Haven’t we heard enough about the ill-effects of sitting down continuously for hours together? Of course, our desk jobs demand such extended hours of sitting down and working but the question is whether we are going to strive hard for a secure future (of diseases?) at the stake of our health! Research studies too demotivate us as many of them talk about the nullified advantaged of exercising owing to sitting continuously. Couch potatoes existed by choice during earlier decades put the present workforce have all become one with the rise of the IT dominance worldwide. People clock in exceedingly high hours of work, order pizzas for late-night dinners and again get back to work to finish up before the deadline. Whose deadline is it anyway-the client’s or our body’s? Employers started realizing the need to attend to the health requirements of their employees and started thinking on innovative terms-walking meetings became the standard and standing desks were added to each employer’s cubicle to enable him/her to get away from the sitting spree and go on a standing spree. Yet again, our researchers need something to probe into and they ultimately found that standing too long beats the ill effects of sitting continuously in terms of physical pain and other health issues. So, the ultimate solution is to find a sitting desk that allows you to stretch, bend and exercise even when you are working and the current patent invention exactly attends to this need.
Not all of us have the right posture while sitting, walking or standing. Such wrongful postures or prolonged sitting/standing can aggravate back pain and even increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. An employee is more bothered about the salary package, perks and office environment, the employer is bothered about deliverables, quality of work and more projects in hand but none bothers about ergonomics-the science of designing the workplace to optimize them for human use. There exists the dire need to design office furniture that solves the health problems related to seating arrangements that result in poor ergonomic postures and the lack of physical activity/movement. This is not something that has never been attempted by companies and there are chairs ergonomically designed but when it comes to standing desks, we lack ergonomic standing chairs that can support the employee when feeling fatigued and allow the user to take breaks from standing. The standing chairs that do exist have any of these problems-they occupy space even when they are not used, there is no smooth transition between sitting and standing or between different postures while sitting, the exercise benefits provided are almost negligible, foot rest position doesn’t suit ergonomic requirements or multiple footrest options are absent to suit the user in different positions or the seat doesn’t provide options to rotate the pelvis or support the spine in more than one healthy sitting or leaning position.
There are seating solutions provided by manufacturing companies that attend to some of the problems listed above but there is no one solution that takes care of all of them. Further, these solutions do not provide scope for any exercises while sitting nor come with an effective option to switch between sitting and standing that helps to stave off the health consequences of sitting down or standing up continuously. The present invention addresses all these problems and also enables active exercising in the form of sit-ups, back extension and stretching exercises.
The chair designed here corrects all the disadvantages of the ones available presently and also comes up with additional advantages that are not present in the ones that are available now. This chair has been rightly designed for standup use and can also be folded for compact storage and transport, promotes in-place exercising, comes with a design that allows easy transition between sitting and standing positions or even between different positions while sitting. There are provisions for doing sit-ups, back extensions and accessories can be added to address the needs of a full-body workout. Forward footrest is provided and an upper exercise bar too that helps in core body workouts. The chair has also been designed with a seating arrangement such that it provides fully adjustable pelvic rotation and the seat is ergonomically designed to suit any body shape. There are pegs at the center of the base that can support the user in a variety of standing positions. Aren’t these enough reasons to use such a chair in your office for your working purpose? The patent was published on October 4th, 2018 and for more intricate details on the invention you can visit any of the following sites:
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=36&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&p=1&S1=((health+AND+exercise)+AND+fitness)&OS=health+AND+exercise+AND+fitness&RS=((health+AND+exercise)+AND+fitness)
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20181004&CC=WO&NR=2018183738A1&KC=A1
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US231410546&_cid=P22-JY6TIZ-79168-1
Obesity is bad on any given day for anyone. It exists as the root cause of a number of health-related illnesses and problems right from cardiovascular disease to cancer. Worse is the presence of obesity in pregnant women as it poses a great challenge to patient care. Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic and approximately 50% of women of childbearing age are overweight (BMI between 25 and 29.9) or obese (BMI>=30). Such vagaries in weight puts both the mom and the baby at risk during pregnancy (antenatal, intra- and post-partum complications) and even after childbirth. The side effects of obesity on pregnancy is a long-standing list that includes preterm birth, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), risk of impaired glucose tolerance, high risk of miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, thromboembolic disease and maternal death. Obese women are likelier to undergo induced labor, spend excess time in labor, have instrumental deliveries or even have a post-partum hemorrhage.
The announcement of pregnancy brings joy and happiness to the entire family, especially the couple involved. The pregnant woman is pampered and cajoled with gifts, blessings and specifically, sweets and mithais. The elders in the family bless her and treat her taste buds with oodles of high-calorie tasty treats to show their love and affection. Often the pregnancy woman is misguided with concepts such as ‘eat for two’ which induces her to double her portion sizes and increase intake. On the other side, improving health outcomes in obese/overweight individuals is an important research topic that needs answers quite soon to stop the obesity epidemic from ruining the health and well-being of the future generations.
Jumping Beyond the Weight Gain Fence
Weight gain during pregnancy is recommended and there are no second thoughts on it. Its only the range that varies depending on your existing body weight. Women with a healthy weight range (BMI 18.5-24.9) are recommended a 11.5-16 kg gain during pregnancy, overweight women are recommended to gain between 7-11.5 kg and obese women between 5-9 kg during pregnancy. Sticking to these limits forms a part of routine care during pregnancy. Weight gain beyond these stipulated ranges are dangerous and excess weight gain in obese women can result in preeclampsia, hypertension and shoulder dystocia. This is where disciplined dietary interventions are of immense help in minimizing these risks and ensuring better maternal and fetal outcomes. While dietary interventions in normal or overweight women do reduce pregnancy-related risks there have been not many successful dietary interventions reported in obese women. But episodes of mindless eating and food cravings have been commonly witnessed in obese women who aren’t pregnant. The study discussed below gives an elaborate idea of an individually tailored nutrition program for obese pregnant women which improves overall diet quality, limits gestational weight gain (GWC) and reduces complication during and after pregnancy.
Individual-tailored Nutrition program for Obese Pregnant Women
The study included women with BMI ≥30 and ≤35 and women having BMI between 35 and 37 were included if they had no other medical complications. The research ensured that all of the women involved were ≤21 weeks of gestation and ≥18 years of age. The dietary intervention group was met by a registered dietitian who consulted the women and recommended them to eat a healthy diet. They were given tips on replacing empty-calorie meals with nutrient-dense foods and also were taught to control portion sizes during every meal. Nutrients such as iron, folate and vitamin D which are of utmost importance for the development of the fetus were also advised alongside the diet menu. The other group, namely the control group did not receive any complimentary service from an RDN but only were entitled to the standard care that included a provision of verbal/written information on healthy eating during pregnancy given by their gyneac.
Volunteers’ height was measured at the start of the study and weight measures were taken during every visit to the hospital. Weight history and pre-pregnancy body weight data of the diet intervention group were collected by the dietitian at the beginning of the study. Their maternal weight at six weeks and six months post-partum were noted by the dietitian. The dietitians also noted dietary information at the start and end of the study and an improvement in diet quality was analyzed based on the median change in the intake of six food groups that included vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and legumes, milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives and discretionary items.
The control group included 119 obese pregnant women and the diet group included 92 of them. Women in the control group had a lower BMI (30.3) compared to those in the diet group (32.9). Asian women were predominantly present in the control group (39%) compared to the diet group (10.9%). 19.3% (23 of 119) women in the control group developed GDM while only 6.5% (6 of 92) women in the dietary intervention group developed GDM. GWC did not show much difference between the two groups-overall 9.7 kg weight gain in the control group and 10 kg gain in the diet group. Six weeks after childbirth 54 women (58.7%) were available for contact by phone and they had a mean weight loss of 10.7 kg and 72% of them had returned to their initial antenatal assessment weight. 18 women were available for contact six months after delivery and they had lost 14.6 kg and 83% were at their initial assessment weight. Consumption of fruits and vegetables significantly improved, intake of discretionary items declined and more women were opting for healthier meal options such as trimming fat off meat or removing poultry skin. Most individuals started consuming more whole grains and low-GI products at the final stage of assessment.
All these significant changes show that bringing in a registered dietitian nutritionist to plan a tailor-made diet for obese pregnant women is indeed useful in improving their diet quality in terms of improved consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and monitoring weight increase in them. This study also clearly showed that GDM showed improvements irrespective of GWG changes. Hence, planning your diet and executing it diligently to avoid obesity-related complications in pregnancy is essential for a healthy mother and infant.
In this research, the study team analyzed for changes in health based on healthy dietary interventions and increased physical activity comparing it to standard antenatal care in UK. The group specifically checked for incidence of gestational diabetes, large-for-gestational-age babies, preeclampsia, preterm birth, mode of delivery and physical activity ranges. Both, the dietary intervention or the control group did not show any changes in incidence of gestational diabetes nor many other measures given above. Total gestational weight was lower in the intervention group compared to the control group and individuals who received dietary guidance showed improvements in dietary pattern and exercise routines too. This trial too shows that a mixed intervention of both diet and physical activity did not show any effects on gestational diabetes and so did the LIMIT trial which included overweight and obese pregnant women. A healthy diet with lifestyle intervention reduces the possibility of weight gain during pregnancy but there is no guarantee for improvements in gestational diabetes. At the same time, statistics of weight reduction are a sign of minimal risk of getting into another pregnancy as an obese lady.
Maternal Eating Behavior
One study focused on the maternal eating pattern in obese pregnant women and identified those behaviors that contribute to the quality of the diet. This was an observational study where the participants were observed for their dietary intake and eating patterns by a validated food photography method for 6 days between 13 and 16 weeks of pregnancy. All the participants were having a BMI >30 and were aged between 18 and 40 years. Diet quality was based on macronutrients intake and intake of calcium, iron, vitamin C, sodium and fiber.
Results of the 56 participants showed that:
A Behavioral Nutritional Intervention for Obese Pregnant Women: https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/ajo.12474
Diet and Lifestyle Interventions for Obese Pregnant Women: https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2213-8587%2815%2900253-3
Behavioral Determinants of Objectively Assessed Diet Quality in Obese Pregnancy: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/7/1446
Every time we see the weighing scale it brings upon a thud feeling in our heart anxious about any weight loss or weight gain changes irrespective of our efforts that go into it. We avoid standing over weighing scales at the hospital where the nurse calls out our weight in front of groups of people, run away from them at restaurants where we had just finished off munching on our delightful meal and try to stay far away from them anytime. Maybe, we would like to secretly check our weights in the comfort of our homes and I don’t find it surprising that many of us now have a digital weight scale stealthily locked out somewhere in our house-to check our weights daily and take effective actions based on the results. These scales use a load cell and there is a change in voltage when force is applied to the load cell. The change in voltage correlates to the person’s weight in a digitized form.
Body weight measurements are useful to gauge your BMI, body fat percentage and muscle mass but measuring medically relevant parameters such as heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), heart rate variability (HRV), stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), etc. using sensors attached to the person’s skin is greatly helpful in identifying certain physiological conditions while some other conditions necessitates the measurement of these parameters repeatedly at certain intervals with great accuracy. A classic example of such a physiological condition is congestive heart failure (CHF) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) that require the periodic measurement of body weight and fluids all through a patient’s life to keep oneself updated on the condition. But when such demands arise the patient too becomes less compliant especially when readings are taken outside clinical settings. Besides, placement of electrodes and measurement of parameters sometimes vary depending on the location of measurement of the parameters. A typical example is the measurement of the systolic (SYS) and diastolic (DIA) pressure measurements that depend on the location at which the parameter is measured - readings measured in the arm, finger, thigh or even the opposite arm show different numbers.
Different conditions occur as a result of differences in values of base measurement of various parameters. For example, ESRD occurs as a result of diabetes and changes in SYS and DIA blood pressure ranges along with variations in body fluids. TFC measurements play a vital role in diagnosing ESRD and this also negates the need for clinical estimations that can sometimes leave the patient with over-removal or under-removal of fluids during diagnosis. Coronary heart failure (CHF) (one type of heart failure) is caused due to hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking and valvular heart diseases. RR and HR exist as important measures for diagnosing heart failure (HF). Once CO is compromised the kidneys fail to do their function properly resulting in sodium and water retention. This leads to increase in weight gain and shift of body fluids to lower extremities. This calls for the need of immediate hospitalization as medications don’t workout. HF is clinically diagnosed by measuring SV, CO and EF (ejection fraction) but in the home environment a simple increase in weight measured using a weighing scale is good enough to identify CFH-a stage that’s critically important to identify the condition that can be easily avoided by simple yet effective changes to diet and medication. Its at this phase that physicians would love to avoid hospitalization when they have the means to remotely titrate medications, monitor diet plans and promote exercise performance. With the availability of identification method for the same research says that it is possible to avoid hospital readmission in 75% of patients with ESRD and CHF. For this, physicians prescribe physiological monitoring regimens to patients living at home-weight scaled and BP cuffs are used by patients daily but for a precise measurement the patients must use these equipment consistently and an imbalance in consistency is likelier in a home setting where there is no one to supervise.
The invention patented here provides a physiological sensor or monitoring device that helps to measure all vital signs and hemodynamic parameters and also promotes regular use and compliance to time-based measurements by the patient. The sensor invented helps in monitoring the patient for HF, CHF, ESRD, cardiac arrhythmias and other diseases and in this invention, it is configured like a floormat. The floormat is used daily and the information collected is sent via a smartphone to a web-based device. This information can be used to prevent hospitalization in patients henceforth. The invention has been designed with the intention of enabling the sensor to measure parameters such as HR, PR, SpO2, RR, SYS, DIA, TEMP, a thoracic fluid index (TFI), SV, CO, weight, percent body fat, muscle mass, and parameters sensitive to blood pressure called pulse arrival time (PAT) and vascular transit time (VTT)-all in just under 2 minutes. The invention offers an advantageous edge to the patient in the sense that it is an easy-to-use device that the patient can use to step onto to measure basic wellness parameters such as body weight and muscle mass, vital signs and complex haemodynamic parameters. As the invention is easy to use the patient is motivated to use it every day and when measurements are taken every day it makes it easier for noticing change in trends in the patient’s physiological parameters allowing to make a judgement on the diagnosis of certain diseases and chronic conditions such as CHF, obesity, kidney malfunctioning and obesity.
The patent was published on July 6th, 2017 and if you are interested in knowing more about the invention, its working policy and method of construction feel free to visit any of the sites below:
United States Patent & Trademark Office:http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=%22Floormat+Physiological+Sensor%22&OS=%22Floormat+Physiological+Sensor%22&RS=%22Floormat+Physiological+Sensor%22
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20190530&CC=US&NR=2019159730A1&KC=A1
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US200468778&_cid=P11-JXLHM3-81899-1
Indian kitchens are never complete without the yellow turmeric which seems to dominate every recipe indeed! While turmeric is predominantly used as a spice throughout the world, we use it to treat health conditions since time immemorial owing to its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous and antioxidant properties that are vastly because of the presence of curcumin, a natural polyphenolic substance, that can be extracted from turmeric. Although still unproven without any conclusive research-based evidence its application and use have not been highly questioned and there do exist some preliminary convincing research.
Curcumin as a Cure for Muscle Soreness
Curcumin is a diarylheptanoid that’s responsible for turmeric’s yellow color and quoted to help minimize inflammation while studies also support its application in easing symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis such as pain and inflammation. There are several studies in initial changes that show promising effects of curcumin in treating cancer, stomach upset, diabetes, colitis, stomach ulcers and depression.
DOMS: Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) includes both muscle pain and stiffness that occurs several hours after exercise especially when there is overuse of muscle activity. Any intense exercise damages muscles and causes inflammation depending on the duration, intensity and type of exercise performed. Also, overactive athletes and inactive individuals who start exercising newly both are prone to DOMS that can leave the person with limited physical activity for a couple of days after exercising. Though there have been multiple trials to come out with the best intervention for treating DOMS we’ve not been able to single out one effective solution. Eccentric exercise brings about stress which in turn brings on an inflammatory response and reactive oxygen species (ROS) which maintain the inflammation and stress by promoting transcription factors such as nuclear factor-κB (NF—κB) responsible for production of inflammatory markers and mediators. Such increased inflammation and stress lead to production of oxidative enzymes such as cytokines and chemokines which out lash the antioxidant capacity of the body leading to muscle pain and DOMS.
Curcumin has been investigated for its anti-oxidant property and there have been several studies that have probed into its medicinal effects whose results show that curcumin suppresses the activation of NF—κB thereby safeguarding muscles, prevents loss of muscle mass during sepsis and regenerates muscles after any trauma-related injury. There have also been studies showing that curcumin prevents inflammation and curbs the extensive muscle damage due to eccentric muscle damage.
Placebo Study of Curcumin’s Effect on Muscle Soreness in Humans
A placebo-controlled study on 20 healthy moderately-active men was conducted to study curcumin. These volunteers performed moderate-intensity exercise for at least 4 hours every week and were devoid of any known diseases or conditions. Each of the volunteers were randomly given either a curcumin supplement (200 mg twice daily) during breakfast and dinner or a placebo during the same time intervals for 4 days-starting 48 hours before the test day and 24 hours after the test day. Every participant underwent a standard treadmill test and a downhill running test (45 min duration) that was used to induce eccentric muscle injury.
An MRI of both the thighs was taken, muscle biopsies were performed 48 hours after exercise, blood samples were collected immediately before the downhill running test and 2 and 24 hours after exercise for the measurement of CRP, high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), ERS, interleukin-8 (IL-8), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Creatine kinase (CK) was used as a marker of muscle damage. Volunteers were asked for a self-assessed report of pain intensity 48 hours after the downhill running on a scale of 0 to 4 where 0 indicates no pain and 4 indicates extreme pain while climbing stairs or getting off them. Results show that:
Another human study that happened sometime later on yet another small group of men showed that curcumin consumption indeed reduced pain following eccentric exercise.
Timing of Curcumin Ingestion Affects Exercise-induced Muscle Soreness in Men
Anyone’s ideology would be to minimize muscle damage and promote recovery after exercise. While we have studies insisting that curcumin does have an impact on reducing DOMS we are not much aware of the effective timing of ingestion that can promote this effect even more. A research group compared the effect of curcumin ingestion before or after exercise on changes in muscle damage markers after eccentric exercise.
24 healthy males were randomly assigned to three different groups-PRE subjects who consumed 180 mg/d of oral curcumin for 7 days before eccentric exercise, POST subjects who ingested 180 mg/d of oral curcumin for 4 days after eccentric exercise and control subjects who ingested 180 mg/d of oral placebo for 4 days after eccentric exercise. All volunteers ate their normal diet and practiced regular lifestyle routines through the study period, were not smokers and were not involved in high-intensity exercise training. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), range of motion (ROM) and CK activity was measured before, immediately after and 1-4 d after exercise and blood samples were taken from the volunteers. Results showed that:
EIMD & DOMS Significantly Decrease After Oral Consumption of Curcumin
Resistance exercise is integral to individuals, especially athletes and active individuals but this can lead to exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and soreness that can limit performance in the ensuing sessions. It is to be noted that not all curcumin supplements deliver free curcumin into the blood and those that don’t deliver free curcumin deliver curcumin metabolites that have a short half-life and low bioactivity. Also, the form of curcumin affects its effect. Curcumin has extremely low bioavailability in its naturally occurring form and we have a study that has come up with an optimal dose of commercially available ‘optimized’ curcumin that’s necessary to bring in the biological effect in individuals.
28 participants were involved in the study and were subject to a muscle strength test some 10 days prior to the muscle damage session. The volunteers were randomly assigned to either the intervention group (consumed 400 mg of curcumin) or control group (400 mg of rice flour) both of whom were given the supplements twice daily, one in the morning and one in the evening. EIMD and DOMS were initiated by subjecting the volunteers to different exercises and the participants’ soreness levels were measured during completion of activities of daily living (ADL). CK levels were measured and blood samples of participants were collected. Results showed that:
Reduction of delayed onset of muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-11-31
Curcumin effects on inflammation and performance recovery following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage: https://physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpregu.00858.2006
Effective timing of curcumin ingestion to attenuate eccentric exercise-induced muscle soreness in men: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv/65/1/65_82/_pdf/-char/en
Curcumin supplementation likely attenuates delayed onset muscle soreness: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25795285
Reduced inflammation and muscle damage biomarkers following oral supplementation with bioavailable curcumin: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4802396/
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