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StandingSteps™ elliptical platform for increasing activity and resilience.

Globally rising prevalence of stress-related diseases has kept pressure on us to alleviate daily stress by exercising and especially exercising for relaxation. How does it work? Mild stress from physical exercise trains innate adaptive (coping) responses. More to the point, by choosing to generate productive stress we’re choosing to get stronger and have more stress resilience. Unproductive stress is like the salt (sodium) added to our diet that doesn’t help us to adapt and in larger amounts can lead to harmful effects (elevated blood pressure). It can be hard to resist stress that doesn’t make us stronger, we get so much of it from ‘parking our legs’ in chairs. But let me tell you how fantastic and easy it will be to get on your feet for productive stress – if you are able to stand and ready to have an active body to go with your active mind!

The StandingSteps™ bionic platform is a comfortable and easy to use innovation that lets you have your full attention on work or leisure while standing and exercising for relaxation. How does it work? The platform’s function is to get you to relax while standing by re-purposing the leverage forces your heavy body exerts on your ankles and feet. The bionic mechanism converts body weight leverage into simple repetitive motion, sparing your ankles and feet discomfort.  Your heels rest on a part of the platform that does not move at all while the platform tilts slightly under your forefeet. This gets you to gently bend your knees and ankles, causing your center-of-gravity to move and causing the springs under platform to store energy released by lowering your center-of-gravity. That stored energy then goes back into helping you to easily straighten your knees again. The process repeats because your forefeet press against the platform, causing it to tilt and your knees to bend again. Exercising on the portable StandingSteps bionic platform can be so easily ‘worked into’ other daily activities that we all love doing or simply comply with during our ‘work’ hours if you can have a ‘standing’ desk. Imagine! You leave the platform always feeling refreshed, and with lively legs to take you up that flight of stairs! The platform is portable and inexpensive, you can take one with you or have several platforms for different places in your day.

The ideal candidates for standing on this bionic platform understand this is about far more than strengthening their legs and ankles. Their goal is having all the productive stress that exercising allows us to have. The bionic platform lets them meet their goal while they’re spending productive time on other pursuits at work, home, classes, any place they wish to stand. Let’s shift focus then to how productive stress can be maximized by exercising. Harder, faster  exercise regimens are not a shorter path to all the ‘good’ stress we can have, no matter how many times someone says, “what doesn’t kill us, will make us stronger”. At the opposite extreme is exercising for relaxation – no strained efforts,  jarring impacts, or even very substantial rises in heart rate and breathing. This strength training is for ‘autonomic’ systems charged with essential functions of our being. Especially functions for handling oxidative stress that are decisive for how rapidly we age, how long we are here, and how malleable we are in the face of challenges.

Will exercising on the bionic platform produce all the good stress I can have from physical activity?  In other words, how important is it to add intensity (force) to muscle contractions? The answer may be – not so much, and here’s why. Productive stress from exercise is mainly mild oxidative stress that trains our adaptive capacities for managing oxidative stress. Knocking yourself out to get this ‘good’ stress is unnecessary, since oxygen utilization in active muscle fibers yields it normally. (see review on ‘Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress’) But to quote Woody Allen, “eighty percent of success is showing up”, or the circulation has to put the oxygen into muscle and that doesn’t happen while we are ‘parking our legs’. While we are sitting (or standing still) the circulation into inactive muscle drops nearly as much as if our heart stopped, or about 99% below circulation into exercising muscle! You can be certain that even very moderate weight-bearing leg muscle contractions will increase circulation substantially by a process called ‘functional sympatholysis‘. This process, if sustained, is where the ‘rubber meets the road’ in getting us on our way to having all the productive stress we can get from exercising. Simply allowing enough time for GetBetterStanding exercise is all you need to do to have all the productive stress from exercising.

Among benefits we expect from exercising what gets overlooked very often are substantial increases in circulation that most weight-bearing activity easily sustains. As in walking, for example, movement of our heavy bodies is up and down, as well as forward. The motion up and down, being in-line with major circulatory pathways and being periodic (knees bend and straighten), renders assistance to circulation of blood and lymph. How does it work? The up and down motion with the help of gravity acting on our heavy body exerts periodic forces on blood and lymph fluids. These fluids in turn exert ‘pulsatile’ forces on circulatory vessel walls to generate a vital signal throughout our body that increases circulation, even in the absence of any muscle contractions  (see explanation for Whole-Body Periodic Acceleration). The StandingSteps bionic platform was designed to allow you to sustain this assistance to circulation with only gentle bending of your ankles and knees. Turn it on and leave it on all day long and there is no more you need to do to have continual ‘good’ stress that exercise can provide.

Finally, the StandingSteps bionic platform makes it easy to increase the speed of your leg muscle contractions to increase consumption of fuel (ie calories) delivered by circulation to muscle, and to thereby increase the potential for weight-loss and blood sugar control. The speed you choose is up to you but may be increased with practice. Depending on your desire for more rapid leg muscle contractions associated with gentle bending and straightening of ankles and knees, your leg muscle contractions can easily be sustained at rates equivalent to similar leg muscle contractions while jogging and running. The platform mechanism leaves your autonomic postural balance control in charge of your leg movements while your attention is on work or leisure. Most of us have plenty of fuel ready to be burned while circulation is ‘turned on and left on’. Now, it is true that conversion of fuel to energy in muscle becomes more efficient when we are active for longer periods and on regular basis. In large part, this is true because the mitochondria in muscle fibers increased in size and number.  It is also true that more mitochondria allows for a cleaner, ‘safer’ energy production. (see study in humans) You eat and then seek a path for that fuel to be converted in muscle to have more strength and stress-resilience. Exercising for relaxation can do justice to this strategy, but only this bionic platform lets you pursue it while you are focusing your attention on work or leisure.  All the dots are connected!

Better Standing Company proudly manufactures in the USA. The StandingSteps bionic platform is patent-pending by application in the United States and other countries.

This general wellness product has an intended use for encouraging a healthy activity. It is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with your doctor before beginning any new physical activity.

Copyright 2016, Better Standing Company,Inc.

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