Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Increasing Productivity

Learning to Do More with Less

The 2007 Workplace Safety Index placed the estimated direct U.S. workers compensation costs for the most disabling workplace injuries at $48.3 billion.

Read that number again –

$48.3 BILLION!

Three of the top 10 causes of serious work-related injuries, which make up over 40% of workers compensation costs, are:

1. Overexertion
- injuries caused from excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, or throwing
2. Bodily Reaction
- injuries caused by slipping or tripping without falling
3. Repetitive Motion
- injuries due to repeated stress or strain

The good news is that the human brain has the ability to rewire itself - under the proper conditions - to create more effective solutions which allow you to avoid the above conditions altogether.

This ability is called neuroplasticity.

When applied to movement, rewiring the brain with more efficient movement patterns allows us to be more productive. Productivity increases because we learn to move with less effort.

And accomplishing the same tasks with less effort leaves more fuel in our “tanks” to accomplish more.

It’s a deceptively simple approach. But once you grasp what it feels like to move with the least amount of effort – your productivity will skyrocket!

How are you accomplishing more with less?

For an article that describes how to do more with less, send us an email, and we’ll send it to you for free!


Chad Estes
Movement Specialist

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

The holiday time period is well recognized as being crazy and hectic, especially in this economy. People often are not thinking about work and their surroundings as they normally do. Many have their minds on the coming holiday parties and all of the things that need to be done

During the holidays, more accidents seem to occur. All of us are anxious to have fun over the holidays and sometimes this takes our minds off our work. There also tends to be more ‘accidents’ around this time of year for those who want to have some time off while still being paid.

Injured employees add to the stress of a company trying to function during the holidays. Looming deadlines, money to be saved, and maintaining a full staff may be hard during the holidays.

During this time, you may have several stressed employees, so do your best to create a positive work environment.

Set yourself up for success this coming year by making sure your employees have the right tools for the job. Increase your employees’ awareness in order to bring their attention back to work.

Because an employee that is more aware is a more productive employee.

And a more productive employee is a more valuable employee.

If you are unsure as how to best increase their awareness, allow ETM Consultants to assist you in setting up a program that will not only increase their awareness, but will dramatically increase your employees’ sustainability as well.

May all of you have a safe and happy holiday!

What do you do to foster employee awareness?

For an article entitled “How Awareness Can be Systematically Developed”, send us an email, and we’ll send it to you for free!


Chad Estes
Movement Specialist

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why is Back Pain So Prevalent?

Musculoskeletal Disorders are on the Rise

At the core of the majority of musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome and low back pain are poor movement patterns.

Poor movement patterns cause excess wear and tear on our joints, our ligaments, our tendons, and our muscles because we are calling on parts of ourselves to do more than they were designed to do.

In addition to the structural damage, there are high levels of stress and anxiety that normally accompany these issues.

Human beings have very little instincts - we have to LEARN everything it is that we do in order to become self-sufficient.

In terms of movement, we don’t have any “programs” in our brains from birth that inform us how most efficiently to: sit, stand, lift, walk, etc. - all of these are learned over time. What we do learn, more often than not, isn’t the most efficient method of doing something.

While we are young, we are seldom aware of those things that that cause us harm, especially in terms of movement. Our recuperative capacities, as well as our awareness, are such that we don’t recognize those things that cause us harm until we are at the point where the damage that has occurred consciously affects us.

Up to that point, however, there has been a progressive deterioration in our ability to function – we become less and less productive over time.

We unknowingly cause incremental damage to our structures that, in the long term, affects our capacity to produce.

Because movement is so intertwined with everything we do, when movement becomes affected, many other aspects of our functioning become affected as well.

It’s a downward spiral that can only be corrected by providing our nervous system with better “data” in order to make better choices.

And with better choices come better results.

And better results lead to better, more effective business.

Have you ever experienced the symptoms of a musculoskeletal disorder?

Send me an email and let me know how you dealt with it.


Chad Estes
Movement Specialist

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Learn by Doing

Ever stopped to think about how it is that you move? Most people don’t until there’s a problem.

“Hi, Cindy. (heavy breathing)

“I… I’m… I’m not going to be coming in today.”

“I bent over this morning to tie my shoes (gulp), and WHAM!” (long pause)

“I threw my back out and can’t move.” (sounds of grown man whimpering)

“It takes my breath away, and the pain is excruciating! I’m not going to be able to make it in to work today because I have to go to the doctor.”

Does this scenario sound familiar?

At that moment, you feel:

- Empathy for them; “Wow, that's horrible”
- Mild panic; “How are we going to work short-handed today and get the job done?”
- Disbelief; “Really? From tying your shoes?”
- A bit more panic; “When are they going to be able to make it back to work?”
- Even more PANIC; “This can’t be happening!”

It is estimated that 85% of adults under 50 years of age will experience back pain. Nearly ALL of them will have at least one recurrence.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrates that those with back pain will spend $2500 more per year on medical and insurance costs than those who do not experience back pain.

Well then, let’s just look at the risk factors for back pain, and try to minimize them. Let’s be proactive, you think.

Those risk factors include:

- Aging (Damn, can’t do anything about that)
- A previous back injury (Over 85% have had a problem. This isn’t Back to the Future, we can’t go back and change anything!)
- Physically demanding jobs - those that require repetitive tasks/ motions, such as standing all day, sitting all day, or working in non-ideal ergonomic environments. (Doesn’t that pretty much describe every job out there?!)
- Being sedentary and/ or overweight (Over 60% of Americans over 20 years of age are overweight. We can’t force our employees go on diet!)
- Playing sports that require a great deal of bending and twisting. (Isn’t golf the unofficial sport of corporate America? Better outlaw golf as an activity – yeah right!)
- Joint or bone disease (e.g. osteoporosis, arthritis) – You’re not a doctor, good luck changing that one!
- Poor posture. (Hmm…, this is something that we can work with!)

Looking at the above risk factors, the only entry point you have it to work with is posture training (and maybe some nutrition counseling).

But you can’t simply tell them to stand up straight, or sit up straight. Your employees need to learn by doing.

The postural patterns that are the root cause of back pain have been learned over time.

The thing is, the overwhelming majority of us have learned habits and patterns of action that we are largely unaware of that have a direct negative impact on our productivity.

Most of your employees are only a shoelace away (or a sneeze, or whatever), from being in that 85% of back pain victims.

These inefficient habits and patterns were established through doing, and doing repeatedly.

To retrain ourselves requires that we be allowed to do.

Experiential learning processes exist in order for us to create more effective habits and patterns resulting in more positive outcomes.

And less pain.
And less missed work.
And less insurance costs.
And less panic.

What does your company have in place that allows your employees to learn better ways of doing?

For a list titled “9 Principles for Learning More Efficient Ways of Doing”, send us an email, and we’ll send it to you for free.


Chad Estes
Movement Specialist

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Welcome to Performance ... Improved

Welcome to the blog of ETM Consultants. We are here in order to provide you with information that will allow your employees to accelerate on the road to performance - improved.

We approach performance improvement though the non-traditional avenue of movement.

Why? Because everything that we do – I mean everything – involves movement.

And when movement becomes refined, ALL of the actions you engage in become refined.

Our unique approach allows us to impact not only productivity, but the quality of that production as well by addressing the most important aspect of business – the human aspect.

Through education and training, the human component of your business will make a quantum leap in their ability to perform. Incredibly effective interventions exist that tap into the inherent capacity of the human brain to change, grow, and create more efficient solutions.

Solutions that will allow you to:

- Enable your employees to miss less work
- Decrease your rate of employee turnover
- Increase your employees’ rate of productivity
- Decrease the number of defects produced
- Decrease your medical, legal, and insurance expenses
- Decrease the number of worker’s compensation claims
- Empower your employees to become responsible for their own health and well being

What are you actively doing with the human component of your business that will enable them to accelerate their productivity….. and increase your bottom line?

For a list called, “9 Reasons Why Performance Improves Through Movement Training”, send us an email, and we’ll send it to you for free.


Chad Estes
Movement Specialist

Copyright 2008 ETM Consultants