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Being active whilst working with WordPress #006

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Today we look at something that we have not yet tackled – physical health.

WP&UP provides support grouped into four health hubs, mental health, business health, skills health and physical health.

Working with WordPress is a wonderful challenge; but mostly that’s a mental challenge. Many people in our community will spend quite a lot of time sitting in a chair, working on their computer; and it’s all too easy for this to become a habit that is rarely broken.

Michelle Schulp works with WordPress, but places her physical health front and centre. She makes sure that she’s working hard, whilst providing time to get up and move.

She talks to me about why she thinks your physical health and productivity are interconnected and how you might begin your journey towards being more active if you need to.

There’s no right answer to this and we explore the many ways that you can transform a sedentary life into something different. This does not have to mean following the well trodden path of going to the gym multiple times each week; there are many ways that you can improve your physical health, and some of them don’t even require you to leave your desk.

Michelle’s story might resonate with many of you, and her fascination with being active and healthy was something that she learned in later life, she not was always this way.

It’s a great listen for those of you who feel that you might have developed a lifestyle that does not have enough physical movement in it. A testament to how things can change. It’s not root and branch and you can make little steps towards a more active life starting today.

Interviewed by Nathan Wrigley.

We hope you enjoy the show, please do subscribe on iTunes or Spotify. We’re always looking for feedback, if you have any thoughts or comments, please do reach out.

And remember… Together we can #PressForward 

Featured on this podcast:

Michelle Schulp

Michelle Schulp

Health and fitness have become a passion of mine over the course of my freelance career, and I’ve…

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Nathan Wrigley: 00:31 Welcome to episode six of the WP and UP podcast. It’s great that you found us. I wanted to take a moment to explain what this podcast is all about. You see, the #PressForward podcast is created by WP and UP who are WP and UP. You’re likely thinking, what do they do? Well, they’re a charity working in the WordPress space, trying to support the WordPress community. That help is freely available at WP and UP.org or you can call plus 44 20 33 22 10 80 this support is available for all sorts of reasons. It might speak to do with mental health, physical health. Perhaps your business is going through a tough time or you’d like to update your skills, whatever the reason might be, please reach out. It’s so easy just to keep pushing problems down, hoping that they’ll go away ignoring things until they cannot be ignored any longer. Of course, it might not be you.

Nathan Wrigley: 01:51 You might know of someone who you feel could benefit from some support. Whoever it is, whatever it is, we’re here when you have a need. Did you know that May, 2019 is mental health awareness month. It’s a chance to shine a light on the issue of mental health at WP and UP. We’re trying to gain a better understanding of where our resources should be targeted and so if you feel able to help us, we’d love you to complete our survey. It’s [email protected] forward slash go and it’s honestly quite fun to fill in today. For the first time we’re going to be talking about physical health. Perhaps easier to understand than some of the other topics that we’ve covered. It is nonetheless important. I’m sure that many of us are sitting in front of screens for many hours each week. It’s a big part of our job. After all, computers are largely how we work.

Nathan Wrigley: 03:01 It’s easy to fall into a routine, which means that you don’t move enough and we all know the arguments for exercising more. Perhaps some of the topic that we cover this week are something that you can identify with. You might be facing something similar. The point is that by sharing these stories and shining a light on them, we make you aware that it’s okay to open up and maybe even seek out some support from WP and UP. Let’s be clear, physical health is important and although there are many activities that you can do and places that you can go to exercise, you might not have access to them or her focused upon your physical health before we can help you. As of the recording of this podcast, we’ve provided 792 hours of mentorship, an amazing 3,302 hours have been donated by the many people who are now volunteering for WP or not.

Nathan Wrigley: 04:08 So we’re very serious about supporting the WordPress community, but we’re just getting started and we’d welcome your help. If you’d like to support WP and UP financially, then please visit WP and UP dot org forward slash give if you would like to get involved in WP and UP, then please visit WP and aarp.org forward slash contact or look for the social links in the footer of the website. Sponsorship is also an option and sponsoring WP and UP is a great thing to do. You’ll be supporting the important work that we’re undertaking. And you can also be featured on the podcast like this.

Nathan Wrigley: 05:06 The #PressForward podcast is brought to you today by Green Geeks. Green Geeks offers an awesome managed web hosting platform that’s built for speed, security and scalability whilst being environmentally friendly. Enjoy a better web hosting experience for your WordPress website, backed by 24 seven expert support. And we thank Green Geeks for their support of the #PressForward podcast.

Nathan Wrigley: 06:04 Today we have Michelle Schulp on the podcast. Michelle is here to talk to us about physical health and how we might be able to take steps to ensure that we’re leading active lives even when we’re working with a computer all day. I began by asking her what her background is in this area. Does she work with WordPress in a computer but have an interest in physical health?

Michelle Schulp: 06:30 Uh, so my background is actually more in the tech space then in the health space. For sure. I, I studied visual design in school in college and uh, after that wound up going more into front end development and found the WordPress community through that. Uh, so day to day I am an independent, uh, visual designer and front end developer. I’ve been doing that for a decade, uh, and as such have, you know, spent the last decade kind of struggling with this whole work life balance as it pertains to physical health. And so that’s, that’s what got me to the path that I’m on right now.

Nathan Wrigley: 07:11 Some people exercise all the time, others rarely it can come and go as well. Periods of your life where taking exercise was integral to your routine and others where it is featured far less. I wondered if Michelle had always been keen on physical fitness.

Michelle Schulp: 07:31 I have definitely not always been a health and fitness person. I think if, if the teenage version of me could see me right now, they wouldn’t know who I was because I was, I was the person I was, I was always skinny, but I was not healthy. I was the person that would eat, you know, uh, you know, like potato chips and, and Coca Cola for lunch. Like that was me. Right. So, uh, and you know, pizza is still my favorite foods. Like it’s, it’s one of those things, it’s not inherent to who I am. Uh, but, uh, when I was in my mid twenties and I started seeing my peers from college, my peers from high school and also my tech community peers who were not the same age as me, maybe a few years older than me, uh, or several years older than me starting to kind of slow down and start dealing with health problems and start putting on weight and all of these things that I realized I was at a point where either I was going to keep doing what I was doing and, uh, have the same problems that they were having or I would need to start making a change in who I am and start incorporating all, um, healthy eating and movement and all of that stuff into my day to day life now, uh, rather than trying to fix it later.

Michelle Schulp: 08:51 So I guess I was kind of, yeah, it was kind of lucky that I had that early on, a relatively speaking, but that’s, that’s why I, I just saw it happening to, to everybody that I cared about. Right.

Nathan Wrigley: 09:06 WP and UP offers support under there for health hubs, physical health, mental health, business health and skills health. Categorizing it in this way makes it seem that they are separate exclusive of one another. That one is not related to the other. Of course, the reality is that these categories of many overlaps. Did Michelle think that there was a connectedness with the for health hubs?

Michelle Schulp: 09:38 Yeah, I definitely think that all four of these hubs are extremely interconnected in terms of being a, not just a successful business person, but kind of just a successful person person. Right. Um, if one of these, uh, pillars is crumbling, the whole structure is not very sound. Uh, we, we tend to treat our bodies like an afterthought in this whole, you know, get it done, stay up late, burn the candle at both ends, drink some mountain dew. You know that culture, uh, we tend to kind of abuse our bodies as just a vessel for the things we’re doing. But you know, we only get one and it’s been proven that we do better work when we take better care of ourselves.

Nathan Wrigley: 10:26 I’m sure that it’s true that many of us don’t get enough exercise. You know that it’s important and desirable. You know that there are many benefits for you to do it, but it’s hard and what small, you might be lucky enough to feel okay without exercise. Your body just works fine even though you don’t get up and move about often enough. I think about it like a car. You buy a good car and it just works so long as you keep putting in fuel. It keeps going. It has worked for years with little or no maintenance and it will continue to work forever this way unless of course it doesn’t.

Michelle Schulp: 11:11 That’s not how cars work either though. You wait until the check engine light comes on, you probably have way bigger problems. And if you would’ve just changed your oil and rotated your tire is like you were supposed to, you get older, you’re, you’re a totally different person now than you were 10, 20 years ago and you’re a different person now than you will be a 10, 20 years in the future. So yeah, what worked in the past? Uh, it doesn’t always work in the future. And, and there, there is something to be said for, I mean, I didn’t actually have a very active childhood. Uh, I was a giant nerd, which if you ever meet me, you would not be surprised. I would rather read under a tree then go play tag with the other kids. Uh, but, uh, I guess I was just kind lucky that my genes, you know, had me look a certain way. But like I said, I was never, I was never healthy.

Nathan Wrigley: 12:02 Working with WordPress and computers means that we spend hour after hour in front of a screen, we sit and unless we consciously make the effort, we sit some more. How a posture might be bad back you. Neck pain can result. I wanted to know if being so sedentary is the most important inhibition to being physically healthy.

Michelle Schulp: 12:27 Uh, I think it certainly doesn’t help our case. Uh, you know, if you, if you do have a job that requires moving around, at the very least, you’re not sitting all day. So we’re, we’re kind of at a, definitely at a disadvantage because our jobs are very sedentary. And again, also because a lot of us are very passionate about what we do. Our job is also our hobby. You know, we have a lot of side coding projects and other, other things that we’re doing that are relevant. So we’re spending even more hours on our computers. Plus, you know, we’ve got smartphones and all and TV and basically we’re in kind of the space where our entire life could be spent in front of a screen. So we are, we are definitely at a disadvantage when it comes to movement and physical health. But I wouldn’t say that it’s the cause of the problem because obviously physical health is a problem that lots and lots of different people face.

Nathan Wrigley: 13:23 We all like routines. We get up, get dressed, go to work, sit in the same place. The list goes on. The routine somehow becomes the way you that you think your life ought to be. It’s the way that you recalled yesterday and the way that you’re expecting tomorrow to be. Now. If you’ve managed to include physical health in that routine, then that’s great, but for those who don’t, it’s often yet another thing that’s vying for your time and it’s an easy one to push away because doing nothing is easier than doing something. Then there’s the whole problem with what we think physical activity is. We might think that there are prescribed ways to get exercise and they involve going somewhere else like a gym, but is this true?

Michelle Schulp: 14:16 I actually saw a really good description of both a physical health in terms of exercise and also physical health in terms of diet, that it’s not binary. It’s not either you are doing it or you’re not. It’s actually much more of a spectrum that you can start with. You know, zero is I’m doing nothing. Uh, and 10 is I am literally uh, you know, training for the military, right. And so that, but there’s a lot of things in between that I’m, I am neither of those things either. But um, there, there is like the higher level where it’s like I’m going to the gym for an hour a day. I’m doing really intense workouts. I’m lifting weights, I’m doing high intensity cardio like that, that level of commitment. But there’s also in the middle, there’s, I am deliberately going for a walk for half an hour every day.

Michelle Schulp: 15:06 I am playing with my kids. I am doing an intramural sports team, you know, a couple of nights a week. There’s that. There’s also near the lower end but still better than zero. I am getting up from my desk and I’m walking around for five minutes. I’m taking my conference calls. Uh, the non video ones while pacing back and forth instead of sitting, I am choosing to, you know, park further away from the door if I drive to the store. You know, there’s, there’s this huge spectrum of, of places where we can make a choice and that’s exactly what it is. It’s not all or nothing. It’s every, it’s every small moment is a choice. Now granted, you’re not necessarily going to see military training results from doing five minutes of walking every day, right? I mean there’s, there’s definitely different outcomes, but all of those outcomes in the middle and even near the bottom are better for your body to be healthy. Um, then then doing nothing at all. So don’t, don’t feel like just because you can’t dedicate an hour of your day doing something heavy at the gym that you have no business trying to incorporate physical health into your life.

Nathan Wrigley: 16:21 If you currently don’t do any physical exercise, it can seem like climbing a mountain just to get started. We’ve all heard the numbers, how many minutes a day you need to raise your heartbeat. Faced with this mountain, many just give up and don’t begin. Surely it’s better to do something rather than nothing.

Michelle Schulp: 16:44 Yeah. There, there are definitely recommended numbers that are different, you know, the government and other organizations put out there. I would say, I mean for me, I personally try to get an hour of activity every day and a lot of it is intense. I have the privilege to be able to do that because I’m young and single and urban and things are nearby and I have that flexibility. Uh, that being said, a lot of what I’ve seen is like, you know, get your heart rate up for like half an hour a day. Right? Um, you can do that. Well, I mean, getting your heart rate up can mean a lot of different things. For some people that’s just going for a really brisk walk. For some people that’s, you know, let’s do a bunch of pushups on the floor, you know, I dunno, uh, whatever works. But I think even, even just starting with, um, even to started with a half hour a day, it doesn’t even have to be all at once. You know, if you can do, you can do several, five minute sessions. That’s, that’s great. That is much more than you were doing before.

Nathan Wrigley: 17:47 And maybe the problem is not the fact of exercising, but the places that we’re encouraged to go to exercise, you might find that a gym pool or class is not suited to you, but that’s okay. Right?

Michelle Schulp: 18:04 Oh, definitely. If my only options for exercising, we’re doing the things that I hated doing, I wouldn’t do it either. Uh, I learned that I don’t like group fitness classes. I don’t like going to a class where we’re all doing the same thing, like doing the cycle or doing some kind of routine together. I hate those actually. Um, because I too like to be in my own head when I do my own workouts. Um, some of my friends though, they find being alone, extremely demotivating and they love going to group fitness classes because that aspect of it energizes them. So I mean, we’re, we’re very different people and if, if we had to, it’s kind of like, you know, you don’t, uh, judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. Right? Um, yeah. Yeah. Um, so you do have to find something that, and a lot of it is like find something that, that kind of brings you joy or at least it’s something that you, you’re proud of doing.

Nathan Wrigley: 18:59 Another inhibitor to getting exercise is not being sure of what it is that you want to do. With that time, there were so many choices of what to do. Gym, run, swim, play a racquet sport, play in a team. Maybe some of these appeal to you from your childhood, but what about those who have never enjoyed exercise? What’s a good place to get started?

Michelle Schulp: 19:26 If you have a history of things that you know you liked, like, you know, if you’re used to, he used to play a sport when you were younger and you can find an adult version of that sport. Great. Um, or if you, I mean, I know some people that, you know, they’re in their forties, 50s, 60s, and they took up a brand new sport they’d never done before. They’re like, I want to learn fencing or, you know, kickboxing or something. And they’re, they’re starting something new, uh, because they, they never did it before. Um, I would say, you know, I definitely know that in the u s in urban areas especially, we have just a ton of any kind of exercise program you could possibly want. Uh, but there is the cost involved in that, right? So if, if, if you can afford to join a thing, if you could afford the time and if you can afford the money, there’s plenty of opportunities. But if not, uh, you know, we, at least when it’s warm, I mean, I’m in Minnesota, so sometimes we don’t really want to be outside, but what it’s warm, you know, there’s plenty of ways you can be outside, you know, run if you like running, walk, if you like walking a ride a bike, if you like riding a bike,

Nathan Wrigley: 20:35 let’s change direction a little. Let’s turn our attention to our workplaces. They are after all the places where we spend most of our time. Is there anything you could reasonably do in your office, in your chair that can have a meaningful impact upon your physical health?

Michelle Schulp: 20:55 Sure. Number one is you definitely don’t want to be working against yourself. So, uh, make sure that if you do have to sit, that you have equipment, uh, that promotes good posture. You don’t, I have, I have chronic back problems because for the first few years of my career I was working extremely long hours and had terrible posture and I’m now stuck with it forever. Um, so I believe that first, make sure that in the environment we do have to spend all of our time in that we are at least doing the best possible version of that. A second, there is an element of getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Uh, you, you do need to be able to get the very least speak up for like, Hey, this meeting is going to be two hours. Can we get a couple of stretch breaks in here? Or at the most, you know, I, I’m the kind of person that has been known to, uh, do like body weight, exercise routines in public places such as, such as work environments or conferences or airports.

Michelle Schulp: 22:01 Uh, I understand that that is the kind of person that I am and not everybody would be comfortable doing that, but it was a really great way to, to fit some movement into spaces. Another thing that I’ve started doing, I recently took a part time contract job in a corporate office. So high rise badges, the whole thing. Um, I just take 20 minutes at lunch and go for a walk and then I eat my lunch at my desk. Um, so I take my lunch and I use that to get movement and, and then I just eat my food. I have to sit anyway. So

Nathan Wrigley: 22:36 Michelle mentioned posture and it’s occurred to me that although I know that this is important, I don’t really have any understanding of what I need to do to improve the way I sit. Is this about sitting in the chair correctly or just a simple case of buying a chair and letting that deal with the posture for me.

Michelle Schulp: 22:58 So I will, I’ll disclaimer that I’m not a medical professional, but right. But based on, based on all, all the different things I’ve been told by doctors, chiropractors, all the stuff that I’ve had to see, uh, the biggest thing that we do as tech professional staring at a screen is have our head St forwards. Um, so that way and that naturally pulls our shoulders forward. That pulls our back forward. But I mean our head is basically a bowling ball and you can imagine kind of our little neck having to support this bowling ball constantly forward of the center of gravity that is a lot of straight and that we’re putting on our back. And then we’re rounding our shoulders forward. Um, there’s just like a lot of it. So even just having a, a chair and desk that enables you, that reminds you to like get your head up over your neck instead of in front of your neck is a big help.

Michelle Schulp: 23:50 Uh, making sure that your table isn’t too high or too low, uh, that you don’t have to have your arms stretched way the heck out in front of you, uh, that your, your spine is kind of in alignment. So it’s not going to be straight. Obviously spines are curved, but you want everything to kind of stack on top of itself, uh, in the way that it was designed for it. Right? And, and you do want your, your feet to be able to touch the ground or touch a, a foot rest or something, uh, with your legs. Generally kind of parallel ish. But again, it’s also helpful if you can mix that up. So if you have a standing desk to move to for a couple, or if you have a kneeling chair to move to for a couple or something else to change it up.

Michelle Schulp: 24:34 But, but the, the biggest thing is just keeping our heads on top of our next instead of leaning forward. This is what happened to me, uh, because I, I kind of had a life of bad posture and then I spent all of this time, you know, in, in this terrible seating arrangement. Uh, what happened is that my, my neck muscles in my upper back muscles basically have permanent spasms in them because they were overexerted and overexerted. Uh, now granted this was me working to the point of pain. It really late nights doing stuff. But that’s, that’s not unheard of if you have a deadline to ignore what your body is saying. Right? Um, so you, you basically can be left with a permanent muscle pain and, and permanent things. You have to deal with this. The, the neck forward thing plays a lot of, a lot with the upper back and neck.

Michelle Schulp: 25:27 Uh, the chair and leg posture plays a lot with the lower back and the lumbar area. Uh, you can also end up, depending on how you sit with problems in your hips. So it’s basically, I mean, the same kind of thing with, if you hear about getting a carpal tunnel or something from repetitive stress injuries with your hands, the same kind of thing can happen to your back if you’re doing it for hours and hours and hours. You know, maybe when you’re younger it’s fine, but once you’ve accumulated more and more hours, you know, your, your body body’s basically practicing, having terrible posture and, and it’s going to end up overcompensating for it. And you’ll be in, you’ll wind up with, with a lot more issues than, than you should

Nathan Wrigley: 26:07 given that Michelle has recurring back problems from leaning her head over too much in the past and that she feels this is a primary importance when thinking about posture, I asked her if there were any telltale signs that we should be on the lookout for.

Michelle Schulp: 26:25 For me it was a pain at the base of my neck and the top of my shoulders. It would just be really achy and sore. Um, and uh, I ignored that to the point where it was more than just achy. It was like blatantly, I can’t sit up anymore levels or, um, but I mean kinda check in and listen to your body. One great piece of advice I got was just, you know, whether it’s setting a timer or picking a specific couple of times each day and just like using that as like, let me check in with my body. How is my posture? Do I, do I feel my shoulders riding up? Do I feel my body hunching forward? Like, let’s relax that and sit up straight. Um, just checking in with yourself and noticing what you do is extremely helpful.

Nathan Wrigley: 27:14 Perhaps there’s a magic piece of advice that if I followed it to the letter, would mean that I’d have the perfect posture. And again, perhaps not, perhaps sitting in a chair is always going to lead to problems and all that we can do is mitigate those problems by thinking about how we sit and for how long.

Michelle Schulp: 27:37 It’s not, it’s not great for you to sit in a chair all day, but this is, this is the cost benefit analysis that we’ve made in our lives. Uh, I think it’s, it’s not so much about, you know, get this specific chair or do this specific exercise. It’s really about mindfulness. Like if you practice a habit of mindfulness about your body and what it’s doing, you will learn to listen to it before it gets to the point where it’s bad.

Nathan Wrigley: 28:07 That word mindfulness, I hear it all the time these days, but I don’t really know what it is.

Michelle Schulp: 28:18 Yes. Uh, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get super zen or deep about it. It’s just very like, here I am in the moment, here is me breathing. How does my, how does the tension in my face feel like, how does the tension in my shoulders feel like? Let me notice that for a second. Um, it only really has to take, you know, 30 or 60 seconds just to check in with yourself. And then even the act of checking in is usually enough to remind yourself, oh, right, I’m supposed to be sitting up properly. I definitely probably three or four or five times a day. I usually start with the top of my body and we’re work down because we tend to carry a lot of tension in our faces when we’re serious, right? Like we’re just like, it’s surprising, but like our jaws and our foreheads and like our, I don’t know, there’s so many things that we carry tension and so probably three, four, five times a day, I’m just like, okay, um, can I relax that? Can I, can I bring myself back up? Like if I’m getting really into a, Oh my gosh, I’m solving this problem and type, type, type, type, type, type. It’s like, oh no, no, no. Okay. Breathe set up, you know, get oxygen. Be Aware of what I’m doing. Uh, very, very helpful.

Nathan Wrigley: 29:29 It would be nice to think that we all had great working environments are employers have bought us the latest in posture supporting chairs. The screens are all the right tight and the tables can be raised so that typing causes less strain. The same employers allow us to take time out to stretch and move about. Sadly we don’t live in this world and our working environments might be far from ideal. I wonder if Michelle knew of any minimum working environment requirements that employers need to provide.

Michelle Schulp: 30:10 Oh, that’s a, that’s a really good question. Uh, I don’t think that there’s kind of a universal level a to that degree of what, of what we’re entitled to have. I know like there’s, there’s kind of like a bare minimum level of, of breaks and stuff like that, but it gets kind of murky when you start talking about salary jobs versus non salary jobs and there’s kind of different levels of things there. And I that is not my area of expertise because I decided to, I decided to get, get out of that whole thing by just working for myself. Right. I mean, I definitely probably depends on the bias, but if your boss is the kind of person that sees any shred of humanity within you and there, there are some companies that treat people as expendable and I don’t think they have any level of convincing.

Michelle Schulp: 31:03 And I’m very sorry if you work for one of those companies, I hope that you don’t forever. Um, but for, for anybody that, that actually sees their employees as people, um, I think there are definitely cases to be made and there’s definitely resources showing how, um, injuries and, and sickness and all of these problems contribute to, you know, worse work. I think we’re seeing a lot more studies in that field and I think that a lot of businesses, at least, you know, kind of the ones with some of the capital to be able to do this, uh, are starting to, to see that as well and to take advantage of, you know, better, better health initiatives, investing in better equipment for your desk, investing in, you know, health, membership reimbursements and just, there’s just, there’s a lot of things companies are starting starting to do very slowly, but it’s definitely more on a company by company basis. Then that’ll be kind of like top down.

Nathan Wrigley: 32:02 Well, it’s about getting exercise while sitting in our chairs. Is there a bend or stretch that we can do that would have a positive impact or should we always endeavor to get up and move about?

Speaker 6: 32:17 Sure. I’d definitely stretch a bunch of times a day in my chair and not, uh, uh, you know, best, best would be to get up and move. But again, there’s, there’s a, a dial of things we can do. And so if, if we’re in the middle of something and all we can do is, you know, take a minute to kind of stretch our neck and, and keep going, uh, that’s still better than doing nothing. Right. So it’s, it’s, it’s always, again, it’s never all or nothing. It’s always just the sliding scale of different things we can do to make things better, uh, better than they were.

Nathan Wrigley: 32:52 Oh, physical health is a very personal subject. We might regard it as something that we do to ourselves for ourselves, but maybe there’s more to it than that. Perhaps the social dimension that we’ve not talked about so far. A dimension of collaboration and mutual support.

Michelle Schulp: 33:15 Sure. I mean, even exactly what we’re doing right here, uh, is a great, is a great thing. Being more open and transparent about the fact that health is something that we all need to be talking about. So, so, uh, the fact that podcasts like that this exists, the fact that people are starting to blog about it more, that people are starting to talk about it more and share about it more. I think the biggest thing that we can do is to share that we aren’t alone and we’re all kind of struggling with this together. Uh, I have spoken with many people in the WordPress community about their physical health journeys. People are in a lot of, a lot of different, uh, places in their journey, but there’s a lot of people that have made some amazing transformations and we’ve all kind of started supporting and talking to each other about, you know, the day to day struggles.

Michelle Schulp: 34:08 Uh, just just because we’ve, you know, decided to be physically fit or to work out x amount or to change our diet or whatever, doesn’t mean that we wake up every day super excited about it. Right? And so it’s, it’s really nice to have. I don’t wake up every day super excited about it and this is like a thing that people know me for, but I still do. I still don’t wake up every day being like, yeah, working out. It’s the best. I’m usually like, how can I, how can I not do this and sleep Warren’s Dad, right? So, so having that community to rely on is really great.

Speaker 6: 34:46 Although we’d probably not like to be told by our employers to get up and exercise. I wondered if employers do in fact have a legitimate role concerning their employees, physical health. Perhaps in future we’d like to see employers suggesting that we’ve been in the chair too long and requiring us to move about,

Michelle Schulp: 35:09 oh, definitely. A lot of, a lot of companies are kind of doing health initiatives and uh, it’s, it’s a bit of a fine line because you don’t want them to be competitive. Uh, you don’t want to, you know, everybody’s in a different space in their journey. You don’t want to pit people against each other to try to get the most steps or whatever because, you know, people have different life circumstances. But yes, having a company culture that encourages people to be more active, to be more mindful about what they’re eating, people were mindful about what they’re doing and encourages employees to remind each other to, to do that too. That, that is always great.

Nathan Wrigley: 35:50 So winding up, I wanted to know if Michelle, how did he tips for people who knew that they wanted to make a change to their physical health, but we’re finding it hard to make a start. What could they do right now to get this transformation underway?

Michelle Schulp: 36:09 I uh, I gave a lightning talk at WordCamp Miami this year that was about 10, basically 10 small habits that you can do to help balance balance health with hustle. Uh, one of them that I can share right now is a, what I call taking advantage of micro moments. And that’s, you know, if you have a free five minutes of free, one minute, um, use that to do something. So if you’re, if you are waiting for code to compile, you know, get up and stretch, get up and walk around your desk. If you got off of a call and you’ve got 20 minutes until the next call, we all know we can’t get anything done during that time. You know, use that time to maybe go for a walk or use that time to, I mean, if you’re at home and nobody is looking at you, right, you use that time to do some pushups and crunches on the floor, right?

Michelle Schulp: 37:01 No one’s, no one’s looking at you. Um, every, there, there’s so many little micro moments that if we don’t have time to do something big, we definitely have time to do something small. I think the, the biggest thing when it comes to health and fitness, and we’ve touched on this a little bit before, but basically remembering that every moment is a choice. Um, and if you make all of your choices deliberately and purposefully, then then you’re doing great. Um, the problem is when we’re mindless or you know, we’re just snacking on random stuff or sitting in channel surfing for no reason or whatever that is. When we’re mindless, that’s the problem. Um, but if we’re mindful, if we are present, if we’re like, I want to do this thing, whether that’s exercising or eating a salad or eating a cookie or eating a donut, like if we like chose that on purpose instead of just doing it because I’m fully embraced. The choice you make, none of them are, are inherently good or bad. You just, you just fully embraced the choice. You make and enjoy the thing that you’re doing and then remember that the next moment is a new choice.

Nathan Wrigley: 38:40 Remember, the WP and UP is here to help you visit WP and UP.org or call +44 20 33 22 10 80

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Nathan Wrigley: 39:48 That’s it for this week. Please let us know if you’ve enjoyed the podcast. If you’re finding it useful or helpful, you can reach out to us at WP and UP.org /contact. Remember that there’s a serious point to all of this though, and that it is the WP and UP is here to provide help and support that help is available for you or people you know and can be easily [email protected] website. Please spread the word about this new podcast. Tell your friends and subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. Together we can #pressforward.

Nathan Wrigley