Sitting: the new smoking

Sitting is the new smoking, we’re often told.

It not only takes a toll on our joints and backs, sitting has been linked to heart problems, weight gain and early death. And even if we exercise 30 minutes a day, it may not be enough to offset the risks of sitting, research has found. But what’s an office worker to do?  (thinking of our Administrative Professionals, particularly today).

Prolonged sitting is simply a fact of life: we sit for eight hours on the job, then sit again on our commutes, then sit again at home.

But there are a few ways office workers can stay active even if they’re chained to a desk.

  1. If you have to sit, do it right
    The first tip for office workers is to set up an ergonomically sound workstation, with the chair set in the right position.

When you’re sitting at your desk you want to make sure your thighs are parallel with the floor, your knees are at 90 degrees and you’re sitting all the way back in your chair.

Your feet should be flat on the floor in this position, not tucked under your chair, so if they’re not, use a footrest so your feet don’t dangle.

Adjust the height of your seat back to ensure the lumbar support of the chair is in the small of your lower back, to support the curve in your spine.

Avoid the “poking chin” posture of leaning forward to read your monitor, as this causes tension in the neck and shoulders.

If you find yourself doing this a lot, you may be having trouble reading the screen.

Move the monitor closer, or increase the font size of your documents.

Those with desk jobs: 

Reset often
We should try to not sit any longer than 45 to 60 minutes at a time, so if you have trouble remembering to get up and move, set an alarm on your desk or phone.

‘Deskercise’ discreetly
Sure, there are lots ways to exercise in an office, but if you’re in an open-concept space, it can feel odd doing desk pushups and squats with everyone watching.

Instead, find subtle to ways to move and activate your muscles without causing a scene.

Incorporate more movement into your day

Desk exercises are great, but what’s even better is incorporating standing and movement into your work day.

Last year, British public health experts issued recommendations saying that all office workers should stand or walk for at least two hours a day, to help ward off the dangers of prolonged sitting.

Standing for hours isn’t great for your muscles or back either, so find a way to do a little of each all day — sit while typing, but stand while taking calls, for example.

Incorporate movement into your workday by:

  • walking down the hall to speak to a colleague instead of emailing them
  • keeping your lunch and snacks in the kitchen so you have to walk to get them
  • taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • walking on all escalators, rather than standing
  • choosing the furthest parking spot if you drive to work
  • getting off one stop early if you take transit

The “easiest weight loss plan ever”

Trainer Harley Pasternak’s 5 rules for weigh loss:

1. Walk 10,000 steps a day

2. Eat protein and fibre five times a day.

3. Do resistance exercise for five minutes every day.

4. Sleep at least seven hours a night.

5. Unplug for at least one hour a day.


Now, want to up your greens? Try these 8 healthy homegrown greens:




Garlic chives




Lemon balm


Spring Gardening: “A Seedy Pastime”

Blog excerpt from Canada’s Garden Expert, Mark Cullen:

As we wade into spring, there is a general awakening that occurs in us.  Something stirs that makes us want to get outside to throw a Frisbee or take the dog for an extra long walk.   Like a bear waking from hibernation, we go outside and breathe deep the fresh air of spring.  There is something primal about it.  The seeds that we sow each spring for our garden go through a similar process: Mother Nature has programmed them to produce a root right about now.  Or, over the next few months.

For this reason I draw to your attention the great pleasure and immense satisfaction that can be derived from seed starting this time of year.

The timing of seed sowing varies widely, depending on the type of plants that you wish to grow.  Some seeds should have been started by now [like petunias, impatiens and geraniums] but in most cases you still have time to get started.

What you will need:

–          Seed starting trays.  I use the type that does not have drainage holes.  I place plastic inserts into the trays that drain freely.  I like the larger sized 4 cell packs vs. the smaller 6 packs that require more water and attention.

–          Clear tray topper.  To create a mini-greenhouse effect.  They hold in moisture during the critically important seed germination period.  When germination occurs, prop up the transparent top with a popsicle stick and remove it altogether when the seedlings touch it.

–          Seed starting soil.  Look for brands that you can trust like Green Earth, Premier, and CIL.  A seed starting mix is different from potting or container mix as it is finer, lighter, and holds moisture for a longer period of time.

–          Hand held atomizer.  For misting young seedlings to keep them moist.

–          Sunlight or artificial lights.  If you don’t have a south or west facing window, you will need to acquire fluorescent tubes and rig up a propagation area or buy a plant stand with illumination.

When to get started.

To determine the best time to get seeds started, consider the number of days it will take to grow a transplant to planting size and count the days back from the planting date.  For instance, if May 24th is the planting date and you want to start tomatoes [which will grow to planting size in 4 to 6 weeks], the seed starting ‘window’ is during the first two weeks of April.

Or follow this chart which assumes May 24th is the planting date [easier, right?  Just post this on your fridge].

How many of these popular hashtags do you even know?

Ever come across one of these #hashtags on Twitter or Instagram…and wondered what they even mean?

follow4follow – Follow-for-follow: An offer on Instagram to exchange follows
L4L – Like-for-like: An offer on Instagram to exchange photo likes
F4F – Follow-for-follow: An offer on Instagram to exchange follows
igers – Instagrammers
FBF – Flashback Friday
WCW – Woman Crush Wednesday
MCM – Man Crush Monday
TBH – To Be Honest
SMH – Shaking My Head
OOMF – One of my Followers / One of my Friends
YOLO – You Only Live Once

FF – Follow Friday
NP – No Problem
OOTD – Outfit of the Day
IDGT – I Don’t Got Time
AVI – Short for Avitar

DLWSDavid Leonard Weather Service

How long do I have to do the dishes to burn off a slice of cheesecake?

Neat/depressing online calculator that can tell you how much everyday household activities you need to perform to burn off, say:


Slice of cheesecake (321 cal):

Wash dishes: 3 ½ hrs

Vacuum: 1hr 45 mins

Walking the dog: 2hrs 20 mins


Slice of pizza (285 cal)

Regular walking 1hr 40 mins

Rake the lawn: 1hr 25mins

Read the paper: 14hrs 15mins


2 slices of bacon (86 cal)

Ironing: 1hr

Make the bed: 1hr 15mins

Standing, doing nothing: 6hrs 10mins


Steak dinner (potatoes, gravy & green beans & glass of wine ) (746 cal)

Bicycle: 3hrs 40 mins

Play cards, or just sitting & talking: 22 hrs

Sleeping (6hrs): -42 calories (yes, negative)

What NOT to name your new baby

Thanks to myFM listeners who sent in their suggestions:

Melissa: My ex and I had the same first initial so that automatically axed the letter A.  I refuse to do legacy names because in my life time I have found that people have certain expectations of someone when named after a relative, I’m ok with one for a middle name if the relative has passed in memorandum but definitely not jr’s or the 3rd etc.  You have to make sure the initials don’t spell something, my ex’s family insists on calling my son “ERAB” but his initials are only ERB bc his middle name is hyphenated. It’s not my cup of tea so I avoided any names that appeared in the bible (in part bc my ex’s mother is one of those oh mightier than though bc she pretends she’s super religious). And my last thing was not a popular name. I grew up with a very popular name and I hated every second of it, I chose classic but not common names for my kids. If you want to know if a name is popular ask an younger years elementary teacher (or even better someone in daycare).

Hollie: When we were expecting our first. We wanted a name that wasn’t too common. We didn’t want our child to be a Micheal in a room of Michael’s when they started school. So with that in mind we went with Cheyenne Solstice for our daughter. And when we were expecting our second child. We selected our son’s name from our family tree. We went with Oskar Samuel.  My advice is go the way of the older not nearly used names or something out of the ordinary. Your child is unique, their name should be too.  Good luck with your delivery!!

Jenny: My teaching partner is pregnant and we asked our Kindergartners some boy name ideas, so my tip, you may not want to ask Kindergartners haha


Angie: Nothing that can be short formed. If you love what you name him and someone short forms it, it won’t be a good thing. 🙂

Diane: Name him something unique to him. Although it is nice to name babies after family members…try to keep it to middle names…let their first name be theirs first ! Just my advice…congrats…on the little one..I have two boys…Nicholas and Owen…boys will be trying…but well worth it…when they get older…check their pockets before you wash their clothes..I find anything from rocks…bugs…toads…crayons….good luck 😛

Betty: Something that he can spell when he learns how to print.

Malcena: As someone who was give the dubious honor of being named after my great grandmother I have some advice. It is difficult living with a name no one can pronounce, spell or remember please think twice about a really off beat name. It affects the person beyond what you might imagine and only as an adult did I realize that I seldom introduce myself to someone on a one to one basis yet getting up in front of 500 people or doing video or radio interviews doesn’t bother me at all. Choose wisely for it has ramifications beyond what you can imagine.

Jordan: Good Morning myFM, I think Jordan would be a charming name for Laura’s baby. Yes, I may be a little bias but it’s still a fabulous choice! Good luck Laura! Wishing you and baby Jordan all the best! Take Care, Jordan

Linda: Make sure its a name you can find on a souvenir in turnpike gift shops!

Sue: Make your own…take e letters from ur name and 3 from the fathers mix them up till u find something u like….

Debbie: Wait until he is born a name will come to you we had a name before hand and we ended up picking something totally different for him because he did not look like a Chad he was a Cory

Stephanie: Out of the names you like, what is the common nicknames that come with it? It helped us cut a lot of names out!!

Karen: I like bringing in a name from one side of the family for history then also pick what feels right sometimes it takes looking at the baby even for min. A name will fit…I also like Jackson, Michael

Laura: I always heard if you stand in a room and yelled the potential name as loud as possible for at least five minutes and you still liked it, use it!

Russ: There are probably some names that you’ve heard in your life that have just keep your interest boys names girls names so on and so forth I was ten when I heard my first daughter’s name I don’t know where I heard it but it is Autumn McKenzie I may have been watching a nature show about the McKenzie river pretty sure that’s what it was but it’s just one of those things that just clicked and now she is 5 + that was well over thirty years ago

Mary: My husband and I both made separate lists of names that we liked then compared them. That how we named our daughter. Her name was the only one we both had on the list.

Michaela: Go through all the names on the Daytime soaps and reality shows and CROSS THEM OFF YOUR LIST!


Demographer and social researcher Mark McCrindle talked about 2016 baby-name predictions and trends:

Trend No 1: The decade fade

A name is popular for about a decade, and then it starts to fade. A classic example is Jack.
It dominated most years in the first decade or so of the 21st century, but now it’s starting to fall down the list.
On the girls’ side, the key names of the first decade of the 2000s included Ella, Emily, Georgia and Chloe. Now we’re starting to see those names drop because of the decade fade.
2016 predictions: Charlotte and Emily are on their way down for the girls; Noah and Cooper for the boys.

Trend No 2: Short and sweet names
A few decades ago, three-syllable boys’ names such as Benjamin, Christopher and Nicolas were at the top of the list.
But if you look at the top names currently, there’s a shorter theme: Jack, Noah, Thomas, Lucas and James.
2016 predictions: Eve, Gia and Ivy for the girls; Ash, Ed and Max for the boys.

Trend No 3: ‘50s chic
Names like Judith, Marie, Frances and Diane were in the top list in the ‘50s, and enough time has passed that they’re coming back.
For boys, Joseph, Anthony and even Bernard are gaining some traction.
2016 predictions: Robyn and Heather for the girls; Stephen and Andrew for the boys.


Nameberry also has these Timeless Rules for Naming Your Baby:

  1. Start Thinking of Names Early — Make some tentative decisions, and live with them for a while. If you’re tired of a name after two months, imagine how you’ll feel after 20 years.
  2. Say the Name With Your Last Name Quickly Ten Times — Beware of run-together sounds.
  3. Try Out Names On Your Friends — Take cues from their reactions. If you say a name and they always reply, “What?” or “How is that spelled?,” don’t assume that they’re either stupid or hearing-impaired; your child will likely get the same reactions for the rest of her life.
  4. Don’t Be Pressured Into Using A Name You Don’t Like — So what if your mother keeps hinting about how happy it would make her if you named your child Harold after her favorite uncle?
    If you remember Uncle Harold with a red nose and cigar breath, ignore the hints.
  5. Fulfill Obligations with a Middle Name — The middle name can be the perfect way to dispose of Uncle Harold, honor your father-in-law, indulge a fancy, or oblige your spouse with a name you can’t live with as a first name.
  6. Anticipate the Inevitable – If you name your baby Susannah, don’t be surprised if people shorten it to Sue, Susie
    If you give your child a name with variant spellings and pronunciations — Alisa, Alyssa, Elissa, Elyssa, Ilyssa etc. — don’t be surprised if you find yourself “correcting” the spelling and pronunciation forevermore.
  7. Think Like A Bully — While children have become more tolerant of unique, ethnically distinctive, and gender ambiguous names, bullies still exist and you don’t want to give your child a name that will too easily make him a target of teasing.
  8. Rule Out All Names of Ex-Boyfriends and Ex-Girlfriends — Even if your husband’s ex-girlfriend’s name has always been your favorite in the world, don’t go with it and hope you’ll forget. You won’t, and neither will he.
  9.  Rule Out Names with Bad Associations — The kid who threw up at your seventh birthday party, your pimply lab partner — no matter how nice their names, you’ll never transcend the association.