Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Ergonomic Wingo Kindle Case

kindleSure, your Kindle is easier to read than an unruly paperback that won’t stay open. There are a few tips and tools that can add to your relaxed reading comfort. These simple ideas will allow you many hours of reading in comfortable healthy postures.

When using the Kindle or any e-book, be conscious of the postures and the stress in your hands when you’re zooming in and out as well as scrolling. When holding the Kindle in one hand, switch hands from time to time to balance muscles used and minimize prolonged extended hand postures. Be aware of keeping your hand relaxed and don’t over extend your fingers and thumbs into stressful postures that will cause the tendons and ligaments to inflame with repetitive use. Whether it’s arthritis, aching muscles or awkward postures, when it comes to long term reading enjoyment finding the healthiest posture is key.

There are a few solutions that allow you to elevate and angle the tablet to you so your head can be in a more relaxed position over your shoulders as opposed to head forward. This will also allow your hands to rest in a more neutral position as you use all these shortcut gestures to navigate. Awkward postures while scrolling through pages can take a toll on the muscles in your hands especially if you’re resting your wrist on the edge of the table.

In offering healthy solutions, we are seeing a growing number of ergonomically designed tech accessories and even furniture to help encourage safe usage of the devices we all love. The poratble laptop stand is a simple stand sits on a table or desk and offers 3 height angles at a superlap top and kindle holder sales price of $8. For added wrist comfort, consider ordering the gel wrist rest. Another design for avoiding that hunched over posture is the Wingo case with a stand that tilts the Kindle. This design works well for table use or reclined comfort because no matter what your reading posture is, the newly released Wingo case for Kindles is designed for ease. The design of the Wingo case allows the small curved extensions to rest between your thumb and index finger comfortably so that you’re not forced to pinch the tablet. This simple “winged” design allows the hand, wrist and forearm to relax in a comfortable posture when reading. With ergonomics in mind, the soft material of the Wingo case is comfortable to hold and offers added protection to your Kindle if you were to drop it accidentally.

Dr. Anthony D. Andre, a Human Factors and Ergonomics professor at San Jose State University holding a wingogave the Wingo case high praise and recommends it for users who have grown accustom to pinching their tablets., “I have observed countless users of e-reading devices, such as the Kindle, hold the devices for long periods of time with observable awkward postures and pinch grips, both of which are known antecedents of repetitive stress injuries. The Wingo is a simple but elegant solution to the growing dilemma of how to hold tablet devices without undue effort, strain or fatigue… Its “wings” virtually hold onto the user’s hand, negating the need for the user to pinch the device and carry the burden of the weight with the fingertips. I think that it represents a valuable ergonomic option for frequent users of such devices.”

In short, the weight of the Kindle is evenly distributed across both hands instead of putting all the wingopressure on just one hand. For users that want to just use one hand, the wing design still allows you to hold onto the Kindle without having to pinch the device. Be sure to switch it from right to left hand to further minimize muscle tension or go for the effortless, neutral weight distribution by using 2 hands to hold the Kindle. Nice job on making ergonomics a priority Ambulant!

Author Byline

Karen Burke is the President and Founder of Kare Products. Karen has over 30 years of expertise creating ergonomic furniture that helps avoid injury and promotes health for all types of discomfort and body sizes.

Get relief From Your Sciatic Nerve Pain

Have you wondered about the tingling or numbness that can happen when sitting for too long? If you have pain radiating from your lower spine through your hips and buttocks and down the back of one of your legs it is very possible you are suffering from sciatica. That kind of pain will get your attention, but what exactly is it? The roots leading out of the spinal cord into the lower back are called the sciatic nerve. As the largest nerve in the body, it extends from the lower back through the buttock, down the back of the leg to the ankle, feet and toes. Sciatic pain occurs when there is compression to the nerve or nerve root. You probably have heard the term “pinched nerve”. It is one thing to talk about it and another thing to experience it. Fortunately, there are prevention tips and immediate help that can alleviate the discomfort.


Sciatica Causes

Common causes of sciatica are a bulging or ruptured disc, muscle impingement or bone spurs. Heavy lifting, prolonged sitting, spinal stenosis (a result of aging and arthritis), nerve related injuries (resulting in a pinched nerve), are also contributing factors. In some rare cases, pregnancy can result in a temporary condition of sciatica. The condition normally affects only one side of the body, and pain can be mild to severe. The nature of the pain varies from person to person, ranging from a mild ache or numbness, to a sharp burning sensation or unbearable discomfort.

Fortunately, most cases of sciatic nerve pain resolve on their own and with some simple self-care and lifestyle changes. The sooner it is addressed, the sooner you’ll be on the road to feeling better. If painful symptoms persist for over a week or if they get worse, you should see a medical professional right away.

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent and Relieve Sciatica

To protect the health of your back and prevent a reoccurrence of sciatica, consider some of the following lifestyle changes:

  • Regularly perform low-back stretching exercises, which will keep your back limber and help relieve nerve root compression
  • Exercise regularly, including activities which strengthen your core muscles and are critical for
    proper alignment and posture
  • Invest in an ergonomic chair designed to provide maximum comfort and upper and lower back support and to prevent common musculoskeletal injuries.
  • If you work long hours in front of a computer or behind a desk, take regular stretching breaks, periodic strolls around the office, and go for a walk or workout on your lunch hour
  • Learn the mechanics of proper sitting posture
  • Consider a sitting/standing work station
  • Sit on an angled seat wedge cushion which encourages pelvic tilt and maintains the natural spine align wedge cusioncurvatures of your spine.
  • Practice good body mechanics, such as avoiding lifting and twisting at the same time, finding a buddy to help you lift heavy or awkward objects, keeping your back straight and your knees bent as you lift, and holding loads close to your body

 

Immediate Help for Sciatic Nerve Pain

The good news is that sciatic nerve pain usually goes away within 4-10 weeks without invasive treatments. Although this condition can be excruciatingly painful, by making simple lifestyle changes, you can shorten the recovery period. Find the suggestions that work for you and be careful to avoid overdoing it. Listen to your body when exercising, walking or prolonged sitting or driving to see what brings relief. To facilitate faster healing and help relieve pain, here are some ways that can provide immediate relief:

  • Avoid moving and lifting heavy things or bending over to pick things
  • Reduce inflammation by holding a cold ice pack on the painful area for 15-20 minutes throughout the day
  • Lying down and resting can help eliminate the strain and stress
  • Take a hot bath or apply a hot pack to relax muscles which might be compressing the sciatic nerve
  • Deep tissue massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatments offer relief
  • Natural treatments for sciatic include herbs and homeopathic remedies
  • Learn light exercises that stretch the back and help relieve and prevent sciatica
  • Physical therapy for a slipped disc will likely include muscle strengthening and relaxing exercises, as well as exercises which improve posture and flexibility
  • Visit your local pharmacy for over-the-counter pain relief or for anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, Advil, or aspirin
  • In more severe cases, doctors may prescribe muscle relaxants, tri-cyclic antidepressants, or administer an epidural steroid injection to reduce inflammation and pressure on the sciatic nerve
  • If symptoms persist or worsen despite treatments, surgery may be in order to relieve pressure on the nerve

Author Byline

Karen Burke is the President and Founder of Kare Products. Karen has over 30 years of expertise creating ergonomic furniture that helps avoid injury and promotes health for all types of discomfort and body sizes.