Category Archives: Feature Article

“Sitting is the New Smoking”

“Sitting is the New Smoking”    
By Susan Sharp, Brant Basics

Research shows that sitting for as little as two continuous hours increases risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, neck & back pain and other orthopedic problems. Sitting will shorten your life, just like smoking.

Many studies show the effects of long- term sitting are NOT reversible through exercise & good habits, which means that if you eat well and work out for an hour a day, but sit for most your other waking hours, that sitting will chip away the benefits of your exercise.  You are still considered sedentary.

The typical office worker has more Musculoskeletal injuries than any other industry including construction, transportation workers and the metal industry.

How do we make sense of this and fix it? Our bodies are built for movement and it keeps our bodies healthy. 

  1. We are not moving enough
  2. We are not moving well
  3. We are not performing basic maintenance on our bodies

Our society is starting to address the first item – moving more. I will offer insights into how to move better thinking of our posture while working in an office setting.

Guideline One:

Reduce optional sitting in your life. You can’t remove the kitchen table or a vehicle but working is the biggest opportunity for change. Switch to a sit-stand desk.  At home, consider watching TV on the floor and stretch, work on mobility.

Guideline Two:

Every 30 minutes you are deskbound, move for 2 minutes. Sitting causes orthopedic disfunctions. Sitting means you are not moving, and being sedentary can have negative long-term impacts

Guideline Three:

Perform 10-15 minutes basic daily maintenance on your body each day. Your muscles are like obedient dogs.  If you spend enough time training them – they’ll respond.

Guideline Four:

Learning to get your body into good positions takes a little effort and most people pick it up quickly.  The hard part is making a habit of it.  It takes practice! We offer some tools that can optimize how your position your body.

Monitor arms – properly place for head and eye position

Keyboards – to position your hands as an extension of your arms

Mouse – find one that fits your hand

Lighting – do not strain your eyes.  If you notice eye pain try some supplementary lighting

Desk Organization – position frequently accessed items in arms reach.  Items used less frequently can be stored away

Chair adjustment – Position your chair to fit YOUR body adjusting the seat, arms, back height and back tilt as necessary. Aches and pains brought on by desk work and sitting can be prevented and eliminated by moving well, moving more, and performing basic maintenance on your body.

If you have questions, please ask me!

I recommend the book: DESKBOUND by Dr. Kelly Starrett, which I used as a reference for much of this article.

Susan Sharp
Office Furniture and Design Specialist
705-748-2291  ex 28

Confused about CASL? Read on…

Confused about CASL? Read on…
By Diane Wolf

CASL stands for Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation, and it is important that you understand how it affects you and your business in terms of commercial electronic messages (CEMs). These may include emails, text messages, and some social media posts. The legislation came into effect in stages over the last several years, but here is a summary of what you need to know.

Please note the C in CEM stands for Commercial! This is a message intended to solicit business. The legislation does not apply to messages you send to provide information, or to greet clients. If someone has given you the email address of someone they are referring you to, you are also allowed to send one message to that person, ensuring that it is clear that they can unsubscribe from receiving further messages. You must also give the full name of the person who referred you. For example, if our President told me that you might be interested in working with me, I could email you with the following subject line: “Tracey Ormond recommended I contact you”.

You may not send CEMs to people without their consent. It gets tricky though, because there is an implied consent in some cases. For our purposes, you MAY send CEMs to other WBN members, but you must be sure to include an option for them to unsubscribe to avoid receiving further messages. You must keep track of who has unsubscribed, so that if you download a new member list, you must remove anyone who has previously unsubscribed.

Implied consent is also present when you contact a business whose email address is published clearly, for example on their website. You may also send CEMs to people with whom you have an existing business relationship. If someone has purchased your product or service within the last 24 months, they are deemed to have given implied consent. Again, in both cases, you must provide a way for someone to unsubscribe in order to avoid receiving further messages.

You may also get express consent, where you have someone fill out information requesting that you contact them or sign up for a mailing list. You must make sure you let them know what you are obtaining consent for, what you’ll send them, and ask for their name and contact info. You must also state that they may unsubscribe at any time. This is the kind of thing you might use at a trade show where people sign up to receive your newsletter.

How does this all work for WBN practically? You may use the member list and send a mass email to all members. We recommend that you put something in the subject line like “fellow WBN members” so the recipient understands that you are using WBN membership as implied consent (there is a section under CASL where you may send CEMs to people who are in the same organization as you are). So, the FIRST email you send to the list would not be considered spam. You must, however, immediately remove anyone who unsubscribes, and not contact them again unless they ask you to put them back on your list. It goes without saying that if someone unsubscribes, you shouldn’t phone them either, even though a voice mail is not an electronic message. It may still really annoy them.

If you gather business cards at your table during a meeting, again feel free to send a nice message. Simply saying you enjoyed meeting them or would like to have coffee does NOT constitute a CEM as there is no commercial intent. If you add them to your mailing list, however, this is a CEM and you must provide a way for them to unsubscribe.

There are hefty fines for breaking the rules, but if you are careful to only send CEMs to people who want to receive them, you will be fine. Again, making sure that you put WBN in the subject line or early in the email will help the recipient to understand why they are receiving the message.

Diane Wolf
Diane Wolf Consulting
Encouraging, educating, and empowering communicators for more than 30 years! Find my podcast, Presentation Professor, at iTunes!

Holiday Hazards: Keeping Your Pet Safe

Holiday Hazards: Keeping Your Pet Safe
By Danielle McIver,
Gleam Event Management host of The Ptbo PAWtacular

The holiday season is in full swing! Everywhere you look there is a beautifully decorated Christmas tree or a meticulously wrapped gift. We have family and friends dropping in to say hi, and piles of delicious savory and sweet treats. The joy is everywhere! But lets not forget that the holiday traditions we are used to, may have some unknown hazards for our furbabies.

      Working 17 years in the veterinary industry has proven just how many risks this season can bring. So let’s keep those tails waggin’ and cats purrin’ and learn about some common dangers you can avoid!
Here are my top 5 hazards to be aware of in this festive season! Being aware means you care.
1. Tinsel: When decorating the tree this year, forgo the tinsel and put up a few more lights instead. Tinsel is extremely dangerous for cats when ingested. It can get tangled up in their intestine and stomach and cause an accordion effect. The only treatment is surgical intervention when this happens, which must be caught early for a successful outcome. Be careful with ribbon used to wrap your gifts or in other decor as well, as they have the same effect if swallowed.
2. Chocolate: Almost all human foods have the potential to cause GI upset in pets. But chocolate is outright toxic and should not be given to your pet, even in small doses. The theobromine in chocolate is a toxin and although our human bodies metabolize this quickly so it causes us no harm, dogs do not metabolize as fast and the toxic levels can build up causing adverse effects from mild and moderate to severe.
3. Holiday Plants: Mistletoe, holly, lilies and pointsiettas sure can brighten up those dark nights during the holiday! But these plants can also cause symptoms from mild GI upset sith nausea and vomitting all the way up to kidney failure. The silk alternatives can be just as beautiful and way less dangerous!
4. Leftovers & Bones: Back on that food train! We all love the traditonal turkey that the holidays bring, but those left overs belong in your sandwiches and the bones belong in the garbage disposal, not your pets stomach. Not only can leftover turkey lead to pancreatitis, but the bones can get lodged in their throat, cause stomach perforations or painful constipation that may require surgical intervention. Not worth the 10 seconds it takes to indulge in that tasty treat!
5. Guests: No, I am not going to suggest you get out of hosting that Christmas party this year (especially if I am on your guest list!!), but as much as we love seeing friends and family to celebrate the holidays, keep in mind your pets might not. This can be a great source of stress for many pets. If your cat or dog does not enjoy strangers in their house, give them some help by adding stress relieving pheromones around the home, or giving them their own “quiet” room when company comes. They will appreciate a nice safe room to hide away until the commotion is done. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed!
These tips will allow you to enjoy them to the fullest without compromising your furbabies safety!! Remember, being aware means you care!
Happy Holidays WBN!