Campus Commons PT - April 2021

body’s needs and cues, but it goes further than that. As a Harvard Medical School article put it, “In essence, mindful eating means being fully attentive to your food — as you buy, prepare, serve, and consume it.” And that includes focusing on how different foods and eating habits make you feel, both physically and mentally. While this may feel … intuitive ... it’s easier said than done in a culture with consistent and often confusing messaging around what constitutes healthy eating. Even the tried-and-true method of calorie counting has raised doubts in recent years due to inaccuracies in calorie calculations for the nutrition labels and research on how calorie restriction can backfire by changing your hormone levels and even slowing down your metabolism. Kristen Smith, a registered dietitian and the spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says it’s also linked to disordered eating habits. Intuitive eating may just be the antidote. Singer Demi Lovato, who has been open about her struggles with an eating disorder and body-image issues, credits a more mindful approach to eating with helping her overcome harmful eating patterns. HOW DOES IT LEAD TO BETTER HEALTH OUTCOMES? Having a regular exercise routine and eating well have long been known as the two pillars of physical health. When it comes to the latter, intuitive eating helps you create healthy and sustainable eating habits. The upshot is that when you eat better, you’ll feel better. Being attuned to that connection is the foundation of mindful eating. Most of us know that we should eat whole foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables, but feeling the outcome of increased consumption of these foods will help you stick with and build the habit.


The concept of mindfulness has fully saturated mainstream culture at this point. Though it’s more likely to conjure up an image of someone sitting cross-legged with closed eyes than sitting at a table looking wide-eyed at mealtime, it’ll serve you just as well on your dinner plate as it will on your yoga mat. WHAT IS INTUITIVE EATING? Eating mindfully, also known as intuitive eating, is trending in the health and wellness world. But it couldn’t be more different from fad diets or other trends like fasting and cleanses, which have restrictive lists of rules and foods to eat or avoid. Intuitive eating starts by simply tuning in to your


Even though standing desks are nothing new, people continue to mull over whether or not they should take a stand in their workplace. Your posture can have a tremendous impact not only on your productivity at work, but also whether you suffer from chronic pain later in life. It’s no surprise that sitting for eight hours a day has been linked to chronic lower back pain — do standing desks solve that problem? The short answer is, well, yes and no. Standing desks do have some benefits and solve some problems associated with sitting down for the whole workday. However, they certainly aren’t a cure-all, and they may even create new problems for serial standers as well. First, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits of standing desks from a physical therapist’s perspective. First off, standing desks can reduce the strain on your lower back that comes as a result of sitting all day. Second, standing more while you work engages your core, glutes, and lower back muscles, causing you to burn more calories. Third, standing while you work can improve your concentration and energy levels. Now, for some of the drawbacks. Just because you’re standing all day doesn’t mean you won’t do so with poor posture. Even if you stand for most of the day, you could still be at risk for chronic pain later in life. Standing all day might lead to soreness and fatigue. Plus, having a standing desk also means you’ll need to invest in some supportive footwear.

If you’re still considering getting a standing desk, here are a few tips for how to maximize the benefits, while also negating some of the drawbacks. First, you should alternate between standing and sitting while you work. This mitigates some of the drawbacks associated with each option. You should also remember that standing while you work is not a substitute for daily physical activity. Find time to move around throughout the day! If you believe you’re suffering from chronic pain due to a long career of sitting down all day or from something else entirely, give Campus Commons a call today at 916-927-1333 to schedule an appointment. 2

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