Correct Your “Office Posture” For Health and Confidence!

What’s the first thing you want to do when you get out of a long car or airplane ride?

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I don’t know about you, but I want to stretch and walk around, because sitting down like that is exhausting. Between driving, texting, working from the computer, and catching up on TV shows, it’s crazy that we sit for so long during our waking hours without a break. Over time, sitting down can hunch your posture and put unnecessary stress on your knees, back, and neck.

On the other hand, maintaining good posture will make your movements more efficient, so you’ll find basic movements like walking and picking things up far easier to do. We can improve our posture by stretching out the “texting muscles” of your chest, shoulders, and upper back, and restoring ROM to our lower body by practicing good squat form.

Channel your inner Beyoncé for better posture and confidence.

 University studies have shown that assuming more dominant postures for as little as two minutes at a time can boost your testosterone and make you more assertive, relaxed, and confident – so the old adage “fake it ‘til you make it” definitely applies.

If it helps, just think to yourself: how would Beyoncé stand? Hold your head high, pull your shoulders back, and lead with your heart. You are strong, capable, beautiful, and confident. You are Beyoncé.

If you’re sitting down, you can do some stretches from your office chair. The goal is to do reverse the negative effects of hunched posture by opening up your back, shoulders, and chest. Reach up and lean back slightly, floating your gaze towards the ceiling:


If you’d like a more intense stretch, you can also do shoulder openers with a broomstick or a towel like this:

Start with a very wide grip – wider than you think – and try to reach up and over. Notice how the woman in the video isn’t gripping the stick with a closed fist, but rather allowing it to glide between her pointer finger and thumb (making the “ok” sign with her hand). Don’t force anything; just try to stand tall and get a nice stretch in, even if you can’t move the broomstick all the way behind you.

Have you thought about squats?

The second half of posture is restoring ROM to your lower body, including your lower back, hips, knees, and ankles. You can become more mobile by working on being stable and comfortable in a deep squat, which is still the default mode of sitting in parts of Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.

In a proper squat:

  •  Your heels touch the ground.

  • Your back is relatively straight.

  • Your knees aren’t caving in/pointing toward each other.

  • Your knees don’t poke out past your toes.

Every healthy toddler is born with the ability to squat, but a lot of us have lost it due to an inflexible set of ankles, hamstrings, hips, and a tight lower back. Compare the following pictures to see what I mean:

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Your goal is to spend a couple minutes a day in a squat. Squat down to pick up a pencil you dropped – which is what we mean by “lift with your legs and not your back.” Send a text, or watch TV from a squat. Move your chair away from your desk and squat in front of your computer. You aren’t trying to get a black belt in yoga or anything, just work towards being able to stand up without your knees crackling like Rice Crispies.

By the time you’re able to stand up from the floor without using your hands, you’ll have reached a nice level of mobility that will help protect your knees and back for years to come. It might take some time to be able to hold a squat position comfortably, and that’s perfectly fine – just try to look more like the lady on the left rather than the goober on the right (does he even lift?).

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So there you have it – better posture will make you look and feel more confident, with the added benefits of making movement easier and protecting you from injury. Have a happy Monday: stand tall and tackle the rest of your day with some swagger!

Which diet is best for you?

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Thanksgiving’s next week, which means that many of us will probably find ourselves torn between eating clean and having another serving of pumpkin pie.

It’s one thing to have a plan, but sometimes convenience, money, and time get in the way of which kinds of food we have access to. This means that many successful diets are a matter of sticking to general guidelines rather than eating a specific set of foods. For most people at most times, being ultra-strict about a diet is less important paying attention to what we eat and how much we exercise. Those factors will do more for our health and well being than any single factor or superfood will.

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Could Berkeley’s new soda tax save thousands of lives?


Last week, a stunning 75% of voters in Berkeley, California elected to pass a tax on soda. The measure aims to reduce the rate of sugar consumption in response to nationally rising rates of obesity and diabetes. Similar legislation was proposed but not passed in San Francisco, where soda companies spent millions of dollars lobbying against the measure and even propped up fake protest groups to discourage voters from passing the soda tax.

Sweetened drinks are the primary source of added sugar in the American diet and greatly contribute to health complications related to obesity and diabetes. For the past twenty or so years, soda was actually more popular than water among Americans, and its widespread consumption has caused numerous health complications. A HealthAffairs study suggests that a soda tax of just one cent per ounce (like the one passed in Berkeley) could prevent 95,000 coronary events, 8,000 strokes, and 26,000 premature deaths over a span of just ten years.

Voters and legislators alike hope this tax will open discussions around the country about the health costs of excessive sugar consumption, and perhaps shed light on how soft drink companies use tactics developed by tobacco companies to sell sodas while minimizing their deleterious effects on our health. If anti-soda legislation becomes a trend, it’s likely to run into the same problems posed when trying to reduce smoking in the last half century, including: resentment over federally imposed sin taxes, counter-science funded and published by sugar lobbyists, and a sobering look at the consequences of what we consume.

It seems outlandish to consider that this tax opens the door for further restrictions and even bans on soda, but remember that cigarettes used to be included in military rations until about 30 years ago even though we’d consider such a thing ridiculous today.

Excessive soda drinking can have negative health consequences, but is a tax going too far? Is a ban sure to follow? Let us know how you feel on our Facebook page.

NurseCore kicks off Home Healthcare & Hospice Month


The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has selected the month of November to honor the nurses, home care aides, therapists, social workers, and other caregivers who touch the lives of homebound patients.

Approximately 12 million Americans receive care from more than 33,000 providers annually, making home healthcare an invaluable part of our health care system. These home care providers help society’s most vulnerable members through medical or nonmedical care, grooming, assisting with activities of daily living, running errands, and providing meals – among other tasks which patients are otherwise unable to perform for themselves.

Hospice workers care for terminally ill patients, providing them with specifically tailored, individualized treatment plans that manage painful symptoms. They also offer the invaluable service of comforting patients and their loved ones during these stages of life, giving them a sense of peace and closure through medical, emotional, and spiritual care. Hospice care reaffirms the human right of patients and their families to fully participate in the final stages of life.

Home healthcare workers give so much of their time and energy in such a selfless and inspiring way. This month is a great chance to appreciate their compassion for others, and to follow their example by using your strengths to care for those less fortunate than yourself.

NurseCore CEO/President Deborah Lollar at Camp Blue Skies

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Camp Blue Skies was founded to provide a recreational and educational experience for adults with intellectual disabilities. NurseCore CEO/President Deborah Lollar is close friends with the founder of Camp Blue Skies, and has been volunteering with the organization for over five years. She has just returned from their latest trip in North Carolina, which she considered a “life-changing experience” and a fantastic opportunity to give to give back to her community.

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Can We Fight SAD With Vitamin D?

It’s getting colder, and the days are shorter.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of mood disorder that happens when the seasons change. It’s classified as a seasonal pattern by the DSM-5, a general phenomenon that sees people become moodier and more tired as they go into the winter months.


Our circadian rhythm already undergoes changes due to the shorter daylight hours, which affects our sleep and mood by altering our summertime levels of melatonin and serotonin. The thicker, warmer clothes we wear also block the skin from getting enough sunlight, which interferes with its ability to produce vitamin D – a vitamin that 75% of Americans are deficient for.

Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to poorer immune systems, weaker bones, chronic fatigue, and possibly mental health complications in the forms of depression, dementia, and schizophrenia. This might reflect a societal bent towards staying indoors and not receiving adequate amounts of natural light, since all it takes is about 15 minutes of direct sun exposure on your face, arms, and legs to fulfill your daily requirements for the D. Longer periods of indirect exposure (i.e., you sitting in the shade) will still meet your needs while minimizing your exposure to UV radiation.

The good news is that vitamin D deficiencies are easily corrected (supplementation is cheap, sunlight is free) and may yield some pretty cool ancillary benefits as well. Athletes from the Northern UK, a perpetually overcast region that receives little sunlight, supplemented with vitamin D demonstrated faster sprint times and higher vertical jumps. Even non-athletes who took vitamin D managed to increase their performance in sprinting and jumping over eight weeks.

I’d also invite you to take a look at your daily schedule. During the peak of summertime, sunset in Dallas didn’t happen until about 9:00 p.m. sometimes; today it’ll happen closer to 7:00 p.m. – which means that everyone’s experiencing what is essentially low-grade jet lag while this new light/temperature thing is being figured out. I’d ask you to let us know what you think on our Facebook page, but maybe you should get some sleep instead.

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