Mobile Devices and Neck Pain: How to Avoid ‘Tech Neck’

December 12, 2018  
Filed under Business, Health & Wellness

Are you reading this on your phone, computer or another mobile device? Are you looking down, shoulders hunched, while doing so? If so, your posture may be contributing to neck pain, headaches and other symptoms consistent with “tech neck,” according to Kaliq Chang, MD, of Atlantic Spine Center.

 

Tech neck, also called “text neck,” is a growing phenomenon that’s due to the ubiquitous presence of screens – such as cell phones and tablets – in our daily lives. In 2017, Americans spent nearly 6 hours each day using digital media, including more than 3 hours on non-voice activities on mobile devices, according to a survey done by eMarketer.

 

But the curved posture most of us assume while emailing, texting or reading on our devices simply isn’t good for the cervical spine, better known as the neck, Dr. Chang says. Since our properly positioned neck muscles are designed to support the weight of our head – about 10 to 12 pounds – constantly dropping our heads forward to look at a device actually puts about 60 pounds of force on the neck, he explains.

 

“Tech neck is actually an overuse or repetitive stress injury,” Dr. Chang adds. “Rolling our heads and shoulders forward places a great deal of strain on the spine and can pull it out of alignment, even leading to pinched nerves and disc herniations. It’s not necessarily a minor problem.”

 

Symptoms of tech neck

How do you know if you’re dealing with tech neck? In addition to soreness in the neck and shoulder areas, Dr. Chang says symptoms also include:

 

·        Stiff neck

·        Neck spasms

·        Unexplained headaches

·        Upper back pain, ranging from nagging discomfort to sharp spasms

·        Shoulder tightness

·        Radiating pain down the arms and into the hands

 

Even more concerning is that children and young adults – among the heaviest users of mobile devices – are developing these symptoms as their spines continue developing, Dr. Chang notes.

 

“Some research suggest that tech neck can lead to chronic spine problems and even early development of arthritis in the neck,” he adds. “Because the consequences can be lifelong, it’s especially important to avoid tech neck and to see a doctor if your symptoms won’t go away.”

 

How to prevent tech neck

Prevention, of course, is always the best option when it comes to health problems, including tech neck. But since cell phones and other mobile devices can’t be ignored in modern-day society, how can this be accomplished? Dr. Chang offers these tips:

 

·        Hold your cell phone or tablet at eye level whenever possible. “Even better is to also keep your laptop or desk top computer screen at eye level as well,” he says.

·        Take breaks every 20 to 30 minutes. “Look up from your screen for several minutes,” Dr. Chang recommends. “Even better, get up from your chair and walk around.”

·        Limit device use to only necessary tasks. “Reducing screen time is a healthy goal for many reasons, not just spinal health,” he says.

·        Exercise and stretch muscles in the neck, shoulders and upper back on a regular basis.

 

Dr. Chang, an interventional pain management specialist, also suggests sitting at a slightly reclined position when using devices – not strictly upright.

 

“Sitting at a 25- to 30-degree angle, with good lower back support, places much less force on the spinal discs in the back and neck than sitting up ramrod-straight,” he says. “This way, neck and shoulder muscles aren’t taxed to hold your head up.”

 

“The bottom line is to be mindful of your neck and shoulder position whenever you’re using a mobile device,” Dr. Chang adds. “Vigilance is key to preventing tech neck.”

More Older Americans Are Starting Their Own Business

September 19, 2018  
Filed under Business, Money

By Robert Yaniz Jr.

 

Traditionally, we tend to think of aspiring entrepreneurs as young professionals with decades of potential ahead of them and energy to spare. However, judging by current trends, perhaps it’s time for this outdated notion to be refreshed.

According to recent estimates, nearly a quarter of new entrepreneurs fall between the ages of 55 and 64. Given the rise in technology and the accessibility it provides, it makes sense that more workforce veterans might decide to start an LLC of their own. But while they certainly have plenty of knowledge, starting a business after retirement has its own set of challenges. Thankfully, finding your way doesn’t have to be so difficult. So strap in: Let’s discuss what you bring to the startup world and the first steps you can take now to bring your vision to life.

Advantages of Starting a Business After Retirement

No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s never too late to pursue your passions. Such is definitely the case for retirees looking into the startup space. Age, after all, isn’t only a number — it’s an indication of a life lived and lessons learned. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the ways late-in-life business owners can leverage their circumstances to fuel the success and promise of their latest endeavor.

Experience Is Still Key

Retired entrepreneurs may initially feel in over their heads. But despite the appearance of insurmountable odds, don’t overlook everything you’ve accomplished up to this point. Your experience — both in business and in life — can often inform your decision-making. Don’t forget that you have the invaluable assets of intuition and savvy that simply can’t be won any way other than through the rigors of time. So rather than lamenting your age, harness everything you’ve absorbed and weaponize it instead.

Financial Flexibility

Although many young and hungry entrepreneurs may have big dreams and high hopes of where they want to take their business, one thing that few have on their side is a reliable source of funds. By the time you reach retirement age, you may have developed significant savings you can use to infuse your new business with some startup funds. The financial standing of your business when you start out has a huge impact on its potential; this is another advantage older entrepreneurs are likely to have in their back pocket (literally).

Solid Support System

Often, young aspiring entrepreneurs dream of the startup they want to leap into after college, only to encounter a ton of resistance. Why risk your future when you could embrace the comfort of a cushy corporate gig?, they’re told. But it’s an entirely different story for retired entrepreneurs. At this stage in your life, you may already have a family of your own, longtime friends and trustworthy colleagues who can give you honest feedback. Moreover, knowing that your social life is beyond stable allows you to relax and take your startup one measured step at a time.

How to Get Started

Now that you have a better sense of how your business can benefit from your age and experience, you’re probably wondering what you should do to actually put it into action. As you brace for the next stage of your professional life, be sure to keep the following tips in mind to maximize your chances of achieving your startup goals.

Know Yourself and Your Limits

One reason your age is such a critical ingredient in your business is that it helps you gauge the terrain ahead. Carefully consider all your options before investing your time and money in a new business venture; if something doesn’t add up, doggedly pursue the answers you need and the level of risk involved. Regardless of what business you’re getting into, you’re certain to face a variety of setbacks as you get your bearings. Use your experience to keep you ready for them before they’re upon you.

Outsource and Assemble Greatness

Even the most heralded professional minds of our time can only accomplish so much as single individuals. Remember that — and don’t burden yourself with the notion that you need to wear all hats indefinitely. The most successful companies got that way because of their leadership…but also because of the team that leader assembled to execute their vision on a grander scale. No one knows your goals better than you do, but you need other passionate team members who can contribute to them and complement your own role in the process.

Practice Self-Care Above All Else

This is a critical point for all aspiring entrepreneurs, but especially for those of advanced age. In the early days of your new business, you may be obliged to drive ceaselessly toward your next objective. While this persistence is a testament to your passion, don’t let it run your life. In other words, know when to disconnect from your work and connect with loved ones, have some fun or just get some rest. Most retired entrepreneurs will need to consider their health more seriously than their younger counterparts. In the end, remember that you won’t be able to push your business forward if you’re feeling run down.

It’s Never Too Late

With any luck, we’ve helped you feel empowered to more confidently move in the direction of your startup dreams. Now we want to help you take the next steps to make your business a reality.

Incfile has already developed easy-to-use guides for businesses across a wide range of industries, and there’s no time like the present to begin exploring your options and plotting out your startup strategy. Are you ready to get your business up and running in three simple steps? We can help you form your company and manage it as it grows, too.

This article was originally published on the Incfile Blog.

Robert Yaniz Jr. has been a professional writer since 2004, including print and online publications. Much of his experience centers on the business world, including work for a major regional business newspaper and a global law firm.

 

Tech Items Every Savvy Baby Boomer Needs

August 27, 2018  
Filed under Business, Savvy Senior

By Lisa M Cini

As you get older, daily tasks can become increasingly difficult. There are many gadgets on the market that can make life easier for baby boomers. The following are a few interesting gadgets you may want to have to make your daily life a bit easier.

Have a Security System Installed

Being home alone can be scary for many older people. Even if their spouse lives with them, there will be times when they will be at their house completely alone. Having a security system installed can help give you peace of mind that you are as safe as you can be at all times. The system will ensure that no one gets into your house when you are away from home and provides you with an easy way to get emergency assistance if you need it, without even having to dial a phone.

Have a Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat Installed

There are many older individuals who are living on a fixed income. They need to save money wherever they can and reducing electricity costs can be a great way to save. A Wi-Fi smart thermostat may be the best way for you to easily decrease your heating and cooling costs right away. Once the thermostat is installed, you can lower or raise the temperature on the thermostat to a cost-effective degree. Twenty to 30 minutes before you come home, you can go to an app on your phone to set the thermostat to a temperature that you feel is more comfortable. This means that the house will be at a comfortable temperature by the time you arrive, but you will not have to pay to maintain that temperature at all times.

Wear a Smart Wearable Device

A smart wearable device allows you to track your sleep cycles, heart rate, and the steps you take each day. It can also help you to know how many calories you are burning throughout the day. Smart wearable devices connect wirelessly to your cell phone so that you can look at the results on a larger screen and track the data for an extended period of time. This can be great information to have when you go to see your doctors because you will have tracked data you can show them.

Add Voice-Controlled Devices to Your Home

There are many times when it can be difficult to do things in your home simply because they require you to read very small print. Instead, you can have voice-controlled devices in place that will make it easier for you to do the things you want to do. There are now televisions that can be voice controlled, so you can find any programming you want to watch and even change the volume with your voice alone. There are also devices that you can use to research a topic that interests you, listen to your favorite music, or even have a recipe read to you.

Trying new gadgets can seem overwhelming or scary to many older people. It is important to realize that most devices that are on the market are designed to be easy to use and do not take long to master. This is because the manufacturers know that anything too complicated will not be popular with elderly individuals. These gadgets can help you live a more fulfilling, comfortable life for as long as possible.

Lisa Cini ASID, IIDA, is an award-winning, internationally-recognized designer with more than 25 years’ experience developing interiors that improve quality of life for seniors. She has advice for both designers and for those seniors seeking the right kind of independent living facilities for them.

Lisa is the author of The Future is Here: Senior Living ReimaginedHive: The Simple Guide to Multigenerational Living, and BOOM: The Baby Boomers Guide to Leveraging Technology, so that you can Preserve Your Independent Lifestyle & Thrive.

 

KYLE DODSON NAMED Y PRESIDENT & CEO

March 22, 2016  
Filed under Business

Kyle Dobson

Kyle Dobson

Organization prepares to mark 150th anniversary with new leader

 

March 21, 2016 — Burlington, VT – The Greater Burlington YMCA announced today that Kyle Dodson of Burlington has been selected as the organization’s next President & CEO. Dodson will step into the role as of May 2nd.

 

“The Greater Burlington Y is not only an organization with a rich 150 year history, but it continues to identify and address the challenges facing our communities,” Dodson said. “I am both thankful and excited to work with an engaged staff and supportive community to ensure a strong future for our Y; one that continues to see the Y’s role as a leader for years to come,” Dodson added.

Read more

2015 Boomie Awards – Best Tech for 50+

March 17, 2016  
Filed under Business

By Gary M. Kaye, Chief Content Officer, Tech50+ (www.tech50plus.com)

While there were many great products that came to market in 2015, there were only a handful of really new breakthrough technologies. Many of the best products of the year represented improvements on already existing products or form factors. Regardless of whether they were intentionally designed with the 50+ market in mind or not, many have turned out to be well suited to us. To pick the best in each category we looked at a variety of factors:

Is it 50+ Friendly? – Does it have features that make it easy for those of us over 50 to use? Read more

Free executive training program available to Vermont entrepreneurs

January 15, 2016  
Filed under Business, News

Vermont is seeking 15 small business owners to participate in the Emerging Leaders Initiative beginning in April at Vermont Technical College in Williston.

 

Emerging Leaders is a free executive-level training program for entrepreneurs to learn how to establish a three-year strategic growth plan for their businesses. The strategic plans emphasize organizational structure, resource network and assistance needed to build a sustainable business of size and scale. Read more

Tech tips to help you stay productive during work-from-home days

June 3, 2015  
Filed under Business

AT&T compiled a list of the perfect apps that help you make sure you’re completing work and day-to-day tasks when working at home.

Office Chat – Truly bring your office home with Office Chat. This mobile app is more than just messaging; it has the ability to share pictures, files, videos and audio attachments. You will also have access to email, detailed info pages for colleagues and more so you can fully collaborate with colleagues from home

GroupMe – GroupMe is another simple way to stay in touch with your colleagues wherever you are. GroupMe allows you to direct message and create group chats via their phone number or email address. Group chats are perfect if you are working on a team project and want to be able to share ideas instantly and on-the-go.

White Noise – Create a quiet workspace at home with the White Noise app. This app helps to block out distractions and increase focus. There is a wide assortment of sounds to choose from in the sound catalog. These relaxing sounds reduce stress, headaches and enhance privacy.

Evernote – Eliminate paper clutter and get organized with Evernote. In this app, you can type all your notes, create notebooks and to-do lists and access them anywhere. Evernote has a powerful search engine, making it quick and easy to find something you have created. Evernote can also be used for personal needs such as managing expenses and travel plans.

POPSUGAR Active – Even when you’re not in the office, you still need a break in the middle of your workday. With this app, you can relieve stress without leaving your house with preloaded workout videos, challenges, photo tutorials, treadmill workouts and more. Reminders are built in so you won’t forget to take the time each day to focus on your health and fitness.

Burlington 50+ Expo Door Prize Winner Announced!

February 13, 2015  
Filed under Business

EXPO 2015 - Door Prize Winners-page-001

HANDS Reaches Out to Older Adults on Christmas

January 15, 2015  
Filed under Business, News

The free 10th Annual Holiday Dinner for Seniors will be held on Christmas Day from noon to 3 p.m. at the Elks Lodge at 925 North Ave. in Burlington.
In collaboration with the Burlington School Food Project, CVAA, Temple Sinai and the Elks Lodge, HANDS (Helping and Nurturing Diverse Seniors) will provide both a delivered meal and a sit-down dinner again this year on Christmas Day.
“We’re happy to be combining our efforts with the Elks Lodge again this year so we’ll have the sit-down buffet dinner there,” said HANDS Director Megan Humphrey. “We also know that some people would rather have a meal delivered to their home and we’ll provide that, too,” she said.
Last year, 300 meals and gift bags were delivered or served.
To reserve the free meal delivered to your home (either ham or vegetarian lasagna), call CVAA at 865-0360 by Dec. 18. After Dec. 18 or to reserve free transportation to the Elks Lodge, call Megan Humphrey at 864-7528 or email meganjhumphrey@gmail.com.
“We just couldn’t do this without the help of hundreds of people and many organizations,” said Humphrey.
For more information or to donate, visit www.handsvt.org.

The High Cost of Family Caregiving

December 1, 2014  
Filed under Business

Almost most half (46 percent) of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year on caregiving expenses, according to a new Caring.com report. A family caregiver is defined as someone who takes care of a family member or friend, but is unpaid for their services. Their caregiving expenses include out-of-pocket costs for medications, medical bills, in-home care, nursing homes and more.

Of the 46 percent of family caregivers that spend more than $5,000 annually:

16 percent spend from $5,000 to $9,999

11 percent spend from $10,000 to $19,999

7 percent spend $20,000 to $29,999

5 percent spend $30,000 to $49,999

7 percent spend $50,000 or more each year

32 percent of family caregivers spend less than $5,000 per year

21 percent do not know how much they spend on caregiving each year.

“Caregiving can be a startlingly expensive endeavor that most people aren’t financially prepared for,” said Caring.com CEO Andy Cohen. “But yet only three in 10 caregivers have spoken to their loved ones about how to pay for care. Having an open and honest conversation about finances is a sensitive, but necessary discussion to have.”

Caregiving not only has an effect on finances, but it can also impact current employment and future retirement plans, too. One-third of family caregivers spend more than 30 hours per week on caregiving, making it almost the equivalent of a full-time job. Half of caregivers have made changes to their work schedule to accommodate caregiving, while 30 percent often arrived late or left early and 17 percent missed a significant amount of work.

“Family caregivers, especially baby boomers, run the risk of derailing their retirement plans if they don’t prepare for the costs associated with caregiving,” said Cohen. “Almost half of caregivers spend $25,000 on caregiving in just five years – that’s a significant chunk of money that could delay retirement by a couple of years.”

Additional Findings

For 43 percent of family caregivers, deciding on a senior care or senior housing option took only one month. But for 21 percent of caregivers, the decision process took six months or more. 

60 percent of caregivers say their caregiving duties have a negative effect on their job. 

54 percent of caregivers are caring for a parent or spouse/significant other.

More information about the survey results and resources to support family caregivers is available on Caring.com at http://www.caring.com/research/senior-care-cost-index-2014

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