Tips for National Bike to Work Day


When’s the last time you dusted off that old bike in your garage? May 19 is National Bike to Work Day and to celebrate, we think you should give your two-wheeler a tune-up and take it on a field trip… to work. It might seem intimidating at first, but we’re here to boost your confidence and give you all the tools you need to get to and from work safely.

National Bike to Work Day

How to bike to work safely

No matter where you live, bike safety is a big issue. The idea of competing with hoards of rush hour traffic can be intimidating, even for seasoned cyclists.

To begin, visit Google Maps to find route recommendations, including designated bike paths that you can follow.

Next, brush up on the rules of the road. Just like motorists, cyclists must stop at red lights, yield to pedestrians and signal their turns. But unlike cars, bicycles are often excepted on one-way streets. Check your municipal bike code for local rules. For example, in Toronto, you must have a working bell and bike light. And though not mandatory, we can’t stress the importance of a helmet enough.

The benefits of biking to work

Decrease your travel time. Really. For those living in bumper-to-bumper driving areas, this is especially true.

Get fit. This part is a no-brainer. By cycling for just three hours a week — or less than 20-minutes each way to work — you can decrease your risk of heart disease by 50%.

Boost brain power. Not only has daily exercise been proven to prevent cognitive decline and memory loss, but in a study, two-thirds of employers said that the cyclists in their office were more productive than non-cyclists. Biking to work is just one of many ways we encourage our employees to work well.

Decrease your ecological footprint. Transportation — cars, trucks and buses — accounts for nearly 30% of North America’s greenhouse gas emissions. Taking two wheels to work instead of four is an easy way to do your part in slashing that statistic.

Workstation Ergonomics: How to Set Up a Healthy Desk


By now, you know that poor office posture can lead to repetitive stress injuries and overall health issues. But you might still be wondering how exactly to correct the problem. Here, you’ll find a handy guide to help you adjust your way to workplace health.

Bends

When adjusting your monitor, chair and desk, the right angle in your best friend. For example, your knees should be bent at ninety degrees, with your thighs resting comfortably and your feet planted on the floor.

The right angle is also what you’re aiming for with mouse and keyboard adjustment. Your upper arms should rest comfortably at your sides, with your elbows bending at ninety degrees. From there, your forearms rest on the desk, never over-reaching for the mouse or keyboard. If in order to reach your keyboard, you need to move your upper arm away from your side, it’s too far. Bring the keyboard and mouse closer.

hand-wrist-posture

The final right angle to look for is in your torso. When you sit, do your hips stack directly under your shoulders and neck? If you’re slouching or leaning forward, the chair could be to blame. Look for something that supports your low and upper back. That way, you can lean comfortably into your chair while maintaining an upright posture.

Heights

To get started, your chair height should be equal to the length of your calves, allowing your knees to bend at ninety degrees.

The height of your desk should allow your arms to access the mouse and keyboard at a ninety degree angle whether sitting or standing, so what does that look like?

For a sitting desk, look for something with a height around your pelvic region.

sitting-posture

For a standing desk, you’ll want something that tops out around your naval.

sit-stand-setup

Monitor height is a crucial part of our muscular well-being, but so many people get it wrong. The top of your screen should align with your mouth area, and angle upward at about 30 to 40 degrees. This will allow your neck to stay upright, with your chin slightly tucked.

A proper monitor can be especially tricky to visualize, since it’s such a far-cry from how most of us use our computers. For a great visual aid and measurements customized to your body type, check out Computing Comfort.

ParticipACTION 150 Playlist Vote & Staying Active This Winter


Going into hibernation mode is oh so tempting. The colder the weather gets, the less we want to go outside. It makes sense. And of course, staying inside all cozy and warm snuggled up with some tea is one of the best ways to unwind during the cold season. But this doesn’t mean you can’t keep active during your spare time.

Another reason to stay healthy this winter is that we live the great white north! And this year marks Canada’s 150th birthday, which gives us all the more reason to stay active and celebrate in a way that embraces the true heritage of Canada.

Take a look at some ways you can stay active this winter.

Ice Skating

Most cities have a local ice rink, so make sure you get out those skates and take advantage this winter! Ice skating is great cardio and a fun activity to do with family or friends.

Lake Louise

Snow Sprints

Another great way to get that cardio workout in. Find a snow-covered field and try jogging or running in laps. Ice usually doesn’t form on grass so it is safe to run on a grassed area. But if it makes you feel more comfortable, you can do this during or after a fresh snowfall.  Also, if you want to take it up a notch, throw some walking lunges into those laps. Just make sure you dress warm!

Image result for running in snow

Skiing/Snowboarding

This snow sport is an amazing way to stay in shape, but it does require more skill than the other alternatives. If you aren’t familiar with skiing or snowboarding, don’t fret it! There are many training classes and smaller hills available to practice on – which is still great exercise.

Image result for skiing canada

Tobogganing

Who would have thought such a fun activity can also be a way to stay active! Tobogganing should not be undermined. Walking uphill, especially in the snow, is great cardio and melts mega calories. This is also the perfect way to have some family time while keeping everyone active.

Image result for tobogganing walking uphill

Shoveling Snow

It might be time to second guess that dreaded task. Shoveling snow is actually great exercise, as you are working your arms to move the snow and your legs to lift. It really is a whole body workout. So grab your shovel and don’t be afraid to take ownership of this chore!

Image result for shovelling snow

Like these ideas? Vote for your favourite activities on Participation’s “150 Playlist” to help get Canadians moving on the 150th birthday! Challenge yourself and your friends to participate in as many activities as possible through out the year and be entered to win amazing prizes such as a new car, or a trip to Whistler! Over 100 events will be taking place across Canada to give everyone a chance to stay active, and try some great activities. Make sure you vote now and help us change these stats!

Image result for participaction 150