New research from INRIX
has found that UK drivers are spending more and more time at a standstill on the roads.
In 2014, people in the UK wasted an average of 30 hours a year sitting in traffic, elevating it to the 5th worse position in Europe. Within the UK, London was by far the worse place for traffic hold ups, with people wasting up to 96 hours a year in road congestion.
With the prospect of more and more time spent at a standstill in the same position in the car, it’s more and more important to make sure you take measures to protect your back when out driving.
– Take the time before you set out to get your seat adjusted into the right position for you: The back of the seat should be set slightly backwards, so that it feels natural and your elbows should be at a comfortable and relaxed angle for driving.
– Once you have adjusted your seat correctly, your hands should fall naturally on the steering wheel, with just a slight bend in the arms.
If the wheel is too high and far away, tension will build up in your shoulders and upper back. If it is too low and close to you, the wheel may be touching your legs, which will reduce your ability to turn it freely, putting strain on the wrists and the muscles of the upper back.
Your reactions must be quick, so you should not need to move your head a lot. The mirror positions should allow you to see all around the car with the movement of your eyes with minimal head movement.
– Set your mirror positions to suit you before you drive off.
– Your seatbelt should always lie across the top of your shoulder and never rub against your neck or fall onto the top of your arm.
– Depending on your height, you may need to adjust the position at which the seat belt emerges from the body of the car. (If the adjustments available are insufficient, it is possible to purchase clips that help you adjust your seat belt height without impairing safety.)
– Once you have adjusted your seat correctly, your feet should fall naturally onto the pedals. You should be able to press the pedals to the floor by mainly moving your ankle and only using your leg a little.
– Avoid wearing wear high heels, or very thick-soled shoes, as you will have to over-extend the ankle in order to put pressure on the pedals. As well as making it much harder to deal with an emergency stop, this position will raise your thigh from the seat (reducing support to your leg) and create tension (and possibly cramp) in the calf. This, in turn, will impair the blood flow on a long journey.
– A relaxed driving position reduces stress on the spine, allowing your seat to take your weight.
– Take regular breaks – this is important if you are likely to get caught up in delays later.
– Clench your cheeks – If you are stuck in traffic, exercise in your seat. Try buttock clenches, side bends, seat braces (pushing your hands into the steering wheel and your back into the seat – tensing and relaxing) as well as shoulder shrugs and circles.
– It’s all in the timing – Allow plenty of time for journeys to avoid stress.
Road works at the Queens Road East /
University Boulevard Junction
From Friday 24th July for three weeks!
Plan ahead for an easier journey
For further information please visit: thetram.net/phasetwo
The phone system is reinstated and the number 0115 9225085 can now be used again thank you for your patience
We are experiencing further problems with our phone system for which we apologise and hope to have rectified as soon as possible.
Meanwhile please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the temporary number on 0115 7043307
The Clinic will be closed on Monday 4th May 2015 and will re-open at 8am on Tuesday 5th May 2015.
For out of Hours advice please contact the helpline on 07854707873.
Please do not use this number to rearrange appointments.
Gardening – don’t over do it with the trowel
As a nation, we love our gardens and spend a considerable amount of time and money on them. As we rush to get those jobs in the garden done, there is a risk that gardeners may injure themselves.
What everyone wants is to be fit and healthy enough to actually enjoy sitting in their garden and enjoy the fruits of their labours come summer time, so here are some helpful tips from Beeston Chiropractic Clinic and the British Chiropractic Association.
• Don’t wear clothes that are tight or constrict your movement.
Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first.
• Don’t go straight into heavy garden work, start off with lighter jobs first. This will lessen the chance of muscle strain.
Don’t twist again
• If you have to use a ladder for any of your gardening tasks, make sure you are always facing it. Rather than lean or reach, move it regularly.
• When using the ladder, always keep your shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction.
• Make sure the ladder is firmly and safely planted in position and, if possible, have someone else standing there to keep an eye on things.
• Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning; avoid overstretching to reach the area you are dealing with.
• Invest in some long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach.
Take a break
• Vary your activity; spend no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and take regular breaks.
Be clever with the paving
• If laying a patio keep the slab close to your body and bend your knees.
• It is sometimes better to bend one knee rather two, as your supporting leg gives you a position of strength.
• If using railway sleepers, two people will probably be needed.
• If you are planning a trip to the local DIY store and buying heavy items, such as cement or gravel, buy smaller bags rather than one big bag as they are easier and safer to carry.
• If you do buy heavy items, ask an assistant at the store to help you.
• Shovel the contents of large bags straight into smaller containers or wheelbarrow from the back of the car.
• If having items delivered, have them unloaded as close to where you need them as possible; this will save the effort of moving them again.
• A specialist garden trolley might be worth investing in to move these sorts of materials around, especially so if you have lots of patio pots to move around as well.
REMEMBER, PAIN IS A WARNING SIGN – DO NOT IGNORE IT
For more information or to arrange a free spinal check up contact:
To help you get the most out of the last few days of revising time, we have put together this list to help you on your way to exam success!
4. Study Posture
6. Study technique
7. Mental attitude
8. “Ice cream time”- rest and recuperation for body and brain
The brain needs water to work. The body is made up of 80% water. If we don’t hydrate our bodies enough the brain and nerve cells of the body will struggle to work as efficiently. And the thinking and learning will become slower and sluggish.
Try do have a pitcher of water next to your desk so that you are reminded to drink regularly. And bring water in for exams if you are allowed. Remember that coffee and tea does not equal water, in fact it is recommended that you drink a glass of water for each cup of tea or coffee. Try to drink 6-8 glasses a day. Avoid caffeinated fizzy drinks as they will stop you sleeping and make you jittery.
Nourish your brain with healthy food. Try to eat 3 main meals a day and have a healthy snack every three hours to keep your glucose level steady. This is not a time to diet, but you need to feed your brain with good nutrition for learning and concentration.
Five vital rules to keep your energy level through the day:
Eat breakfast. You need to fuel your body for the day. This essential for your body and brain.
Eat fewer carbohydrates at lunch as it will make you tired. Add more protein to all meals.
Reduce caffeinated and carbonated drinks, especially after lunch.
Cut down on sugar as it will give you a short lived high and a dip later.
Eat more complex carbohydrates such as brown/rye bread, oat cakes, brown rice and pasta, grains and seeds.
In fact the more regularly you eat the less you will feel the need to snack.
Try to have simple healthy snacks in the house, oat cakes, carrot sticks, seed and nut mixtures, healthy bread and cheese.
One of the first things that may affect you during this time is sleep, which is mostly due to stress.
Many students skip sleep and night cram as much as possible in the last few days. But this is the time when you do need your sleep and to let the brain organise the learning while sleeping. It sounds strange but you do really learn while you sleep. And apparently your IQ can be raised even with 30 minutes more of sleep.
We have a good article on our website with tips for sleep, but the latest research is not to watch TV or work on small screens up to an hour before going to bed. This is because the smaller the screen and the closer your eyes are to them, the more the brain will think it is daytime and light the brain activity up.
Do get as much exercise and get fresh air during the day, and don’t eat too late. Cut down on caffeine after lunch, sugar and rich and heavy foods. Some people find meditation tapes help or listening to calm music such as Mozart and John Levine tapes. Keep the room dark and aired and for sleep if possible.
Most students will spend a lot of time studying on the sofa or their bed. This can stress the muscles and can create tension which can lead to backache and headaches. This may in turn affect your ability to focus during exams.
We recommend that you do most of your computer work at a proper desk with a good supportive chair.
You can make your laptop into a PC by folding it out and up on a lap-top stand and get a spare keyboard and mouse. Make sure the screen is at eye level.
Do your study reading sitting upright and supported so you can keep your neck straight. Many people find sitting on gym balls really helpful as you are moving and keeping your core strong as well as sitting in a better position. You can also buy a simple seat wedge which is a cheaper option than getting a new office chair and encourages you to sit properly.
Take frequent breaks and move around so you will avoid stiffening up your muscles and shoulders.
We have a brilliant animated film on our website about posture with computers which you can find under the Luck’s Yards film tab.
The more you need to learn, the more you can benefit from exercising. The busier you are the more important it is to exercise. It has been shown that the fitter you are the better your brain works. You literally get more blood flow to your brain but you will also get better stamina and learning capacity. So try to find the sport that suits you best and which is easy to get to and schedule it into your day. Running and walking are obviously easy and will also give you oxygen and fresh air. But swimming, dancing and sports are also good and good distractions from the concentration. Yoga and Pilates are also very good as the help with stress management, breathing, calming down as well as core strength.
We recommend that you plan a shift of 3-4 hours of concentrated studying, and during this time set your phone or egg timer at 45 minute intervals with 15 minute breaks. When the time is up take a short break, stand up, do our stretches, walk around the house, jump on the trampoline, get fresh air, and drink water to reinvigorate your body for the next session. When you go back to studying again you will find that you are ready to focus again. Many people carry on for too long and find that their brain will start to overload. They are wasting really important learning time and could focus better with shorter burst.
Collaborate: What may work for you is to find a study partner who is at the same level as you and also share the same commitment. Work on your own in the morning, and plan to meet for a few hours later that day. Plan what you are going to discuss and stick to it. Then when you meet and work-shop you can teach each other and share the learning. This way you will know where your gaps are and you will learn from your study partner. There is no more powerful way than to teach someone else, and it often makes it clearer in your head when you know your learning gaps. But make sure it is someone whom you feel absolutely comfortable but also will push you to do your best.
To get the most out of your learning it helps to find out how you learn the best. It may be that you need to sit in solitude, with others, in lights, with soft music or loud, or with headphones. Some people prefer fresh air others will lock themselves in a dark room. Some people need to move about others can sit for hours focusing. Here are some tips for you:
Visual: If you are visual you will find mind-maps and strong colours very helpful. They have been designed to mimic your brain pattern and how it works. When you are in the exam you will be able to go back to the mid-map and remember where on the page the information was.
Verbal: In this case you may need to hear what you are learning. Then you can record yourself and walk around your room while you are talking to yourself (Memory walk). It can also be helpful to stand on one leg, or on a rocker board while memorising facts out loud too. Telling it to others can be helpful too. You may need to repeat it several times too.
Tactile: In this case you may need to draw on big A3 papers with lots of colour, and or repeat it lots of times. Use the whole body in different ways. Maybe you need to hold a squishy ball in your hand to help the learning. Juggling is another good tool. Use memory cards and change from left to right hand. Put a piece of paper on the wall and draw with your left of right hand. This will engage the whole brain in a different way. Stand on your left foot and then right and do your repetitions. Cross crawl like the Grand of Duke of York which will engage the whole brain too.
Auditive: Some people find music helps like Mozart and alpha music by John Levine, and other classical music. And some people may need to have head phones to take out all other sounds. Equally to use mnemonics might work with lots of pointers to remember. Some find them easier in a song.
Learning is for life, and however frustrated it becomes, you have chosen your subjects for your GCSE, AS and A levels as well as University. So try to enjoy them. If you know that you get nervous for exams, try to imagine how you are coming in the exam and how you will enjoy practicing what you have learnt. And then literally block out the result. This way you will focus on delivering your knowledge and your brain will be more positive in its ability to do so. If you only think of the result, you will get more worried, breathe shallower, and become tense and more stressed.
The journey is the learning, the application of the knowledge, not the results. It is also the ability to use your skills after School/University. It helps you mentally to focus on the exam but not the results. This is where relaxation techniques, yoga, hypnotherapy, EFT, acupuncture and mindfulness can be incredibly useful as if will put you in a more relaxed and alert state of mind.
You might find the stress from the others around exam will get to you. Then take headphones and your best music to school and shut yourself out to keep your cool. Avoid those who will influence you to get worried, and hang out with positive and calm people before exams. These techniques are very helpful and we can help you find the right therapist for you in the area.
Ice cream time
This is the deserved break you need to re-energise your brain, and also have fun while your brain is actually assimilating the information you have put in it. Creating a space to breathe, relax, have fun and chill out is really important. You do not need to be a wreck after exams, there is a life after exams, but actually during too. This is why we call this the survival guide.
We hope this has been helpful.
We are pleased to inform you that the road outside the clinic is finally open again this afternoon, we apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.
We have been told that Queens Road will be open agin on Wednesday 15th April 2015
HARD AT WORK? SO IS YOUR BACK
New research reveals working causes neck and back pain for people in the Midlands
As part of the British Chiropractic Association Chiropractic Awareness Week (13 – 19 April) Alex Newton from Beeston Chiropractic Clinic is urging people to take regular breaks at work to help combat neck and back pain.
The advice comes as new research from the back and spinal care experts finds of those who have suffered from back and neck pain, working is a cause of the pain for almost a third (30%) of people in the Midlands.
Over half (56%) think that sitting in the same position for long periods at a time has the most negative impact on their back health. Despite recognising the source of pain, one in ten (10%) of those who spend the day mainly in one position don’t take regular breaks.
BCA chiropractor Alex Newton from Beeston Chiropractic Clinic says” If you work in an office or drive a vehicle for long periods of time, it’s easy to stay seated, rarely taking breaks. Many people are unaware that staying in the same position can place unnecessary strain on their neck and back which can lead to long term pain.”
“Sitting causes up to twice as much pressure on the spine as standing. If your job involves sitting for long periods of time, it’s important that you take regular breaks to relieve the built-up tension in your lower back. Your back is always hard at work – even when you think you’re relaxing – so ensuring you move and stretch regularly will help relieve the extra load through the discs which will prevent long term problems, keeping your back on track.”
In the Midlands, 45% currently live with neck or back pain – and more than one in five (23%) suffer on a daily basis. So what can we do to combat neck or back pain at work?
Alex offers the following top tips to help people get through the working day back pain free:
- Sit up straight: Relax when sitting into your seat, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades touching the back rest of the chair. Keep arms relaxed and close to the body and place on the desk when typing. For drivers; the back of the seat should be set slightly backwards, so that it feels natural and your elbows should be at a comfortable and relaxed angle for driving.
- Be computer compatible: Make sure the top of the screen is level with the eyebrows and the chair is titled slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips and the feet to be flat on the floor. Using a laptop or tablet away from a desk will encourage poor posture, so limit time spent in this way.
- Take regular breaks: Don’t sit for more than 20-30 minutes at a time – stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little. If you struggle to get away then take time to gently massage the back of your head and neck as you relax your stomach region with slow easy breathing. This will help to improve posture and reduce back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.
- Drink Up! Try drinking water instead of tea or coffee; it will be healthier and keep your body hydrated.
For more information on how to maintain a healthy posture and help keep neck and back pain at bay, the British Chiropractic Association has developed ‘Straighten Up’ – a simple, three minute exercise programme for all ages, designed to help strengthen the spine and improve posture and help joints. To watch a video of the exercises you can do, please visit: www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk and search for Straighten Up UK.