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Reduce pain and prevent injury by improving your workspace

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Ergonomics:  How to optimize your workstation and posture to prevent pain and injury.

In the modern work world many of us spend our days sitting at a desk in front of the computer.  The human body however was not designed for this sedentary lifestyle and will get stiff and sore from lack of movement.  Even if you are active outside of work, sitting at a desk with poor setup and slouched posture can give you chronic aches and pains or exacerbate existing injuries.

Some common complaints that could be related to your posture include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or hands
  • Shoulder pain
  • Upper back stiffness
  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica

Making some simple ergonomic adjustments to your workstation can help you feel more comfortable during and after your work day:

  • Ensure you have a good chair that is comfortable for you and adjusted properly.  Ideally you should be sitting with your buttocks to the back of the chair so that you are leaning against the backrest.  You may need to adjust the lumbar support or add a rolled up towel or small pillow behind the small of your back to support your spine’s natural curve.
  • Sit with both feet flat on the floor and the knees bent to about 90 degrees.  Adjust your chair height accordingly or add a stool under your feet if you can’t touch the ground.
  •  Adjust your computer monitor so that your screen is at eye level.  This can be as easy as putting a book underneath to raise it up.  You should not have to look down or strain to see your computer.
  • Have your keyboard at a comfortable height so that your elbows are bent to approximately 90 degrees and you are not reaching forward.  If you have a laptop, consider using an external keyboard so that you type in a neutral position.
  • Adapt your workstation to fit you.  Move things that you use frequently throughout the day (such as the phone, files, etc.) to a location that is easy to access so that you don’t have to reach or move awkwardly to get to them.  This will help you avoid sprains and strains from poor movement patterns.

Even with the perfect ergonomic setup, poor posture can catch up to you.  Some common habits to AVOID are:

  • Crossing your knees.  Sitting in this position twists your pelvis and lumbar spine, putting extra strain on the muscles, joints, and ligaments.  While it may feel good temporarily, you probably need to keep switching positions to stay comfortable because your body is not in a neutral position.
  • Perching on the front of your seat.   While you may think it is good to try to hold yourself up straight without using the backrest it is not realistic to do this for an 8 hour day.  Your postural muscles will fatigue quickly and you will end up slouching and feeling sore.
  • Leaning your shoulders forward and head down to look at your computer.  Think of all the extra strain you are putting on your neck and shoulder to hold your body in this position!  Try to remind yourself to sit up tall – Think shoulders down and back and head up.  Your spine should feel long and supported, but not rigid.

It is also important to stay active throughout the day and break up long periods of sitting in one position.  Here are some ideas to keep you limber throughout the day:

·       Set an alarm to get up and move every 20-30 minutes.  This could be as simple as standing up to do some stretches, taking a quick walk around the office, a washroom break, or going to get some water.  Interrupted sitting is the best way to prevent tightness from building up in your spine and soft tissues

·       Stretch at your desk.  There are lots of simple movements and stretches you can do as you work to keep your body feeling good.  Try to remember to move a little bit at least every 15-20 minutes.  Try stretching your neck side to side, moving your head gently in different directions, rolling your shoulders backwards, squeezing your shoulder blades together, stretching your legs out in front of you, and moving your feet and ankles.

We hope these tips have been helpful and have given you ideas that you can incorporate into your daily life.  Do not hesitate to call us and make an appointment.  An in depth one-on-one assessment with one of our physiotherapists will help address your specific needs for injury prevention or management.

Written by Stephanie Connolly

Click to visit Pursuit Physiotherapy.


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New state-of-the-art facilities about to be unveiled at RDC

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From Joel Ward, President & CEO of Red Deer College

State-of-the-art facilities enhance learning, living and athletic experiences at RDC

As we continue to transition to University status, we have been busy preparing our facilities for the anticipated growth of programs and services to serve our ever-expanding number of students. Dr. Paulette Hanna, in her guest article last month, outlined the new programs we are offering this year. The new Bachelor of Applied Arts in Animation and Visual Effects, along with new programs in Justice Studies, Health Care, Education and Business ensure opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship and great careers in central Alberta.

To accommodate the anticipated growth, RDC embarked on the largest facilities expansion in our history. Great programs, well delivered in modern facilities, ensure RDC’s ability to meet the learning needs of our students and our communities.

Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris

Construction is completed, on time and on budget ($88M). We are in the process of moving in and will be hosting an open house and tours for the community in late August. Watch for the grand opening announcement coming soon. You will want to see this amazing facility.

This iconic facility celebrating health, wellness and sport will serve our learners and our communities for years to come and will serve as the legacy of the 2019 Canada Winter Games. And did I mention its design will take your breath away? Stantec, our design and architecture partner, and Clark/Scott Builders Inc., our general contractor, along with our faculty, staff and community partners have created something special, and I know you will be inspired by this newest addition to our College and our community. And it has approximately 2,500 solar panels on the roof along with 276 panels on the solar walkway, and is part of our green energy master plan, which will reduce our heat and cooling costs by almost one third. By the end of 2018, over 3,600 solar panels will be installed at RDC.

Residence

Construction is on time and on budget ($20M) for the 145 studio suites to open in January 2019. It is not a box with rooms. Its uniqueness makes it unlike any residence built before. Again, our team of designers have created something special. Gathering stairs, collaboration spaces and units designed by and for our students, ensure not only an incredible living space, but spaces that support learning. And did I mention that the south, west and east facing walls will be populated with solar panels?

Alternative Energy Lab (AEL)

Construction is completed, on time and on budget ($10M). Partnering with the Federal Government who funded 50% of the cost, this new teaching, learning and research space will demonstrate and showcase new alternative energy solutions for consideration by business, industry and local homeowners.

Information sessions, demonstrations of new technologies and research into the efficacy of alternative energy solutions in central Alberta will be the primary focus of this new facility. New programs will be developed to assist in the installation and trouble-shooting of new technologies. The addition of the AEL to our Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing gives RDC a great one-two punch to support small and medium businesses in applied research, rapid prototyping and 3D printing in central Alberta.

We will hold the grand opening later this fall. Watch for information sessions and tours open to the general public right after the grand opening.

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The change occurring at RDC is breathtaking. New facilities, new programs and the Premier’s announcement granting University status has made 2018 the most transformative year in our history. And there is more. This fall we will host five national sporting pre-Games events leading up to the Canada Winter Games, and then we will host competition in the same five sports during the Games in February and March, 2019. Following the Games, RDC will host the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Volleyball National Championship from March 6 to 9 – the first time since 1987.

And we have to find a name for our new University…

Joel Ward is President & CEO of Red Deer College

This column was first published in the Red Deer Advocate on July 28, 2018


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B.C. university drops mandatory ban on sex outside of heterosexual marriage

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LANGLEY, B.C. — A Christian university in British Columbia will no longer require students to adhere to a covenant forbidding sex outside of heterosexual marriage.

The board of governors at Trinity Western University in Langley voted Thursday to make the school’s “community covenant” voluntary for students beginning this school year.

The private institution had applied to provincial law societies for accreditation of a law school but was denied in British Columbia and Ontario because of the covenant.

In June, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that requiring a person to behave contrary to their sexual identity is “degrading and disrespectful” in two landmark decisions that said law societies have the right to deny accreditation to the proposed law school. The high court said law societies in Ontario and British Columbia were entitled to ensure equal access to the bar, support diversity and prevent harm to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students.

The legal action pitted two significant societal values — freedom of religion and promotion of equality — against one another.

The motion passed Thursday said the intention behind it was to maintain Trinity Western as a “thriving community of Christian believers that is inclusive of all students wishing to learn from a Christian viewpoint and underlying philosophy.”

Trinity Western will also work to determine ways in which its Christian identity can continue to be strengthened while welcoming the unique value of each member of its diverse student body, the university said in a statement issued Tuesday.

“Let there be no confusion regarding the board of governors’ resolution; our mission remains the same. We will remain a biblically based, mission-focused, academically excellent university, fully committed to our foundational evangelical Christian principles,” president Robert Kuhn said in the statement.

“We will continue to be a Christ-centred community; one that is defined by our shared pursuit of seeking to glorify God by revealing His truth, compassion, reconciliation and hope to a world in need.”

Helen Kennedy, executive director of LGBTQ advocacy organization Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, said the covenant’s continued existence is problematic, even if it’s no longer mandatory.

“There is a larger issue with the covenant around creating a culture of intolerance and discrimination for incoming and current students,” Kennedy said in a statement.

Both the B.C. and Ontario law societies declined to comment on the decision, saying it would be premature given that they have not been asked to review any new accreditation application by Trinity Western.

Trinity Western proposed the law school in 2012 and received approval to open from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and British Columbia’s Ministry of Advanced Education. However, the ministry later withdrew approval.

The university wanted to ensure its graduates would be eligible to be called to the bar throughout Canada, and therefore applied to the provincial law societies for accreditation of the planned school.

Six law societies — Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador — granted accreditation. Nova Scotia’s law society refused accreditation, but the decision was overturned in the courts.

In Ontario, the benchers of the Law Society of Upper Canada — since renamed the Law Society of Ontario — denied accreditation to the school in a 28-21 vote.

In reviewing the decision, an Ontario court found the society had undertaken a reasonable balancing of the protections at issue. The ruling was upheld on appeal.

British Columbia’s law society denied recognition to the school on the basis of a binding referendum of its members. The reviewing court ruled that the process ignored an obligation to consider the competing rights at play, and set aside the law society’s decision. An appeal court upheld the ruling.

The debate around balancing religious freedom and equality rights posed a challenging subject for some civil libertarians. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association initially supported the Trinity Western’s application, then reversed its position.

In a Feb. 23 letter to its members, it said the issue had been controversial both within the association and in the community at large, and that the association had struggled in determining where to draw the line when fundamental rights and liberties appear to conflict.

Ultimately, it clarified its position: “The BCCLA takes the position that the law society should not accredit a prerequisite legal education program whose admission and conduct policies discriminate against people based on prohibited grounds, thereby creating a discriminatory barrier around part of the stream of access to the legal profession.”

— By Amy Smart in Vancouver

The Canadian Press


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Community Events

august, 2018

wed30may - 26sepmay 303:30 pmsep 26ATB Financial Downtown Market(may 30) 3:30 pm - (september 26) 6:30 pm

mon25jun - 3sepAll DayRip ‘N Rec Summer Pass returns for youth in Red Deer(All Day)

sun12aug - 19aug 128:00 amaug 19Central Alberta Pride Week8:00 am - 11:00 pm (19)

thu16aug - 26All DayEdmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival(All Day)

fri17aug - 27All DayEdmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival(All Day)

fri17aug7:00 pm- 9:00 pmFree Family Movie Night featuring Sherlock Gnomes!7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

sat18augAll Daywesterner Park Urban Farm - Long Table Dinner(All Day: saturday)

sat18aug11:00 am- 3:00 pmDiscover Pride - A family event!11:00 am - 3:00 pm

sat18aug - 19aug 1812:00 pmaug 19Golf Central Alberta Invitational Golf Tournament12:00 pm - 12:00 am (19)

sat18aug - 19aug 187:00 pmaug 19Drag Show & DanceThe grand finale of Central Alberta Pride Week!7:00 pm - 1:00 am (19)

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