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NEAT™ Certification

NEAT™ Certification

Sit Down. Move On. Get Healthy.

A Mayo Clinic study has now confirmed that using a Varier Move® in place of a regular office chair significantly increases caloric expenditure and may deliver long-term health benefits.

Consistent movement throughout the day, however small or inconsequential it might seem, can add up to big health benefits. It was this simple idea that inspired Dr. James Levine of Mayo Clinic to coin the term NEAT™ or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

The philosophy (and the real science that backs it up) is that small changes to daily habits can mean BIG things when it comes to overall health and wellness. It’s the same philosophy that inspired the thinking behind the Varier Move.

NEAT™ describes the body’s energy expended when not at the gym, not out biking or running, and not scaling Mt. Everest. In other words, NEAT™ is a measure of the effect of activity that comprises the majority of a person’s typical day. The higher someone’s NEAT™, the more calories they’re burning. Over time, high NEAT™ behaviors and choices can add up to real improvements in cardiovascular health, help with weight loss, and improve overall health.

It doesn’t take much to increase your individual NEAT™ or the NEAT™ of large groups of individuals. An ambling 7-minute walk after lunch, choosing to stand at your desk for part of your workday, walking to the SECOND closest bathroom, far parking, or (as shown by a recent study) using a Varier Move are all easy ways to increase NEAT™. Put these small, simple changes in action every day, and you have a compelling health plan for the non-exercise part of your day. Do this every day, week, and year, and you can reap significant health benefits over time.

Mayo Clinic’s study looked at 30 individuals of varying age, body type, and gender. The test results showed that a Varier Move increased thermogenesis by an average of over 18% compared to sitting in a regular office chair. As a result, the Varier Move is now officially a NEAT™ certified office product.

Tested and proven by Mayo Clinic, we know that using a Varier Move in place of a conventional office chair is one of those small, important steps you can take toward better health.

Varier Move! Pretty neat, right?

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Deskercise With Coach Eddy

Deskercise With Coach Eddy

Deskercise With Coach Eddy.

Iconic chairs inspire active sitting.

Made to move with your body, Varier chairs inspire continual, controlled movement. You sit upright, engaging and strengthening your core muscles. Your feet and legs are in motion, which stimulates your circulation. Your shoulders and chest are open, making it easy to breathe deeply, boosting your blood oxygen levels, circulation, and general wellbeing. Enjoy the freedom of active sitting this summer with Edward ‘Coach Eddie’ Bergersen, a personal trainer and movement therapist based in Geneva, Switzerland. Coach Eddie has tailored a set of exercises for your chair that are easy to perform during short breaks in your busy day.

Angel wings

This exercise stretches the rotator cuff, the deep muscles of the shoulder joint. These muscles need to be strong in order for the ‘prime movers’ of the shoulder (the big superficial muscles that younger guys love to train) to function properly.

What to do:
Place your closed fists on your hips and puff out your chest. Without collapsing your chest, try to bring your elbows together. You’ll feel a deep stretch in your shoulders. Bring your elbows back and forearms in towards your body and ‘open up’ your arms, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Alternate between both positions so it looks like you’re ‘flying’ with your elbows.

Seated deep hip-rotator

Therapists and coaches call the shoulder the ‘mischievous younger brother’ of the hip. And just like the shoulder, the hip can also act up. This exercise targets the deep stabilizers, or ‘rotator cuff’ of the hip.

What to do:
Lower the seat until your hips are at a 90° angle to your upper legs. With your back straight, place one ankle on the opposite knee. Push your knee gently down until you feel a stretch in the hip. With your back straight, bend slightly forward to increase the stretch. Hold for 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side. To stretch the opposing group of hip rotators, place your feet wider than shoulder width apart, then bring your knees together, and hold for 20 seconds.

Note: if you experience any knee pain during this exercise, either skip it, or reduce the intensity of the stretch.

Palm peel

When we type or write, our wrist extensors (the muscles that lift the hand) are constantly contracted and the flexors (the muscles that bend the wrist) are constantly stretched. This can lead to conditions like mouse arm, or carpal tunnel syndrome. If you’ve had one or both of these, no explanation is needed. If you haven’t, trust me, you don’t want to know.

What to do:
Stand behind the chair. Grip the chair with one hand to stabilize it, and place the other hand flat, with your fingers pointing back toward you. Gently straighten your elbow to stretch your forearm. Then slowly bend your forearm and ‘peel’ your palm off the chair. Repeat five times on each wrist.

Straight-arm plank

An office version of a timeless classic, the plank activates the stabilizing muscles of your midsection, which unfortunately weakens when you sit for long periods. To activate your deep shoulder muscles, keep your arms straight.

What to do:
Stand behind your chair and lower the seat until it’s about halfway down your thigh. Place your hands on the seat like you’re holding a steering wheel. Step backward until your body is in a rigid plank position, and you feel your arms and core contract. To up the action, tilt your pelvis backward, and tuck your imaginary tail between your legs. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Ready for more? Tilt the chair so it balances on the edge of the base.

Note: only try the tilted chair version if you can hold the normal version for at least one minute.

‘Move’ assisted downward dog

One of my favorite yoga poses, the downward dog stretches all the muscles in the back of the body and improves circulation to the brain. But, busting out a downward dog in the office may be awkward. That’s where your Move comes in. Use the chair for balance, and to hide your embarrassment at sticking your butt in the air at work.

What to do:
Raise the chair to its highest position. Stand in front of it, with your hands on the seat, and tilt it toward you. Push the chair forward, while lowering your chest to the floor. You’ll feel the stretch in your chest, shoulder, mid-back, and hamstrings. Hold this position for a few seconds, then stand, pushing your hips forward and your hands downward and toward you. Repeat 10-20 times.

Seated chest and mid-back move

Long hours in front of a screen with your shoulders internally rotated, and rounded creates a lot of tension in the chest and mid-back. Unfortunately for your neck, it’s attached to your shoulders, so when they pull forward, your neck compresses into hyperextension. That’s not good. This exercise will ‘un-glue’ some of the stiffness, and liberate your neck.

What to do:
Grab the base of the seat and rock slightly forward in the chair, pulling your shoulders back, and pushing your chest forward. Hold this position for a few seconds then rock back, slowly releasing your grip, and reach forward. As you do this, turn your palms out and thumbs downward and in, while pushing out the mid-back. You’ll feel the stretch between your shoulder blades. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat eight times.

Seated forward reach

Tight hips? That’s because your butt is not a load-bearing surface. The hips need to be mobile, so give them a little extra love. A combined stretch and activation, it ‘switches on’ your lower back, and lightly stretches the hamstrings.

What to do:
Place your heels on the floor in front of you, and straighten your back. Slightly arch your back, reach your arms forward and bend at the hip. You’ll feel the stretch in your hamstrings and calves. Don’t bend the spine forward. Hold the stretch for five seconds, then sit up. Repeat five times.

Neck mobilisation party

Rounded shoulders and a rounded upper back (kyphosis) lead to a hyperextended upper neck. Osteopaths and other manual therapists often manipulate or crack the neck joint to release it. These upper neck mobilizations will loosen this area. To isolate the upper neck vertebrae, imagine you have a pencil on your chin and you’re drawing a large circle in the air.

What to do:
Grab the underside of your chair and lean forward, so your neck is at a 45° angle to the floor. Rotate your neck slowly from side to side, like you’re looking over your shoulder. Repeat five times on each side. Next, draw a circle in the air with your chin. Repeat five times on each side. Grab the underside of the chair and lean back, keeping your back rounded until you feel a stretch between your shoulder blades. Slowly nod your head up and down eight times, then try to touch your ear to your shoulder – repeat five times each side. You’ve now covered every possible joint angle – embrace the suppleness!

Note: neck exercises must be performed slowly. If you feel any pain, dizziness, or nausea, stop immediately.

Invisible chair

If your muscles aren’t active, your peripheral circulation decreases. To activate your lower body and increase your peripheral circulation, take a break on an invisible chair.

What to do:
Using the chair for balance, do an air squat and hold the position halfway for 20 seconds. Make sure your weight is toward your heels, instead of on your toes.

Office twerk

Long days in the office taking their toll? Do your hips and lower back feel tight? Twerk it out. This double whammy standing stretch opens up your hips and lower back. Wow your co-workers with an impressive slow-mo booty shake, and enjoy feeling like a supple young cheetah again.

What to do:
Stand behind your chair, and place your hands on it for balance. Round your lower back, and shift your weight over to one foot as much as you can, while pushing the hips on that side over and back as far as you can. You’ll feel the stretch in the side of the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. Hold briefly, then shift to the other side. Repeat five times each side.

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Rethinking Materials

Rethinking Materials

Rethinking Materials.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle… Revive.

Varier maintains a commitment to a healthy lifestyle not only for our customers but also for our planet. Revive, one of our newest fabrics and the standard quick-ship fabric is responsibly manufactured from post-consumer recycled polyester (PET) and is specially created with a focus on reducing the environmental impact both in production and natural resources.

Not only does the PET come from used plastic bottles, but the production process behind Revive is much more efficient than for new polyester. Less energy and chemicals are used, while CO2 emissions are minimized.

“We are all concerned about sustainability,” said Revive’s designer Georgia Wright. “So the thought that a recycles object can become a new textile on a chair is hugely satisfying for a designer.”

We are hugely satisfied with the results and can’t wait to add eco-friendly to active seating.

Check out Revive now in both Move and Variable.

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Enjoy The Freedom To Move & Feel Better.

Enjoy The Freedom To Move & Feel Better.

Enjoy The Freedom To Move & Feel Better.

Prevent back pain at work through active sitting.

“Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work,” according to the American Chiropractic Association. Employees with back pain are absent 4 more days per year than workers without back pain.” Symptoms of low-back pain can be due to a variety of causes, including injury, strain, or a medical problem like ruptured disc(s). And, if you’re in pain, you can’t work well—your production is slowed, your mental clarity is diminished, your output is decreased.

Prevent back pain at work through active sitting

Movement chairs can improve your health

Sitting for any lengthy period of time, even if the position is ergonomically accurate, can cause back pain. Experts say that you shouldn’t sit still for more than 30 minutes at any time.

Back pain can be prevented, however, with attention to proper techniques for sitting, working and exercising. Why not combine all three into one? With the Varier Move, you can sit, work and exercise simultaneously. “The simple, wide-based wobble board allows a large range of fidgeting movement. It is the perfect complement to my desk and I realized after a few weeks that my old chair didn’t really make sense,” said an office worker after giving Move a try.

Movement chairs stimulate your entire body by opening up your lower back, hip flexors, and gluteus muscles. Benefits for your employer include healthier, more productive employees and an overall positive impact on a company’s earnings.

Varier’s Anders Stampe puts it this way: “People are changing their sitting habits at work. They care for their bodies as much as their minds.”

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Get Up and Move!

Get Up and Move!

Get Up and Move!

“Active sitting” can make your workday much more enjoyable.

Do you have discomfort in your neck, arms, hands, shoulders or hips after a day of sitting at work? It might be because your body is inflexible and rigid from idleness. Sitting for extended periods places excessive pressure on muscles and joints because your body was made to move!

Dr. James Levine, a world authority on obesity at the Mayo Clinic, is a leading researcher on the health dangers caused by too much sitting. Levine writes, “Chairs—adjustable, swivel, recliner, sofa, couch, four-legged, three-legged, wooden, plastic, dining and bar—all of them—are out to get us, to harm us, to kill us.” Forty years of science and continued research inform his position.

Other medical professionals have documented the debilitating risks as well. “People in the developed world, who work at desks, watch TV, and move far too little, have experienced a steady increase in serious illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, muscle wasting and arthritis, balance and coordination problems, poor sleep, and lack of stamina, “ writes Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and researcher in the physiology of immobility. Vernikos conducts pioneering research on how and why prolonged sitting causes poor health and premature aging.

“The average office worker spends six hours a day sitting. Whether due to studying, attending classes, working in an office, in front of a computer, away from organized sports, the level of activity takes a nosedive,” says Dr. Vernikos.

Prolonged Sitting Is The New Smoking

Prolonged Sitting is the Problem

Sitting down and standing up again after a short period of time isn’t the problem. The problem lies in the fact that the time span between sitting down and getting up has been growing longer and longer in modern society. It is continuous sitting over several hours that is the problem.  An article published recently in Scientific American reiterates that office chair movement is critical. “Lack of movement slows metabolism, reducing the amount of food that is converted to energy and thus promoting fat accumulation, obesity, and the litany of ills—heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and more—that come with being overweight.” When you engage in office chair moving, you are taking constant, incremental strides toward improved health. There is no secret sauce or radical epiphany beyond realizing that you need to simply move more frequently. Stand up more. Stretch more. Walk more. Find a few simple ways to get moving during the workday.

Sitting is the New Smoking.

You may also have heard that “Sitting is the new smoking”, but that’s only part of the story. The initial ‘sitting is the new smoking’ study states, “Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.”

You sit hours upon hours each and every day. And no, sitting doesn’t affect your lungs as directly as smoking does; rather, it holistically and negatively affects your entire body and mind. Sitting might actually be worse than smoking.

 “As if that wasn’t enough to put you in a sad state, a 2013 survey of nearly 30,000 women found that those who sat nine or more hours a day were more likely to be depressed than those who sat fewer than six hours a day because prolonged sitting reduces circulation, causing fewer feel-good hormones to reach your brain,” writes Runners World contributor, author and athlete Selene Yeager. “Unfortunately, outside of regularly scheduled exercise sessions, active people sit just as much as their couch-potato peers.”

Varier Move Chair For Activing Sitting

Active Sitting. Sit Down, Move On.

Active desk chairs have been around for some time, and there’s a reason for that. Because you were made to move, Varier offers solutions for movement in the workplace. Our innovative chairs are made for healthy sitting that allow you to tilt, rock, turn and pivot. By challenging every norm about sitting, we have been able to help people create healthy sitting habits that impact your overall wellness. Varier CEO Jesper Petersen says, “We challenge perceptions of how you sit. The benefits of active sitting are that it makes you stronger, better, faster.”

What is your movement number? Take the quiz.

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