls Help Students Learn, freelance reporter Pamela Gossiaux visited a grade seven classroom which had taken to using yoga balls for sitting instead of chairs.

Better Memory & Ability To Focus

Besides the obvious fun factor the teacher brought the balls in after discovering that children “learn better in a dynamic environment that uses sensory input”. She also decided to use them because yoga balls and other products such as the Sitfit stimulate cross-lateral movement which forces the children’s bodies to compensate and make minor adjustments to remain balanced. These subtle adjustments stimulate both hemispheres of the brain which leads to better memory and ability to focus.

Improved Attention

The teacher, Janet Jansen, commented that prior to adopting the balls as chairs in the classroom students were typically lethargic and inattentive until approximately lunch time. After bringing in the balls she noticed that the students were more attentive and awake, which made a significant difference to the classroom environment.

Less Fidgeting, More Learning

One of the other benefits that quickly became apparent was a reduction in the amount of fidgeting such as squirming in the chairs, clicking pencils and other restless behaviors. The kids seemed more engaged and focused.

Improving Posture And Core Strength For Kids

With obesity and lack of exercise being such an issue in our schools the balls and products like the Sitfit bring a fitness component to the classroom as well. Sitting on a ball or a Sitfit forces the children to sit with proper posture and also engages and strengthens core muscles.

More information on the benefits of a yoga ball, Sitfit or Sitfit Jr. for kids can be found here.

Mom was right. If you want to get ahead, you’d better not slouch.

Your posture doesn’t just signal confidence and leadership, according to a new study from the Kellogg School of Management at Chicago’s Northwestern University. It can actually make you think and act more powerfully as well.

“Posture expansiveness,” that is, adopting body positions that take up space, triggers a sense of power that makes people act as though they really are in charge, researchers found.

In experiments, researchers discovered that posture can have a greater impact on people’s behaviour than their rank or title, according to a press release.

Study participants were assigned high and low-powered roles and were asked to perform a series of tasks while adopting expansive postures (like placing one arm on the armrest of a chair and the other on the back of a nearby seat, with one ankle on the thigh of the opposite leg) or constrictive postures (like slumping their shoulders and sitting with their legs close together).

When asked to perform a word completion exercise and a blackjack game, those with expansive postures came up with more power-related words and took more action than those with constrictive postures, regardless of whether they were given a high or low-powered role, the press release says.

Job-seekers might want to take note.

“[O]ur research suggests that your posture may be quite literally the way to put your best foot forward in a job interview,” says professor Adam Galinsky, who led the study.

From The Globe and Mail Update by Wency Leung
Posted on Friday, January 7, 2011 2:29PM EST

We are pleased to announce that Staples is currently conducting a  trial of the Sitfit in 10 stores across Canada. If you live in one of these ten communities you can now save shipping by going into only these 10 stores and purchasing a Sitfit. Staples is only carrying black Sitfits so if you would like another colour then please order online. Each store also only has limited quantities.

Our commitment with this trial is to demonstrate that consumers are willing to support high-quality products that benefit their health and wellness when they are given the opportunity.

Store Name Address City Prov Postal Tel Hours
Markham Unit 200 3175 Highway #7 Markham ON L3R 0J5 905-479-3101 M-F8-9pm;Sat9-6pm;Sun10-6pm
Thunder Bay 767 Memorial Ave. Thunder Bay ON P7B 3Z7 807-343-2506 M-F8-9pm;Sat9-6pm;Sun10-5pm
Newmarket 17810 Yonge Street Bldg A Newmarket ON L3Y 8S1 905-898-3956 M-F8-9pm;Sat9-6pm;Sun10-5pm
Coquitlam 1220 Seguin Drive Coquitlam BC V3K 0W8 604-517-2100 M-F8-9pm;Sat9-6pm;Sun10-6pm
Bridgeport Unit #110 2780 Sweden Way Richmond BC V6V 2X1 604-303-7850 M-F8-9pm;Sat9-6pm;Sun10-6pm
Lougheed 4265 Lougheed Highway Burnaby BC V5C 3Y6 604-320-6800 M-F8-9pm;Sat9-6pm;Sun10-6pm
Signal Hill 5662 Signal Hill Centre Drive SW Calgary AB T3H 3P8 403-217-7070 M-F8-9pm;Sat9-6pm;Sun10-6pm
Lethbridge 501 1st Ave.S.Unit #Y03A Lethbridge AB T1J 4J9 403-317-4530 M-F8-9pm;Sat9-6pm;Sun11-5pm
Shawnessy 140-350R Shawville BlvdS.E. Calgary AB T2Y 3S4 403-509-2260 M-F 8-9pm;Sat9-6pm;Sun10-6pm
Sault Ste. Marie 345 Great Northern Road Sault Ste Marie ON P6B 4Z8 705-256-1466 M-F8-9pm;Sat9-6pm;Sun10-5pm

If you’ve been wondering when you might possibly fit core stability exercises into your life, the Sitfit may be the answer.
A Sifit works the same as a ball without taking up the same amount of space.

Sitting for long periods places stress on the spine and compresses the discs. Many years of a desk job can lead to early degeneration for this reason. A Sitfit helps keep mobility in the lumbar spine for those with sedentary jobs or lifestyles. By creating an unbalanced base of support, it forces the core muscles to fire to keep you from falling off your chair, thus working your abs while you sit.
Excerpted from the Back2Health Chiropractic Newsletter written by chiropractor and Sitfit supporter Dr. Shelley Adams who was recently voted #1 chiropractor in this year’s “Best of Vancouver” reader’s poll in the Georgia Straight newspaper. For more on Dr. Adams and her practice, please visit: http://www.back2health.ca/adams.html

That which you focus upon grows or Peter Drucker’s dictum of “what gets measured, get’s managed” are both pointing to the fact that what you give your attention to increases. I know that when I am not exercising and eating poorly my natural inclination is to snack more and do even less physical fitness. Conversely, when I exercise I naturally crave good healthy food am not tempted by junk food and want to exercise more.

The reason I give these examples is that it works the same way with back health. If you don’t think much about your back and aren’t present to how amazing it is and that it is worth caring for then you lift improperly, lift more than you should and slouch at your chair or on the couch.

One of the ways that I stay present to the importance of good posture and back health is I invest in good health. By spending money on tools that keep me mindful of my posture and remind me of the value of good health I am reinforcing in my mind that this is important.

Every day I also have visual cues and physical reminders that I am taking care of my back and neck health and my body generally. When I go to sleep I feel the support of my firm and comfortable mattress. When I put my head down I can feel the support under my neck of my orthopaedic pillow.  When I am working either at my office or at home I am sitting on my Sitfit. All of these serve as reminders that I care about my back, neck and body.

All of these cues have me be present to the importance of my back and neck and so when I go to lift something my body somehow naturally reminds me just beforehand to do so gently and properly. When I am brushing my teeth I often will think to myself, “you should bend your knees and get lower to the sink before spitting rather than bending at the waist.” Sometimes when I’m waiting to go into a meeting I will slouch or cross my knees while sitting (both not good for the back) and then I will suddenly be inspired to sit up straight and uncross my legs. It is almost inexplicable.

When you are present to the magnificence of the body and give it your time, money and attention you build positive momentum in the direction of improved health and vitality.

A Sitfit is an excellent way to either supplement your existing yoga practice outside of work or it can be a gentle way to begin a yoga practice.

Yoga is a series of physical positions, breathing exercises and meditation that have been practiced for over five millennia. These practices took on different forms in the East with some focusing more on breathing, others on difficult postures and others more on the meditative aspects. As yoga has become popular in the West, other forms with approachable names such as Power Yoga and Pre-natal yoga have emerged. Now we can add Office Chair Yoga to the list.

In terms of physical position, the Sitfit encourages you to sit with proper, ergonomically-correct posture (as opposed to slouching) and so allows you to practice good sitting posture during those periods that you are using it. As your body gets used to sitting correctly you will be conscious of your posture even when you aren’t using it.

While sitting doing Office Chair Yoga on your Sitfit your diaphram is more open and this promotes deeper and more health-conscious breathing.

Lastly, in being focused on your sitting posture and your breathing your experience even sitting in your office can be meditative.

One of my clients who is a dedicated yoga enthusiast, commented how her Sitfit allows her to continue practicing yoga all day long at work. Her job entails sitting much of the day. Her view is that the Sitfit helps her to strengthen her core and back while also helping her to maintain and be conscious of her breathing and posture.

The Sitfit comes with a series of excercises that can be done on your chair and on the floor. These are beneficial to the beginner as well as the the veteran yoga enthusiast who wants to strengthen and supplement their practice. Since you are sitting anyway, why not do so in a health-conscious and body-friendly way? Join me and countless others who do yoga at the office everyday.

Cervical Spondylosis, or cervical osteoarthritis, is not a specific condition but rather a catch-all term to describe deterioration in the neck joints which affect both sexes over the age of 40.

Indications of Cervical Sponylosis

- Feeling off-balance
- Stiffness in the legs or neck
- Neck pain
- Lack of strength or numbness in the legs or arms
- Difficulties with bladder control

These conditions are simply a function of age and get progressively worse as one gets older. Ironically, many of these conditions are caused by the body trying to heal itself. As with broken bones, where new bone-growth is stimulated additional bone forms causing protrusions or bone spurs.

If you were to look at an X-Ray, CT Scan or MRI (which your doctor may recommend for you) you would notice that everybody later in life has some form of cervical spondylosis. It’s just natural. Thankfully, most people don’t experience the worst symptoms such as stiffness, muscle spasms and pain.

This post is based on information from:

Mayo Clinic Family Health Book – 4th edition – copyright 2009 Mayo Foundation For Medical Education and Research. P. 571-2

It used to be that even in an office, people moved around. They went to speak with colleagues, they had to photocopy something or send a fax. Today, our desks are literally a command and control centre from which we can quite capably run our little part of the company. We can send the fax from our desk, print to our own printer right beside us and not have to move much.

While productivity is a good thing, we must also remember that we are not designed to sit for long periods of time. Sitting for long periods without moving can cause back discomfort and over long periods can result in back pain. If this is currently the case for you or you want to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, below are some helpful hints.

If possible, get up every twenty minutes or whatever works for you and walk around. This changes your posture, activates different muscles and allows your vertebrae and discs to move. If getting up and walking around isn’t possible then tip your head slightly to the left and then to the right and allow your upper body to follow. You can also gently twist your torso to the left and right to release some tension and activate different muscles.

Remember our bodies are meant to move not to sit for long periods. By incorporating some movement like getting up, walking or some seated stretches you can sit with greater comfort and less pain.

What’s the relationship between winter weather and a strong core you may ask. Well the two are actually closely connected. As the snow fell in Vancouver today I noticed people walking very gingerly. Why? They didn’t want to slip. When it comes to staying upright we usually think that it is simply a matter of putting one foot ahead of the other — and that’s true. The thing we usually don’t realize is that balance is largely due to our core strength. It is our core that keeps us vertical in any kind of weather. Without core strength supporting our upper bodies we would simply flop over. While there are many ways to build core strength, the easiest one I know is to sit on a Sitfit. Of course, I’m a little biased. But having used one for the past three years, I have experienced the benefits first-hand.