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Most people live their life as reaction to events that happen around them, and very few create events and define how they will live their Lives...

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When I talk in my development workshops about the necessity of physical activity to boost your mental and physical health, the first objection that people come up with is “TIME”. The majority of my participants will come up with one of the following arguments:

With a full time job and kids at home, it is merely impossible to exercise” or “I wish I could but as you know with all the pressure that I have I can’t” or “ I want to start exercise but I need to sort out some stuff before that”. 

Even though I know that for some people it might be harder than others, all of the above are excuses that can be handled with proper time management and organization.

So instead of fighting it, I have decided to find 3 simple ways to help people increase their physical fitness while at the office.


1- Replace your office chair by a swiss ball (gym/yoga ball):

According to Spineuniverse “sitting on a stability ball can improve stability and balance because doing so is said to constantly engage the core abdominal muscles. Stronger ab muscles protect the lower back and promote better posture, and can be the result of using the stability ball.”

How to do it: To get used to it, the first time you sit on the ball don’t sit for more than 20 minutes as your bottom and back will tend to hurt especially if are not used to it or if you have weak core muscles. Every day increase the time  you sit on the ball till you spend at least half of your office sitting time on it. I know some people who have permanently replaced their office chairs with swiss balls.

2- Get yourself a pedometer:

Pedometers are inexpensive simple devices that will count your daily steps. Now there is even a free app “Stepometer” on iTunes and Google Play. With a Pedometer you will tend to increase your daily motion during office hours. One of my clients created a competition to see who of their employees totals more steps. 

How to do it: Climb stairs instead of the elevator, park your car a little bit further (not on a rainy day), walk to the photocopier and/or make your own tea/coffee so you tend to move more during the day. Depending on your dress code, try to have comfortable shoes (even formal shoes can have a soft sole and thick inner paddings). 


3- Stretch often:

Stretching is an excellent way to prevent injury and maintain your muscles in excellent condition. In addition stretching helps you have better circulation and blood flow to your muscles, improve posture, prevents pain and injury, relaxes you and improves your range of motion

How to do it: Employ the 20-20 rules, advises Alan Hedge, Ph.D., a professor of ergonomics at Cornell University. Every 20 minutes, stand for 20 seconds and stretch or shake things out. “Just 20 seconds away from your computer screen reduces fatigue and increases blood circulation,” says Hedge. Now you’ll have the power to sit up straight. And every 2 hours try the stretching exercises that are given on airplanes; remember you sit on your office chair far more than you sit on an airplane seat.


Those three simple changes in your lifestyle can create wonders in your health and fitness and it doesn’t take a lot of effort, so make it a habit.


Camil el Khoury

Posted By Ideas Group at
05:58 - AM
Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Dubai, UAE  – New research from Regus reveals that UAE professionals may quit their jobs after the summer vacation due to lack of promotion and bosses that do not know, or do not communicate the company’s goals.

For 47% of respondents, finding that the next rung in the career ladder is a no-show was the top ‘get me out of here’ factor. 51% and 31% of respondents respectively would not stick around with a company lacking communication with management or strategic company vision.

Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus comments: “As workers pack up their swim-suits and towels after the holidays, they are more likely to dwell on the pros and cons of the job that is waiting for them at home. With reports indicating that one of the effects of the recovery is that many more employees have started quitting their jobs and looking around for new ones, businesses that are not providing all the trimmings may be heading for a brain-drain of their best talent.

“Stress caused by overwork has escalated during the past recession with people working harder and longer to make sure they can pay the mortgage. Bonuses and job perks were cut back to weather the storm, but as the economy picks up employees will be flocking to businesses that promise them better conditions and not necessarily the biggest wage.”

Other high-stress factors are a long commute to the office (25%) and a boss that takes credit for their work with 24% of respondents quoting this as a reason for making an ‘all change’ decision. In the UAE, where 12 to 14 hour days are quite common, almost a quarter of respondents would also leave if because of overwork (24%). Further dissatisfactions that could easily morph into ‘last drop’ factors were lack of administrative support (22%) and rude colleagues (18%).

The survey also asked workers what companies could do to avoid a brain-drain of their best talents. Aside from a pay rise, in the UAE, 40% of workers declared that private medical insurance was top of their wish-list and 35% called for the ability to flex their working hours.

Top 5 reasons for UAE professionals to quit their job this year:

  •   Lack of communication and involvement by top management   51%   
  •   Lack of promotion despite good work results   47%   
  •   Lack of company ‘vision’   31%   
  •   Too lengthy commute to work   25%   
  •   Your boss taking the credit for your own work   24%  


Posted By Ideas Group at
08:18 - AM
Monday, January 4, 2010

Have you ever decided on a new year’s resolution? Of course you did…. And did those resolutions fail over and over again? Of course they did….

Lets us have a look at the top 5 most common resolution over the past 10 years

5- I want to be nice to people around me (family/friends/colleagues)
4- I want to make more money
3-I want to hit the gym
2- I want to quit smoking
1- I want to start a diet

Now if we examine why did we fail over and over again in applying those resolutions, we will notice that once we start applying any of them, the daily habits will kick in and takes us back at square one. We would start justifying our actions by sentences like: I need this cigarette; I have too much pressure, or a bar of chocolate won’t hurt me now; it is just one.

All of this is natural for two reasons:

1 - We don’t commit to ourselves as long as no one is scrutinizing what we do, we don’t have a clear discipline and will tend at breaking our promise to ourselves

2- The goal is not worthy enough; we will end up saying that by smoking a cigarette or grabbing a piece of cake it’s not the end of the world.

But what is the end of the word?

This year, resolutions are pointing to a very different, yet focused point; saving the world and more specifically saving the world from Global Warming. Everyone is taking that resolution seriously and that is mostly due to 2 events that have happened in the last quarter of 2009: Copenhagen summit and the movie 2012. In the later, the difference that we have witnessed compared to other similar movies is that, the end is very near and that is, not even in 2 years. We need to take action and action starts at home. By turning off that light we don’t need by turning of the TV and DVD plugs when not in use and by closing the water tap when we brush our teeth or shave, we would be contributing in saving that world. It also goes to using our cars; do we ever car pool? Do we walk to the shop that is 200 meters away? Being environmentally friendly follows us at the office, we don’t need to print every single document that we use, we shouldn’t use plastic and paper cups but replace them with our glass cup or mug, and we should be recycling everything we use.

If we commit this year to a green resolution we will for once be doing a good deed not only for ourselves but for people around us and generations to come.

So let’s turn our green resolution into a habit and do something different this year.

Posted By Ideas Group at
09:38 - AM
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