Monday, August 4, 2014

Using a Visual Analog Pain Scale

Get a Visual Pain Scale

Tracking your pain is a helpful diagnostic tool when dealing with repetitive stress injuries. A visual analog pain scale like this lets you bypass the cognitive level of your brain and give a truer representation of your pain. Print out a number of copies and start a file to track your pain level over time.

Track Your Problem Tasks
Keep a file on your pain near the work site for every problem task you have identified as a potential cause for your injury. Pull it out and record your pain every time you perform that task no matter how long it is for.

10 Tips to Prevent Wrist Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress on the wrist can lead to a number of different injuries, like tendonitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. They all have similar symptoms, mainly the wrist, hand and arm hurting. And although some conditions can have other primary causes, they are all aggravated by wrist overuse. With that in mind here are the top 10 tips to prevent repetitive stress injuries of the wrist.

1. Stay Healthy
Maintain a healthy body weight and a good cardiovascular system. An unhealthy body causes stress everywhere. Add that to any environmental stressors and you may have a problem. 

2. Stay Strong
Keep your wrist, arm, hand and fingers strong. It is harder to overuse something if it is normally worked harder. Strengthen the muscles involved and increase flexibility through stretching. 

3. Don't Break the Wrist
Lay the outer part of your forearm on a hard surface. Let it rotate inward naturally. Keep your wrist straight. That is the natural wrist position (see image above). 

Notice that the palm is at a 30-45 degree angle and that the fingers are curled. Keep that position whenever possible. Flexing and twisting of the wrist causes all the tendons and nerves to rub over leverage points at the joints which can cause a lot of problems. 

The Essential 2 Minute Stretch Program

Stretch 1: Relieving Eyestrain

Ergonomically speaking, you should take a 10-minute break every hour you're working to prevent fatigue and repetitive stress injuries . You should get up, walk around and stretch. The reality is, however, that you may have less time to cram this in -- and that time may be spent running off to another task. So, if you're looking for a little office yoga here is a set of 10 essential stretches that you can do during your elevator ride, on the way to the parking lot, while on the phone or any time you can find two minutes.
Eye strain can easily be relieved. One way to relax the eye is to stretch the muscles that focus the lens. The key is to focus on things at different distances. You can follow your finger if nothing else will do.
  • Focus near, then far, near, then far.
  • Repeat a couple of times.
  • Take a couple of long blinks.
Stretch 2: Side to Side Neck Stretch

Stretching your neck side to side releases tension in you head, neck and shoulders.

  • Lay your head to the side, pivoting at the base of the neck.
  • Hold it for a few seconds, then lay it to the other side.
  • Repeat a couple of times.
This will loosen your neck and shoulder muscles. If you can do this with your eyes closed, it will help them relax as well.

Friday, July 25, 2014

11 Power Words That Will Make Any Resume Stand Out

Jobs site ZipRecruiter dug through its database of 3 million resumes to see what recruiters like to see in a resume.
 ZipRecruiter allows job seekers to upload their resumes, and small businesses, individual employers, and recruiters looking for candidates to rate those resumes on a scale of one to five stars (one being the lowest, five the highest).
It found if you use the below "power words," your likelihood of getting a top rating goes up by 70%.
• Experience• Management• Project• Development• Business• Skill• Professional• Knowledge• Year• Team• Leadership
This finding shows that keyword hacking has uses beyond tailoring your resume to robots. The ZipRecruiter data suggests that humans gravitate to a certain set of vocabulary as well. Of those, ZipRecruiter says that three main themes emerged: 
"... we found that words that implied management skills (not necessarily as a manager: time management is an example of a management skill everyone needs to have), a proactive stance towards working ('responsible,' 'support,' and 'client; speak to that) and problem solving skills ('data,' 'analysis,' and 'operation') were the most highly rated."
Still, you don't want to cram your resume full of keywords. If it looks as if you committed "keyword stuffing" — layering in keywords that don't actually fit your experience — you're making it easy to get your resume discarded. 

9 Things Interviewers Wish They Could Tell Every Job Candidate

In the best interviews, job candidates say a lot and interviewers very little — after all, the interview is about the candidate, not the interviewer.

But there are a few things interviewers would like to tell job candidates well before the interview starts.

1. I want you to be likeable.
Obvious? Sure, but also critical. I want to work with people I like and who in turn like me.
So: I want you to smile. I want you to make eye contact, sit forward in your chair, and be enthusiastic. The employer-employee relationship truly is a relationship — and that relationship starts with the interview (if not before.)

A candidate who makes a great first impression and sparks a real connection instantly becomes a big fish in a very small short-list pond. You may have solid qualifications, but if I don't think I'll enjoy working with you, I'm probably not going to hire you.
Life is too short.

2. I don’t want you to immediately say you want the job.
Oh, I do want you to want the job — but not before you really know what the job entails. I may need you to work 60-hour weeks, or travel 80% of the time, or report to someone with less experience than you... so sit tight for a bit.

No matter how much research you've done, you can't know you want the job until you know everything possible about the job.

3. I want you to stand out....
A sad truth of interviewing is that later I often don't recall, unless I refer to my notes, a significant amount about some of the candidates. (Unfair? Sure. Reality? Absolutely.)

The more people I interview for a job and the more spread out those interviews, the more likely I am to remember a candidate by impressions rather than by a long list of facts.

So when I meet with staff to discuss potential candidates I might initially refer to someone as, "the guy with the bizarre stainless steel briefcase," or "the woman who does triathlons," or "the gentleman who grew up in Lichtenstein."

In short, I may remember you by "hooks" — whether flattering or unflattering — so use that to your advantage. Your hook could be your clothing, or an outside interest, or an unusual fact about your upbringing or career. Better yet your hook could be the project you pulled off in half the expected time or the huge sale you made.

Instead of letting me choose, give me one or two notable ways to remember you.

4. ... but not for being negative.
There's no way I can remember everything you say. But I will remember sound bites, especially the negative ones — like the candidates who complain, without prompting, about their current employer, their coworkers, or their customers.

So if for example you hate being micro-managed, instead say you're eager to earn more responsibility and authority. I get there are reasons you want a new job but I want to hear why you want my job instead of why you're desperate to escape your old job.

And keep in mind I'm well aware our interview is like a first date. I know I'm getting the best possible version of "you." So if you whine and complain and grumble now... I know you'll be a real treat to be around in a few months.

5. I want you to ask lots of questions about what really matters to you...
I need to know whether I should hire you, but just as importantly I need you to make sure my job is a good fit for you.

So I want you to ask lots of questions: What I expect you to accomplish early on, what attributes make our top performers outstanding, what you can do to truly drive results, how you'll be evaluated… all the things that matter to you and to me and my business.

You know what makes work meaningful and enjoyable to you. I don't. There's no other way to really know whether you want the job unless you ask questions.

6. ... but only if the majority of those questions relate to real work.
I know you want a positive work-life balance. Still, save all those questions about vacation sign-up policies and whether it's okay to take an extra half hour at lunch every day if you also stay a half hour late and whether I've considered setting up an in-house childcare facility because that would be really awesome for you and your family.

First let's find out if you're the right person for the job, and whether the tasks, responsibilities, duties, etc. are right for you.

Then we can talk about the rest.

7. I love when you bring a "project."
I expect you to do a little research about my company. That’s a given.

To really impress me, use the research you’ve done to describe how you will hit the ground running and contribute right away — the bigger the impact the better. If you bring a specific skill, show how I can leverage that skill immediately.

Remember how I see it: I have to pay your salary starting day one, so I'd love to see an immediate return on that investment starting day one.

8. At the end I want you to ask for the job... and I want to know why.
By the end of the interview you should have a good sense of whether you want the job. If you need more information, say so and let's figure out how to get what you need to make a decision.

If you don't need more information, do what great salespeople do and ask for the job.

I'll like the fact you asked. I want you to really want the job — but I also want to know why you want the job. So tell me why: You thrive in an unsupervised role, or you love working with multiple teams, or you like frequent travel.

Ask me for the job and prove to me, objectively, that it's a great fit for you.

9. I want you to follow up... especially if it's genuine.
Every interviewer appreciates a brief follow-up note. If nothing else, saying you enjoyed meeting me and are happy to answer any other questions is nice.

But "nice" may not separate you from the pack.

What I really like — and remember — is when you follow up based on something we discussed. Maybe we talked about data collection techniques and you send me information about a set of tools you strongly recommend. Maybe we talked about quality and you send me a process checklist you developed that I could adapt to use in my company. Or maybe we both like cycling, so you send me a photo of you on your bike in front of the sign at the top of the Col du Tourmalet (and I'm totally jealous.)

The more closely you listened during the interview, the easier it is to think of ways to follow up in a natural and unforced way.

Remember, we're starting a relationship — and even the most professional of relationships are based on genuine interactions.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Your Cellphone Is Endangering Your Sperm

Four in 10 US homes are cell-phone only, meaning they’ve ditched their landlines entirely. This is twice the rate in 2009, and a sign of just how integrated cell-phone use is in our culture.
Among certain demographics, the reliance on cell phones as the only household phone is even higher. For instance, more than 65 percent of adults aged 25-29 live in households with only cell phones, along with nearly 60 percent of 30- to 34-year-olds.

The convenience comes at a price, however, especially if you’re planning to have children, or already have them.

Cell Phones Worsen Sperm Quality

A systematic review and meta-analysis looked into the impact of low-level electromagnetic radiation (EMR) – the type emitted by cell phones – on sperm quality, both in the lab and among male patients at fertility clinics.
Their analysis of 10 such studies showed that exposure to EMR from cell phones lowered sperm motility by 8 percent and sperm viability by 9 percent. Previous studies have also found that cell phone radiation can affect men's sperm count, and the quality and motility of their sperm. One such study, published in PLOS Onefound:

"RF-EMR in both the power density and frequency range of mobile phones enhances mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation by human spermatozoa, decreasing the motility and vitality of these cells while stimulating DNA base adduct formation and, ultimately DNA fragmentation.
These findings have clear implications for the safety of extensive mobile phone use by males of reproductive age, potentially affecting both their fertility and the health and wellbeing of their offspring."
During the 2013 discussion “Cell Phones & Wi-Fi – Are Children, Fetuses and Fertility at Risk?,” leading experts from top universities further reported:

“There is a direct relationship between duration of cell phone use and sperm count decline. Sperm count is reduced by half in men who carry cell phones in their pants pockets for four hours per day. The motility of the sperm is also impaired.
The testicular barrier, that protects sperm, is the most sensitive of tissues in the body, and is 100x more absorbent. Besides sperm count and function, the mitochondrial DNA of sperm are damaged 3x more if exposed to cell phone radiation.
…DNA mutations have been linked more to damage on the male side in research from Iceland, the assumption being that male sperm is more vulnerable than female eggs, which are more protected. Mutations increase with the age of the father, and more autism and schizophrenia increase with the age of the father.”
The data suggest men who plan to father children, in particular, may want to reconsider carrying their cell phones on their belts or in their pocket, in close proximity to their reproductive organs. In addition, both men and women have a number of other sensitive organs in that general area, including your liver, kidneys, colon, and bladder—all of which are susceptible to radiation.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Have You Gone BANANA…

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose as well as fiber. We know that bananas give us an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

 Although, energy alone isn’t the only way that bananas can help us keep fit and healthy. It has been proven to help overcome and even prevent a number of illnesses and issues, helping it become the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes – after reading this we should be saying ‘a banana a day keeps the Doctor away’ 

Read on to learn how the humble banana can help in our every day lives and improve our physical and mental health: 

DEPRESSION: Following recent research by MIND (a well respected mental health charity) carried out on a group of people suffering from depression, they reported that the people surveyed said they felt much better after simply eating a banana. Bananas contain tryptophan, which is a type of protein that the body is converted into serotonin known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. This backs up research which has previously claimed that an inbalance of serotonin in the body can lead to depression, and in fact serotonin is often called the ‘happy hormone’.

CONSTIPATION: Being high in fiber, bananas can help restore normal bowel function when eaten regularly, eliminating the need to resort to laxatives.

BLOOD PRESSURE: Unusually, the high potassium levels found in bananas are matched by a low salt level which makes it a powerful natural tool in the treatment of high blood pressure. Infact the US Food and Drug Administation recently permitted the banana industry as a whole to be able to make official claims regarding bananas ability to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and also in lowering the risk of strokes.

HANGOVERS: One of the quickest, easiest and healthiest ways of curing a dreaded hangover is to make a banana milkshake or smoothie, using local organic honey to sweeten. The banana has a calming action on the stomach and, together with the help of honey, rebuilds your depleted blood sugar levels, and the milk will soothe and re-hydrate your system.

ULCERS: Bananas are increasingly used as the dietary food of choice against several intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It also helps to neutralize high levels of acidity and reduces any irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

HEARTBURN: Bananas have been found to have a natural antacid effect in the body. Next time you suffer a bout of heartburn, try eating a banana for quick, natural and soothing relief.

PMS: Ladies ditch the pills – simply eat a banana. The high levels of vitamin B6 regulates your blood glucose levels, vital in affecting your mood.

NERVES: Bananas are high in several essential B vitamins that are known to help calm the nervous system. Studies at the Austrian Institute of Psychology found pressure at work can lead to us gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. They studied 5,000 hospital patients, and the researchers found the most obese patients were far more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. They report concluded that “to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady”. So we really should be taking a banana to work.

ANEMIA: Bananas are high in iron, vital for the stimulation of the hemoglobin production in the blood and is a natural tool in the treatment of anemia.

MOSQUITO BITES: Use banana skins as an alternative to insect bit cream when treating those pesky mosquito bites – simply rub the affected area with the inside of the banana skin. It is widely reported as a natural way of reducing local swelling and irritation.

TEMPERATURE CONTROL: Other cultures often use bananas as a ‘cooling’ fruit, lowering both the physical and emotional temperature of pregnant women. In Thailand , for example, expectant women eat bananas regularly to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

MORNING SICKNESS: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep to blood sugar levels up and significantly reduce the symptoms of morning sickness.

BRAIN POWER: A recent study in 2013 in a school in Twickenham, England involved more than 200 students, who were sitting exams, eating bananas for breakfast, at mid-morning breaktime and for lunch. It was found that they were helped significantly with their concentration and energy levels, matching research previously highlighting that high levels of potassium can assist learning by making pupils more alert .

So, a banana can be a natural remedy for many conditions. When compared to an apple, it has FOUR TIMES the protein, TWICE the carbohydrate, THREE TIMES the phosphorus, FIVE TIMES the vitamin A and iron, and TWICE the other vitamins and minerals. It is super rich in potassium and is recognized by health experts and professionals as being one of the best value foods around.

10 Best Foods for Brittle Bones

To build strong bones and keep them sturdy, you need a diet that contains a lot of calcium and magnesium. But there's more to it than that -- you also need plenty of protein and vitamins B, D, and K.

Paying attention to bone health when deciding what to eat is more important than you might think. More than 10 million people over age 50 have osteoporosis, while another 34 million have osteopenia, which means they're on their way. Astonishingly, one expert panel says that by 2020, half of all Americans will have brittle bones.

Thanks to your mother's admonitions to drink your milk, you probably know that's one important bone-building food. But there are many other ways to make your diet bone-friendly. Here are ten foods packed with bone-building nutrients.

1. Yogurt and frozen yogurt 

Low-fat dairy is one of the best natural sources of calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients that build strong bone. And nonfat or low-fat yogurt is one of the best nonfat dairy foods because it has other benefits as well. Frozen yogurt, while typically not as healthy because it has more added sugar, still has lots of calcium -- as much as 200 to 300 milligrams per cup, depending on the brand.
How much: Aim for at least one one-cup serving daily for 300 milligram calcium; one and a half cups if it's frozen yogurt.
Tips: Choose a yogurt with live cultures. The lactobacillus, acidophilus, and bifidus will help maintain healthy intestines and digestion while also aiding calcium absorption.

2. Herring, sardines, and other whole canned fish

 Vitamin D plays a key role in promoting the turnover of osteoblasts, the bone-building cells. Herring and sardines (often the same thing when sold here in the U.S.) are king when it comes to vitamin D, with more than 1,300 IUs (international units) in one three-ounce serving. A same-size serving of canned salmon has 530 IUs. You can also drink your fish -- cod liver oil is one of the best sources of vitamin D, with 450 IUs in a single teaspoon. Perhaps the Victorians were onto something when they used to make their children drink the icky-tasting stuff.

How much: Tins of sardines typically come in 3.75-ounce and 4.75-ounce sizes; a snack of half of a smaller can gives you more than half your daily vitamin D.

Tip: To cut calories and boost health benefits, choose sardines and other canned fish packed in their own oil, olive oil, or water rather than in soybean or cottonseed oil.

3. Greens 

Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, collard and turnip greens, broccoli, lettuce, beet greens, and bok choy are the top sources of vitamin K, which is actually not a vitamin but an amino acid also called GLA or γ-carboxyglutamic acid. Nutritionists are only beginning to understand the role of vitamin K, which is important in the formation and proper functioning of a bone protein called osteocalcin. Vitamin K, by way of osteocalcin, aids the binding process of calcium and phosphorous into the bone protein matrix. Greens are a good source of calcium as well, so there's a double-whammy benefit here.

How much: Official serving sizes vary from a half to a full cup of greens; try to work one serving per day into your diet.

Tip: The darker the color of the greens, the more micronutrients they typically have, with spinach, kale, and collard greens among the most nutrient-dense.

6 Foods That Weaken Bones

To build and maintain strong bones, eating the right foods makes all the difference. By the same token, certain foods can actually sap bone strength by leaching minerals right out of the bone, or they block the bone's ability to regrow. Surprisingly, some of these are foods we eat lots of every day. Here, the six biggest bone-sappers:

1. Soft drinks
Soft drinks pose a double-whammy danger to bones. The fizziness in carbonated drinks often comes from phosphoric acid, which ups the rate at which calcium is excreted in the urine. Meanwhile, of course, soft drinks fill you up and satisfy your thirst without providing any of the nutrients you might get from milk or juice.

What to do: When you're tempted to reach for a cola, instead substitute milk, calcium- and vitamin D-fortified orange juice, or a fruit smoothie made with yogurt. Or just drink water when you're thirsty, and eat a diet high in bone-building nutrients.

2. Salt 

Salt saps calcium from the bones, weakening them over time. For every 2,300 milligrams of sodium you take in, you lose about 40 milligrams of calcium, dietitians say. One study compared postmenopausal women who ate a high-salt diet with those who didn't, and the ones who ate a lot of salt lost more bone minerals. Our American diet is unusually salt-heavy; many of us ingest double the 2,300 milligrams of salt we should get in a day, according to the 2005 federal dietary guidelines.

What to do: The quickest, most efficient way to cut salt intake is to avoid processed foods. Research shows that most Americans get 75 percent of their sodium not from table salt but from processed food. Key foods to avoid include processed and deli meats, frozen meals, canned soup, pizza, fast food such as burgers and fries, and canned vegetables.

3. Caffeine

The numbers for caffeine aren't as bad as for salt, but caffeine's action is similar, leaching calcium from bones. For every 100 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in a small to medium-sized cup of coffee), you lose 6 milligrams of calcium. That's not a lot, but it can become a problem if you tend to substitute caffeine-containing drinks like iced tea and coffee for beverages that are healthy for bones, like milk and fortified juice.

What to do: Limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee in the morning, then switch to other drinks that don't have caffeine's bone-sapping action. Adding milk to your coffee helps to offset the problem, of course.

4. Vitamin A

In the case of vitamin A, recent research is proving that you really can get too much of a good thing. Found in eggs, full-fat dairy products, liver, and vitamin-fortified foods, vitamin A is important for vision and the immune system. But the American diet is naturally high in vitamin A, and most multivitamins also contain vitamin A. So it's possible to get much more than the recommended allotment of 5,000 IUs (international units) a day -- which many experts think is too high anyway.
Postmenopausal women, in particular, seem to be susceptible to vitamin A overload. Studies show that women whose intake was higher than 5,000 IUs had more than double the fracture rate of women whose intake was less than 1,600 IUs a day.

What to do: Switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy products only, and eat egg whites rather than whole eggs (all the vitamin A is in the yolk). Also check your multivitamin, and if it's high in vitamin A, consider switching to one that isn't.

5. Alcohol 

Think of alcohol as a calcium-blocker; it prevents the bone-building minerals you eat from being absorbed. And heavy drinking disrupts the bone remodeling process by preventing osteoblasts, the bone-building cells, from doing their job. So not only do bones become weaker, but when you do suffer a fracture, alcohol can interfere with healing.

What to do: Limit your drinking to one drink a day, whether it's wine, beer, or hard alcohol.

6. Hydrogenated oils 

For a number of years now, we've known from studies that the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oil into the solid oils used in commercial baking, destroys the vitamin K naturally found in the oils. Vitamin K is essential for strong bones, and vegetable oils such as canola and olive oil are the second-best dietary source of this key nutrient, after green leafy vegetables. However, the amounts of vitamin K we're talking about are tiny here -- one tablespoon of canola oil has 20 micrograms of K, and one tablespoon of olive oil has 6 micrograms, as compared with 120 micrograms in a serving of spinach.

What to do: If you're eating your greens, you don't need to worry about this too much. If you're a big lover of baked goods like muffins and cookies, bake at home using canola oil when possible, and read labels to avoid hydrogenated oils (which many manufacturers of processed foods have eliminated in recent years).